Every Indian at some point in his/her life has thought ‘Apna ghar hona chaiye.’ Bearing this in mind, buying an apna ghar is not as simple as it used to be. If you have ever tried to purchase a home in India, the word RERA is something you must’ve heard people tossing around, and most of the time you are not sure what exactly it is. The RERA Act, 2016 provides an easy and speedy solution to homebuyers to file complaints against builders, claim a refund along with interest or compensation from the builder in case of any other form of violation by the builder such as delay in possession of property or violation of Builder-Buyer Agreement. However, when it comes to filing a complaint under RERA, it is imperative to ensure that the project bought by the homebuyer is covered under the RERA Act.
What is RERA?
Without getting into too many technicalities, here is RERA simplified!
RERA, Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 has been enacted to regulate the real estate industry. RERA Act seeks to bring transparency and accountability that would protect the interest of home buyers and regain the lost faith in the real estate industry.
30 States/UTs have notified rules under RERA; 4 North Eastern States (Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Sikkim) are under process to notify the rules under RERA
29 States/UTs have set up the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Regular – 20, Interim – 09)
22 States/UTs have set up Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (Regular -13, Interim – 09).
Regulatory Authorities of 24 States/UTs have operationalized their websites under the provisions of RERA.
42,488 Real Estate Projects and 33,702 Real Estate Agents have registered under RERA across the country.
This Act is only applicable on development of property and not on renting of property
This Act covers all the residential and commercial projects which can include shops, offices and buildings
Features of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016
Helps in regulation and promotion of the real estate sector
Ensures sale of plot, apartment of building or sale of any real estate project in an efficient manner
Protects the interests of the buyers in the real estate sector
Results into speedy redressal of any dispute, in case it arises.
Keeps an eye on all the transactions which takes place between the buyer and the promoter of the residential real estate projects
What you must know as a buyer before investing in property?
All the residential real estate projects now need to be registered with this Act
Promoters are now not allowed to book or offer any project for sale without registering it
Real estate agents also need to register with RERAs
Promoters of the project also need to upload all the details of the project on the website of the RERA
Any amount collected from buyers must be kept in a separate bank account and must be utilized only for the purpose of the construction of that project.
This Act also prescribes the penalties on the promoter or the real estate agent.
Buyers under Real Estate Regulatory Act
These regulations ensure complete protection of the homebuyer against the fraudulent activities of the builder and developers. The implementation of RERA ensures the fair trade practices and provides rights to the affected buyer to counter the disputes with legal purview. That means now individual have the right to file compliant against project under RERA or non-RERA issues.
RERA has enabled the individual to file complaints against the corrupt builders for fraudulent business practices. The grievance control has been completely transformed after implementing a proper channel where help seekers can file and track their complaints with ease.
However, this facility is not available to those buyers who have completed the transaction before the implementation of this Act. In such a case, they have to register their grievances at the local authorities. In this article, we would look into the legal proceeding against the fraudulent activities of the builder, whose project is registered under the RERA Act,
How to file a complaint for a project under RERA?
The aggrieved person must follow the following steps to file a complaint under RERA:
Step 2- Fill out the complaint form with the details of the complaint. Include the following information:
Details of the buyer and builder or developer;
Address and registration number of the project;
A brief statement of the facts as well as the grounds of the claim; and
Details of the relief sought.
Step 3- Pay the requisite fee as per the state regulation across the nation. The fees vary from state to state.
Step 4- If the complainant is not satisfied with RERA’s decision, he/she can file an appeal with the RERA Appellate Tribunal within 60 days from the date of RERA’s decision.
Step 5- If the complainant is not satisfied with RERA Appellate Tribunal’s decision, then a complaint can be filed with the High Court within 60 days from the RERA Appellate Tribunal date’s decision.
When to File a Complaint under RERA?
Delay in Possession
Improper Registration of the Project
No Details About the Project
Court Fee for Filing Compliant Against Project under RERA
The properties’ value is considerably higher in the Metropolitan cities. Henceforth, the court fee calculation on the traditional method may cause inconvenience to the victim because of the higher amount. However, to some extent, RERA has simplified the structure of the court fee so that victim can easily get started with court proceedings against the defaulter at a low fee.
As per RERA Act, the land or property area acts as a decisive parameter for calculating court fees. In general, the fee applicable for legal proceedings under the RERA act is calculated as INR 10 per square meter for the property located in the residential area.
Different forums under the RERA Act:
RERA Adjudicating Officer
RERA Appellate Tribunal
1. The RERA Authority was introduced by the Central Government to regulate the workings of the real estate industry and enforce transparency and accountability. It mandates builders/promoters to disclose all project details without false advertisements or fabrications. It also works for the RERA benefit of the property buyers by acting on a quick redresses of disputes. The RERA Authority has also made it mandatory for all the real estate agents to register with them along with their projects.
2. The Adjudicating Officer is appointed by the Central Government to exercise jurisdiction, powers, and authority conferred by or under the Act. It is also empowered to award remedy in the following cases:
Refund along with interest for false presentation or advertisement.
Compensation for alterations in the original plan without the prior consent of the buyer.
Compensation for structural defect or any other defect in workmanship, quality or provision of services or any other obligations of the promoter.
Refund along with interest/monthly interest for the period of delay in giving possession.
The Adjudicating Officer (AO) has the power to award compensation to the aggrieved homebuyer. Both AO and RERA have the authority to award interest or impose a penalty. While adjudging the quantum of compensation or interest, the adjudicating officer shall have due regard to the following factors, namely;
the amount of disproportionate gain or unfair advantage, wherever quantifiable, made as a result of the default;
the amount of loss caused as a result of the default;
the repetitive nature of the default;
such other factors that the adjudicating officer considers necessary to the case in furtherance of justice.
3. The Appellate Tribunal has the power to revise any order or decision of the RERA Authority or Adjudicating officer. The Appellate Tribunal can also call for the records that are relevant for the disposal of such appeal.
In case RERA gives a decision in favor of the builder, you can file an appeal in the RERA Appellate Tribunal within 60 days of receipt of the order of RERA. Section 44 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 (RERA) deals with the filing of an Appeal against the RERA order. Any person aggrieved by an order passed by the RERA Authority or the RERA Adjudicating officer may file an Appeal against the RERA Order by approaching the respective State RERA Tribunal and file the Appeal in Form L.
Complaints against Project not registered under RERA
Many developers and builders have not registered their projects under RERA till now. The buyers in such projects are suffering from various problems related to that project. Now, the question comes, that where to file a complaint against the not registered project under RERA.
For the complaints against unregistered project under RERA, the buyers have no other remedy except to seek legal remedies, apart from RERA. They can file a criminal case or can go to consumer courts against the builder and developer for the unregistered project. They can move to the High Court to seek a refund from the builders or developers for the unregistered projects.
The rise in complaints against the builders or developers for the unregistered projects has created a call for a legal framework where such issues can be resolved.
We hope that you as a buyer get to know your rights and major details about how RERA Act works in terms of filing complaint against a builder and project. For complete details and legal compliance, you can reach Legal Window.
In case you are also one of the aggrieved property buyer, we can help you in filing a complaint and providing you end to end solution.
Neelansh Gupta is a dedicated Lawyer and professional having flair for reading & writing to keep himself updated with the latest economical developments. In a short span of 2 years as a professional he has worked on projects related to Drafting, IPR & Corporate laws which have given him diversity in work and a chance to blend his subject knowledge with its real time implementation, thus enhancing his skills.
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