Well, after RERA, home buyers are confident that their interests will no more be axed. However, consumers are seen to be widely disillusioned on what, how much and when RERA can actually do something.
Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA) came as a boon for the home buyers. As their confidence to invest in the real estate returned, various misconceptions and myths also started playing around. Every home buyer is optimistic that the new law will protect their interests. However, not everyone is aware of the exact process to file a complaint, when to file a complaint, where to file a complaint and what to expect after it.
When To File A Complaint?
Until now, legal bodies used to cite inordinate delay of the project as a sound and valid ground to file a plea under RERA or any court. However, the term was not properly defined and hence was misused and misrepresented by the developer’s legal team.
National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has for the first time defined what constitutes an inordinate delay. As a part of the consumer court order in a plea of a customer against Greenopolis project located in Gurugram, the body has declared that the consumers can seek a refund if the possession is delayed by “over one year or beyond” the date of delivery promised by the builder.
An important point to note here is that date of delivery here refers to the one mentioned on RERA site which the developers have to declare while filing for registration. The homebuyer must always cross check as the date mentioned on the site and the one provided by developers in promotional campaign sometimes tend to differ.
The first place to resolve contention preferably should be the developer. If the developer is able to ensure delivery within some grace period or is ready for the refund, the resolution is a better option.
Having mentioned that, every home buyer must be aware that if his rights are violated or any provisions of the Act is contravened, then a complaint can be filed under RERA under Section 31 against promoters, allottees and/or real estate agents.
Where And How To File Complaint Under RERA?
Different state governments have laid out slightly different procedures for filing applications under RERA which usually begins by filling a form prescribed as per the respective state government’s rules. The form is at the portal of the respective state government.
The fees for filing vary from state to state. For example, in Maharashtra, the fee is Rs 5,000 while in Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh, the fee is Rs 1,000.
Remember, RERA sites are state-wise and there is no central place to complain. So, Mumbai home buyers will have to go to https://maharera.mahaonline.gov.in and file their complaints. Similarly, Noida and Greater Noida home buyers can visit http://up-rera.in to file a complaint online. Aggrieved home buyers from Faridabad and Gurugram can log on to Haryana Real Estate Regulatory Authority to file the complaint.
Details required While Filing Complaint
Different states require different details, but they are more or less the same. Home buyers should keep all the information handy like the complete address of the property, the total value of the home, the amount paid till date, date of possession, pending court case (if any) and the relief sought.
Lastly, read your agreement for sale carefully before you file a complaint under RERA.
Myths About RERA
The home buyers must accept the fact that the scenario may seem rosy but RERA is still not a magic wand. Here are some of the myths about RERA that need to be busted:
- RERA Covers Everything:
This is only partially true. There are several fine clauses within RERA due to which many current stalled projects may fall out of its ambit. While the commencement certificate and occupier certifications are needed to be created for all development, only those development/s that are intended for ‘SALE’ and are either 500 square meters (sm) or 8 units and more will be covered under RERA.
- RERA Will Ensure Possession Of Homes Anyhow:
Is there really hope from RERA for buyers stuck for years in projects like Amrapali, Jaypee & Unitech in NCR, DreamzGK in Bangalore, Aliens Group in Hyderabad? The harsh truth here is maybe no.
These builders have reportedly already taken care of the money and there is very little a regulator can do other than to get the developer arrested, at the max. The arrest will neither ensure delivery of finished project nor the buyer will get the money back.
- RERA Is Pro-Buyer:
Well, again, not completely true. Like, a buyer group has rumored to have accused that Maharashtra government has diluted the Act to favour builders thus defeating the central government’s aim of making it a pro-buyers’ Act, Press Free Journal reported.
- RERA Will Ensure Price Correction:
Implementation of RERA was expected to speed up sales thus resulting in a dip in unsold inventory and rise in prices. However, the inventory is still very high with 2.8 lakh unsold homes in MMR alone.
This might be the very beginning of transparency, which India’s real estate sector desperately needs. However, total transparency and one point-contact grievance body of draconian effect is still a long way to go.