On 25 March 2016, the Real Estate Act was given President’s assent and it came into force in May, 2016. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 is the landmark realty law to protect the home buyers from unscrupulous developers. Initially the act came into force with only 59 sections out of 92 notified. Later on May 2017 the remaining provision came into force.
WHAT IS RERA?
RERA is the Authority established under the Real Estate Act for the regulation and promotion of the real estate sector and to ensure sale of plot, apartment of building, as the case may be or sale of real estate project is done in an efficient and transparent manner and to protect consumers in the real estate sector. RERA comprises of a Chairperson and not less than two whole-time members appointed by the appropriate Government.
RERA is one among the great importance for the Real Estate sector as it is one of the leading revenues generating sector in the country. The sector needs transparency and a regulating authority which could keep a check on transactions by the developers. The aim of RERA is to regulate and promote of the real estate sector and to ensure the sale of the plot, apartment or building, in an efficient and transparent manner. The act also aims to establish the Appellate tribunal to hear appeals from the decisions, directions or orders of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority and the adjudicating officer for matters connected therewith and to protect the interest of consumers in the real estate sector.
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS OF RERA?
- 1. To create transparent grievance redressal mechanism;
- 2. Encourage investment in the real estate sector;
- 3. Ensure clearances for timely completion of project;
- 4. Facilitate amicable conciliation of disputes between promoters and allotees
- 5. Facilitate digitization of land records;
- 6. If RERA is of the view that any agreement or action may have effect of market power of monopoly situation, then RERA may make reference of such an issue to the Competition Commission of India (CCI);
- 7. Impose penalty on promoters, allottees or real estate agents for any contravention of obligations;
- 8. Issue interim orders to restrain any promoter, allottee or real estate agent from carrying on acts in contravention to the Act;
- 9. Issue such directions to promoters, allotees or real estate agents whenever it considers it necessary to do so;
- 10. Maintain website for public viewing of all real estate projects;
- 11. Register and regulate real estate agents;
- 12. To call for information and conduct investigation wherever it considers it expedient to do so;
- 13. To protect the interests of allottees and promoters.
SCOPE OF RERA
In respect to the Real Estate, the scope of RERA is very wide and. It covers all the new as well as ongoing projects that are under construction projects and it also includes both the residential and commercial buildings. It covers all the parties included in a Real Estate projects. Even the Real Estate brokers and agents also fall under the ambit of this Act. The main motive of RERA is to provide ease and comfort for the homebuyers that is why every state is required to set up an Appellate Tribunal for addressing the grievances of the homebuyers.
WHAT IS REAL ESTATE APPELLATE TRIBUNAL?
The person aggrieved by decision of the RERA may appeal to the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal within 60 days from the date on which the copy of decision made by the RERA is received by the competent authority. The orders passed by the Appellate Tribunal are executable as decrees and a person aggrieved by the decision of Appellate Tribunal may appeal to the High Court within 60 days from the communication of order.
WHAT IS CENTRAL ADVISORY COUNCIL?
The Act mentions for the establishment of Central Advisory council by the Central Government. The council is entrusted to advise the Central Government on the following:
- 1. Matters concerning implementation of Real Estate Act;
- 2. On the questions of Policy;
- 3. Matters towards protection of consumer interest; and
- 4. Relating to foster development of real estate sector.
THE IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS UNDER RERA ACT
1. Section 2 (f) – “Appellate Tribunal” means the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal established under section 43;
2. Section 2 (g) – “appropriate Government” means in respect of matters relating to, — (i) the Union territory without Legislature, the Central Government; (ii) the Union territory of Puducherry, the Union Territory Government; (iii) the Union territory of Delhi, the Central Ministry of Urban Development; (iv) the State, the State Government.
3. Section 2 (I) – “Authority” means the Real Estate Regulatory Authority established under sub-section (1) of section 20.
REGISTRATION OF REAL ESTATE AGENTS
The Real Estate Act under Section 9 mandates registration of the real estate agent under the Act. A real estate agent cannot facilitate purchase or sale of any real estate project duly registered under the Act in the absence of registration.
REGISTRATION OF REAL ESTATE PROJECTS
Section 3 of the Act mandates prior registration of real estate project with the Real Estate Regulation Authority (RERA). The same mandates the builders and promoters from advertising or marketing or inviting any one for purchase of any plot, apartment or building in any real estate project without registration with the RERA.
The presence of RERA is protecting the interests of the home buyers and also benefiting the builders because of greater transparency. RERA is believed to be flawless if implemented but it is very difficult to fulfill the exact purpose of RERA. The concept of RERA is a huge step towards the development of the real estate sector and therefore, regulatory authority needs to frame the rules according to the Act and not divert them in builder’s favor and make RERA a comfortable breeze for the dealers.