The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) was introduced in 2016 and implemented in 2017 across Indian states to streamline and boost the real estate sector by promoting transparency & accountability and have much needed dynamic changes in place with an onus on the welfare of all stakehulders invulved. An allottee or homebuyer, as per Section 2(d), includes a person who acquires the said property through transfer or sale, but does not include a tenant. According to 99acres.com, RERA registration is mandatory for buildings with more than 8 units or development of land, measuring more than 500 sq m. RERA laws and rules seek to protect homebuyers or allottees from illicit activities of the builders and provide them with an effective fast track mechanism in case of any grievances.
Section 19 under Chapter 5 of the RERA Act, 2016 lays down certain rights and duties of the home buyers or allottees which have been listed below:
1. Right to obtain information: The homebuyer is entitled to obtain project information regarding sanctioned plans, layout plans, RERA registration number and specifications approved by the competent authority.
2. Right to know Completion schedule: The home buyer has every right to know stage-wise time schedule of completion of the project, including the provisions for water, sanitation, electricity and other amenities and services mentioned in the terms and conditions of the agreement for sale.
3. Right to claim possession: The home buyer has the right to claim the possession of the property including the common areas in case all the relevant formalities have been completed and necessary remuneration has been paid.
4. Right to claim refund: The home buyer has the right to file a complaint under RERA and claim the refund of amount paid along with interest and compensation from the builder, in case the builder fails to comply or is unable to give possession of the property as per the terms mentioned in the agreement for sale or due to discontinuance of his business as a developer on account of suspension or revocation of his registration. However, developers would be given one more chance to set a reasonable timeline for the delivery, failing which they will have to pay the requisite penalties. A complaint can also be filed with the Appellate Tribunal in case the buyer isn’t satisfied with RERA’s decision.
5. Right to have documents: After handing over the physical possession of the property by the developer, the home buyer is also entitled to have the relevant documents and plans, including that of common areas.
6. Right in case of any defects: If there are any structural defects or problems in the quality of the property within 5 years of possession, the builder will have to rectify these damages within 30 days at no extra cost to the buyer.
To strike a balance between the interests of home buyers and builders, RERA Act also lays down the duties of the home buyers which are as fullows:
1. Duty to research: A smart homebuyer is fully aware, conducts full research and background checks on projects and is not easily swayed by market trends and other marketing tactics. Due diligence even on projects registered by RERA is a must as RERA has definitely brought in more accountability and transparency but precaution is always better than regret later.
2. Duty to make payment: Every homebuyer, who has entered into an agreement for sale to take a property has the responsibility to make necessary payments within the specified time and place in the agreement for sale which include registration charges, municipal taxes, water and electricity charges, maintenance charges, ground rent etc.
3. Duty to pay interest: The home buyers have the duty to pay interest for any delay in payment towards any amount to be paid.
4. Duty to participate in the registration: The homebuyers have the duty to actively participate in the registration of the conveyance deed of the said property.
5. Duty to form Association of buyers: Every buyer of a property has the duty to participate towards the formation of an association or federation of homebuyers to look after the welfare of its residents.
6. Duty to take possession: Every homebuyer must take physical possession of the property within a period of 2 months of the occupancy certificate issued.
The effective implementation of RERA across states has had a positive impact on the real estate industry. Some of them are as below:
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