RERA act which is launched on 1st may 2017 is expected to bring relief for homebuyers and developers will have to give timely possession for projects. No new launch can be initiated till the project is registered under RERA act. Many builders and agents have been rushing to register under the act since it is implemented.
Under the new RERA law, every state has to establish Regulatory Authority which would be a special body dealing with the real estate sector. Each state has its own individual Real Estate Regulatory Authority. Under this law, every developer has to register his real estate project with the respective state authority. The RERA act was established to protect the home buyer's interest and boost investments in real estate industry.
The Real Estate Authority in Maharashtra is known as MahaRERA which is in force since 1st May 2017, throughout the state.
Let's see what are the benefits of RERA for a homebuyer. Below are some frequently asked question which is on the minds of every home buyer.
1. Is it mandatory for the promoter to obtain permissions for the real estate project before applying for registration to MahaRERA?
Yes, the layout of the real estate project has to be approved. However, the promoter may include some buildings in his application of registration where apartments are proposed and the Building approvals are pending. Building Approval for the apartment must be obtained before the agreement for sale is signed between the promoter and buyer, regarding the said apartment.
2. What is the penalty prescribed for non-registration of a project under the Act?
If any promoter fails to register as per Act, he shall be liable to a penalty which may extend up to ten percent of the estimated cost of the real estate project. On continued violation, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to three years or with fine which may extend up to a further ten percent of the estimated cost of the real estate project, or with both.
3. How will a flat buyer know, if the real estate project is duly registered under MahaRERA?
The MahaRERA website would display all the registered projects. It is mandatory that the advertisement for marketing of apartments in the real estate project must carry the MahaRERA registration number.
4. Whether registration of real estate agents would be project specific, location specific or individual specific?
Real estate agents have to get registered with MahaRERA either as an individual or as "other than an individual". Promoters while applying for registration of any real estate project will have to indicate the names of registered real estate agents who will be working as agents in the said project. Names of such agents will be displayed along with other project specifications on the MahaRERA website, upon registration of the project.
5. What are the penalties that a Real Estate Agent would face if he fails to adhere to the mandates prescribed by MahaRERA?
If any real estate agent fails to register and contravenes the provisions of section 9 or section 10 of the Act, he shall be liable to a penalty of ten thousand rupees for every day during which such default continues, which may cumulatively extend up to five percent of the cost of plot, apartment or buildings, as the case may be, of the real estate project, for which the sale or purchase has been facilitated as determined by MahaRERA.
6. Is the promoter required to give any undertaking to MahaRERA for completing his project within a specified period?
Yes, in accordance with the provisions of the Act, the promoter, while applying for registration to MahaRERA, has to give a declaration, supported by an affidavit, indicating the time period within which he undertakes to complete the project or phase thereof, as the case may be.
7. If the registration of a real estate project is revoked for any reason, how will the interest of the buyer, in such project, be protected by MahaRERA?
MahaRERA will take action in accordance with section 8 of the Act.
8. In case of delay in getting possession from the promoter, will the buyer be entitled to get interest on the amount paid by him, for such delayed period?
Yes. In accordance with the model form of agreement, if the Promoter fails to abide by the time schedule for completing the project and handing over the [Apartment/Plot] to the Allottee, the Promoter agrees to pay to the Allottee, who does not intend to withdraw from the project, interest as specified in the Rule, on all the amounts paid by the Allottee, for every month of delay, till the handing over of the possession.
9. Will such interest payment by the promoter to the buyer be automatic or the buyer will have to approach MahaRERA?
The interest payment is in accordance with the model form of agreement and hence should be automatically paid. The buyer may have to file a complaint to MahaRERA if there is a grievance.
10. Is there a ceiling on the interest to be levied by the promoter in case of default in the payment of any installments by the allottee/buyer?
In accordance with the model form of agreement, the Allottee has to pay to the Promoter, a rate of interest equal to the State Bank of India highest Marginal Cost of Lending Rate plus two percent, on all the amounts which become due and payable by the Allottee to the Promoter under the terms of the Agreement from the date the said amount is payable by the allottee(s) to the Promoter.
11. What are the provisions for an aggrieved person to lodge a complaint?
Section 31 of the Act and Rule 6 of Maharashtra Real Estate (Regulation and Development) (Recovery of Interest, Penalty, Compensation, Fine payable, Forms of Complaints and Appeal, etc.) Rules, 2017 provide for filing of complaint with MahaRERA, by an aggrieved person who has any interest in the registered project. The aggrieved person can file an application online as per format provided by MahaRERA. It shall include the following details: - Registration number of the project to which the complaint pertains - Particulars of the complainant and respondent - Facts of the case - Relief Sought - List of Enclosures and so on
12. Can a promoter or a real estate agent also file a complaint against a buyer?
Yes. An aggrieved person having any interest in the registered real estate project can file a complaint.
13. Is there any provision for interim relief to be granted, pending the final adjudication of the complaint?
The procedure to be followed by MahaRERA while adjudicating a complaint is detailed in section 36 of the Act read with Rule 6(2) of Maharashtra Real Estate (Regulation and Development) (Recovery of Interest, Penalty, Compensation, Fine payable, Forms of Complaints and Appeal, etc.) Rules, 2017.
14. Where will the aggrieved home buyer be required to file his complaint?
The aggrieved person can file an application online as per format provided by MahaRERA website.
15. On what grounds can the home buyer file a complaint? An aggrieved person may file a complaint with MahaRERA for any violation or contravention of the provisions of the Act or the Rules or Regulations made there under.
16. Who would decide the complaints?
As per Regulation 24 of Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (General) Regulations 2017, for adjudication proceedings with respect to complaints filed, MahaRERA may, by order, direct that specific matters or issues be heard and decided by a single bench of either the Chairperson or any Member of the Authority.
17. Is there any pecuniary jurisdiction for complaint handling Authorities?
No. However, geographical jurisdiction may be specified for Chairperson or members of MahaRERA.
18. Is there any time limit prescribed for disposal of complaints?
Section 29 of the Act provides that complaints should be disposed off as expeditiously as possible but not later than sixty days from the date of filing the same. However, where it cannot be disposed of during the said period, the Real Estate Regulatory Authority is required to record its reasons for the same.
19. If the buyer wants to file a complaint in Consumer Court, is there any bar under the Act?
No. As per section 79 of the Act, civil courts are barred from entertaining disputes (suits or proceedings) in respect of matters which Real Estate Regulatory Authority or the adjudicating officer or the Appellate Tribunal is empowered under the Act to determine. However, the consumer forums (National, State or District) have not been barred from the ambit of the Act. Section 71 proviso permits the complainant to withdraw his complaint as regards matters under section 12, 14, 18 and section 19, from the consumer forum and file it with the adjudicating officer appointed under the Act.
20. Is there appeal provided against the orders given by MahaRERA? Is there a time limit? What are the fees?
Any person aggrieved by any direction or decision or order made by MahaRERA or by an adjudicating officer may file an appeal before the Appellate Tribunal within a period of sixty days, in accordance with Rule 9 of Maharashtra Real Estate (Regulation and Development) (Recovery of Interest, Penalty, Compensation, Fine payable, Forms of Complaints and Appeal, etc.) Rules, 2017.
21. Is there any time limit prescribed for the promoter for the formation of society or any other legal entity of home buyers?
Promoter has to enable formation of Legal Entity like Cooperative Society, Company, Association, Federation etc. within three months from the date on which fifty one per cent of the total number of Purchasers, in such a building or a wing, have booked their apartment.
22. Is there a time limit prescribed for the promoter to execute conveyance in favour of the association of buyers?
Promoter shall execute a registered conveyance deed in favour of the allottee within three months from date of issue of occupancy certificate or fifty one per cent of the total number of Purchasers, in such a building or a wing, has paid the full consideration to the promoter, whichever is earlier.
Even after the implementation of RERA many home buyers have question pertaining to under construction projects. Homebuyers still want wait and watch the influence of RERA on real estate market, whether there would be change in prices, what would be the market in given time. Some are still unaware what is RERA and its effects and how will it be beneficial for home buyers. Also there have been rounds whether RERA be beneficial for home buyers or builders as in our country people find loopholes in every law made.