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RERA Information for Property Buyer

04 Jan 2020

Despite Real Estate Law has sudden been a hit among all the buyer community, objections and clarifications as well as also doing the rounds. Sometimes it is because the state-level regulators would come into play and in each state, there might be slight difference in byelaws.

In such manner, how would the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act 2016 will serve property buyers? There are some points for property buyers like you:

Rights and Duties for Property Buyers:

According to the section19 of the real estate act says that a property buyer will be:

• Empower to obtain that the given information which is relating to sanctioned plans, layout plans along with the specifications, approved by the relevant authorities and even such other information.
• It is approved to know stage-wise time schedule of completion of the project, including to arrange for water, sanitation, electricity and other amenities.
• Entitled to claim the possession of apartment, plot or building.
• To claim the possession of communal spaces association of allotters will be entitled.
• It is entitled at such rate as may be prescribed and compensation in the manner as provided under the Act.
• After handing over the physical possession of the unit. It is entitled to have the necessary documents and plans which includes that of common spaces.
• It should be responsible for making necessary payments as it is specified in the sale agreement with proper time and place. They will also have to pay their share of the registration charges, municipal taxes, water and electricity charges, maintenance charges, ground rent, and other charges.
• It shall be responsible for mandatorily participation in the formation of an association or society or cooperative society of allottees.
• Liable to pay interest as it is prescribed. If it is mutually agreed by promoter and allottee, the interest may be reduced.
• Once you receive the occupancy certificate you can take the possession of the unit within two months.
• It shall be responsible for participation in registration of the conveyance deed.

Steps to file a complaint are as below:

a. Association of allottees or any other voluntary consumer association which is registered under any law can approach the Real Estate Regulatory Authority or the adjudicating officer to file a complaint.
b. Authority will decide the charges of it.
c. All specific matters may be direct by the authority or issues be heard and decided by a single Bench of either of the chairperson or any member of the authority.
d. In the prescribed manner, the authority has to appoint an adjudicating officer for holding an inquiry, after giving a reasonable opportunity for any person concerned of being heard.
e. The application for adjudging compensation will be dealt by the adjudicating officer as expeditiously as possible. The case has to be settled within 60 days from the date of receipt of the application.

When does buyer become defaulter?

Violation of authority orders:

If any violation on the provisions of the Act so it warrants a penalty. To pay fine for such period during which the default is continued may get increased and would extend up to five per cent of the plot, apartment or building cost as it is determined by your respective state authority.

Violation of Appellate Tribunal orders:

Property buyers will be liable to pay fine for every day of default, and it may also increase or extend up to 10 percent of the cost of the plot/apartment or may it result to the state of being imprisoned for up to one year, or both.

Can an offence which provides for imprisonment be compounded?

If incarceration is awarded for a person under the Act, it would be also compounded if authorities decide to do so. Apart from, the fine which is payable in lieu of imprisonment needs it cannot be the most top limit of fine that is payable for that offence.

Money-wise

When you pay your fees/penalties, where is your money going?

Penalties that are recovered under the Act should be deposited in the Consolidated Fund of India (in such case of the authority which is established by the Central government) and in the state account (in case of the authority established by states).Though, grants received by the authority will be credited to the Real Estate Regulatory Fund.

If previous builder-buyer agreement violated the provisions of the current Act? What will happen to it?

If it is not in direct violation, the agreement provisions will be followed. Even so, both developers and buyers shall follow the new rules. The rate of interest for violations will be the same as it is prescribed in the new Act for both parties.

What is the right time to pay for the unit?

Mostly depends upon the builder-buyer agreement. Still, do note that before property registration, promoters cannot ask you for more than 10 percent of the project cost.

What if the invested project in is delayed?

Under the range of the new law all ongoing projects will come. Though, one more chance will be given to developers of delayed projects to set acceptable timeline for completion of delivery. If the promoter fails to do it yet again, then it is mandatory for him to pay the penalties which are directed under the law.

In terms of the Real Estate Law, Who is the 'promoter'?

All private and public bodies covers act and they are developed by real estate projects for sale. Accordingly, the development authorities and housing boards are also in its fold. It is mentioned that, “when the person who constructs a building or converts into apartments or develops a plot for sale and the person who sells apartments or plots are different persons, to be the promoters both should be deemed and shall be together liable for the functions and responsibilities specified, under this Act or the rules and regulations which are made thereunder”. As a result, it stands true in cases where a joint development is in question.

If the 'allottee ' or 'promoter' defaults, what is the rate of payment payable?

Rate of interest that is paid likewise by the promoter or allottee is the same. It should be specified by the suitable government in the rules.

What if the Regulatory Authority does not respond?

According to section 5 of the Act provides that the Authority has to take decision on the application within 30 days of its receipt. It also provides that in case if the Authority fails to take a decision within the time period of 30 days, the project shall be considered to be registered.

What is 'escrow account' and 'separate account'?

According to section 4(2)(l)(D) provides that a 'separate account' shall be maintained by promoter for every project which is undertaken by him accordingly seventy percent of the money received from the allottees shall be deposited for the purposes of land purchase and construction. The account should be self-maintained and is not an escrow account requiring the approval of the Authority for withdrawal. Section 4(2)(l)(D) clearly assigns that the funds can only be used for construction and land cost.

When can the promoter withdraw the money from the separate account?

The promoter is required to withdraw the amounts from the separate account, to cover the cost of the project, in proportion to the percentage of completion of the project. In addition, the promoter is permitted to withdraw from the separate account after it is certified by an engineer, an architect and a chartered accountant in practice that the withdrawal is in proportion to the percentage of completion of the project.

Who else is under the purview?

According to section 2(zm), it defines the term 'real estate agents', it is a very broad and inclusive definition and covers all from of agencies which is involved in sale and purchase of projects, registered under the Act. Accordingly, web-portals etc. engaged in selling plots or apartments are also covered under the Act and they are required to comply with the duties and responsibilities which are provided in that matter including under the Rules and regulations made hereafter.

What is the responsibility of the promoter as regards insurance of real estate project?

The promoter should be involve to request an insurance of the real estate project towards the title of the land and construction of the project. This provision should come into effect after and in the manner as it may be informed by the suitable government.

Are the civil courts and consumer forums barred from entertaining arguments under the Act?

According to section 79 of the Act civil courts are barred from entertaining disagreement (suits or proceedings) in respect of matters which the Authority or the adjudicating officer or the Appellate Tribunal which is empowered under the Act to determine. Still, the consumer forums (National, State or District) are not barred from the ambit of the Act. Section 71 proviso allows the complainant to withdraw his complaint as regards matters under sections 12, 14, 18 and 19, from the consumer forum and file it with the adjudicating officer appointed under the Act.

What is the punishment prescribed for non-compliance of the orders of the Appellate Tribunal by the promoter?

According to section 64 if the promoter fails to agree with the orders of the Appellate Tribunal, he should be liable to a penalty for every day of default, which might increase and extend up to ten percent of the estimated cost of the real estate project or with imprisonment for a term which may extend up to three years or with both.

What is the punishment prescribed for non-compliance of the orders of the Appellate Tribunal by the allottee?

According to section 68, if the allottee fails to follow the orders of the Appellate Tribunal, so he should be liable for the penalty of every day with default, which may increase up to ten percent of the cost of the plot/apartment or with imprisonment for a term which may expand up to one year or with both.

Today RERA number is most important while listing builder projects on any real-estate website.

3BRICK.com [real-estate website and android app, where end user can search for property and submit their own offer price against the builders quote] has only projects listed which are RERA approved.