There always seems to be a buzz happening around RERA and all things related to RERA. A year after the Act being passed, the implications of the Act seem to be visible as days progress. Various stakeholders like home buyers, builders, developers want to derive maximum benefits from the Act and the concerned authorities are interpreting the Act to reach out to the targeted stakeholders. The passing of the Act has definitely renewed the average home buyers faith in the real estate market and is pushing him to invest and reap benefits. Some of the new happenings in the RERA world are-
No Amendment in RERA: Minister to Builders
In the first central advisory council meeting of RERA, Union housing and Urban Affairs minister,Hardeep Singh Puri said there is no question of amending any provision in RERA, though government is open to any suggestions from all stakeholders.
The builder lobby had been demanding for certain changes in the provisions of RERA. One of the demands that had been put forward was to introduce a clause to hold local authorities responsible and penalise them for delay in giving approvals.
However this demand has been rejected and the Minister said “RERA has been enacted to clean the mess accumulated in the unregulated construction sector for decades and this is also an important requirement for builders “who play by the rules.”
The Centre has also set a June 30, 2018 deadline for states to amend the “dilutions” in the notified rules to bring all incomplete projects under regulation. June 30 has also been set as the deadline for establishing permanent regulators, start websites and the tribunals as prescribed in RERA.
Home Buyers Suggestions
Despite proving to be a great law in practice and paper so far, home buyers are still looking for certain amendments in RERA, to ensure there is no scope misuse of it and also broaden the scope of the Act.
Some of the suggestions put forward by citizen groups include setting up a website by the Central Government that provides details of all the web links of state regulators and start an email id for enabling people to complain about incomplete projects, which are not registered with the regulator.
Another suggestion put forward was the need to ensure that during the registration of flats, the sub-registrars must record the RERA registration number.
These suggestions if put into action can go a long way to strengthen the implementation of the Act. As time progresses, a need will be felt to keep improving the Act so as to deliver on the promises made to the various stakeholders of the Act especially home buyers. Safeguarding the interests of home buyers is paramount and one of the cornerstone features of the Act.
Unregistered Projects:Karnataka RERA Shows The Way
Image source: Google
The challenge of bringing unregistered projects under RERA has been one grey areas since the inception of the Act. Since the number of unregistered projects are not known, it is very tough to find out about the projects which are still out of the preview of RERA.
However, Karnataka RERA has come up with a unique feature on their portal to find out about the projects which are not still not registered. The portal facilitates buyers to report unregistered ongoing or new projects to Karnataka RERA. It has an easy interface for users. They need to go to the portal, fill in details such as project name, promoter name, phone number, project address etc and upload related documents to report unregistered RERA projects.
So far only Karnataka RERA portal offers this feature online and makes it easily available for buyers to report unregistered projects. This feature goes a long way of bringing unregistered projects within the ambit of the Act. this will also help home buyers make a sound and informed decision in their home buying journey.
‘Pagdi’ Buildings and Redevelopment of Buildings under RERA?
The pagdi system is like any other renting system that is prevalent i.e. landlord and a tenant relationship exists and it is only the nature of the relationship that is different. In this system the only deviating factor is that the tenant becomes a part owner of the house and not of the land. This tenant continues to pay rent to the owner as long as he is not sub-renting the premises. Additionally, the tenant has the option to sell the said property while giving a percentage of the gross amount to the owner. This percentage varies from anywhere between 30-50%. This system extensively exists in the city of Mumbai and its history can be traced from pre-independence days.
These rent controlled buildings are in a bad shape and dilapidated because these nominal rents are absolutely failing to motivate landlords to spend on maintenance.
In a recent development the government is planning to bring tenanted or cessed buildings known as Pagdi in Mumbai and tenants of such buildings under RERA,providing for the first time the same protection to these consumers as those available to other home buyers. Under the current Maharashtra RERA rules, tenants of these buildings are considered as co promoters of the project given that they are expected to get part of the project as compensation for their rights. So, they don’t enjoy the same rights as other home buyers.
Another very significant development is the aspect of redevelopment of buildings that the government is planning to bring under its ambit. A realty developer usually redevelops the entire project in phases and keeps the rehabilitation part and free-sale component separate. This allows them to not register the project with the regulator as it is seen as compensation and not a sale, which falls under the RERA purview. RERA officials are of the view that in the current system also, tenants can get the required RERA protection if they ask the developer to register the project in entirety than in putting it under phases.
Time and again, RERA has shown how it is constantly evolving to suit the needs of an ever changing real estate dynamics. RERA is at best trying to narrow down the trust deficit created over the years between the buyer and the builder. Enacted with the intention of reforming the real estate sector, this Act is certainly bringing in sweeping changes touching upon all the important facets related to this sector. Home buyers and developers alike surely in the days to come can see new decisions coming out which will usher in a new chapter for the real estate sector.