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The RERA will make the real estate market more transparent in 10 unique ways

The RERA will make the real estate market more transparent in 10 unique ways:

The real estate market in India has been lacking transparency in its transactions. Legal cases against scheming developers trying to fleece innocent buyers were putting some pressure on the already fragile and over-burdened legal system in India. It was this need of a regulator that led the government to pass the Real Estate Regulation & Development Act (RERA) in May 2016.

The implementation of the Act had to be done by the individual states and powers were given to all the state governments to make changes to the law if need be. The Maharashtra State government was among the first few states to take the initiative in implementing the law. This was an important development since Mumbai is arguably the prime real estate market in India and residential and commercial property in Mumbai sets benchmarks for the industry in general.

Among the other benefits offered by RERA, the ability to make the real estate market in India more transparent is the biggest benefit. Here are 10 unique ways in which it will make transparent transactions possible:

1. Carpet area based rates

Currently, builders sell the property to buyers based on super-built-up or built-up areas which include wall loading, garbage area and similar amenities. A home buyer is always unclear about the actual living space he will get on possession. RERA mandates developers to quote prices based on the carpet area of the property. This will make things more transparent to the buyers and also aid in the standardization of practices.

2. Parking charges

In the urban areas, owning a vehicle has become a necessity more than a luxury which highlights the need for a safe and covered parking space in your residential complex. Currently, builders charge separately for allotting parking areas up to five or six lakhs, depending on the location and other factors. RERA mandates developers to mention these charges clearly on the sale agreement.

3. Real Estate Agents

Currently, there are no laws governing the functioning of real estate agents who have become integral the process of buying or selling property. Under RERA, real estate agents will have to register with the Regulator, which will hold them accountable for their services and activities. Further, RERA has also laid down guidelines for the nature and scope of their relationship with the customers.

4. Timely completion of projects

One of the biggest complaints of buyers of under construction properties is delay in getting possession of the property. RERA guidelines ensure that the builders complete the projects with the committed timelines. Failure in doing so can make them liable to a monetary penalty as well as legal imprisonment [of up to three years]. Further, buyers not satisfied with the property can claim a refund within 15 days of buying it.

5. Mandatory disclosures by developers

Under RERA, builders are mandated to make disclosures about title report of the land, problems [if any], FSI [floor space index] usage plan, standards of design, etc. The buyers will be able to access this information and make a well-informed decision of purchasing the property.

6. Agents selling properties not registered under RERA

In India, there are always people trying to work outside the ambit of the legislation. Developers will have to register their projects under RERA after meeting the eligibility criteria and real estate agents will be permitted to sell only these properties. If an agent tries to sell an unregistered property, then he / she will be liable for penalties. This should pull the plug on the outside-the-law activities that agents might try and get involved in.

7. Small projects included

Initially, RERA regulated projects with a minimum of 1000 square metre area which has been brought down to 500 square metres or a minimum of 8 apartments. This will ensure that home buyers investing in low-cost projects get protection under RERA.

8. Separate account for construction and land cost

RERA mandates that promoters deposit 70 percent of the money collected from buyers over time towards payment for their purchase should be deposited in a separate bank account with a scheduled bank. The funds in this account can be used only to cover the expenses of acquiring land or constructing the property.

9. Structural defects liability

Most builders don’t take responsibility for structural defects in their properties. This is set to change with RERA making builders accountable for these defects up to a period of five years.

10. Complaint handling

RERA has formed a state-level regulatory body to redress complaints from real estate customers.

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