The Real Estate (Regulation and Development), Act, (RERA) came into effect from May 1, 2017 and recently marked its 2nd anniversary. 2 years after the RERA was enacted, the implementation of the legislation intended to bring about transparency and regulate the highly unorganized real estate sector still remains a work in progress.
The RERA rules have been notified in 22 states and 6 union territories. 19 states have active online portals. 5 states have not yet notified the rules and 11 states – all the eight northeastern states as well as West Bengal and Kerela are yet to set up their web portals.
The legislation is certainly a ‘work in progress’ one. Several states have also diluted the rules in favor of the builders, going against the very spirit of the Act. On one hand, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have taken the lead and are markedly ahead, while Haryana and Bengal on the other, have still to catch up.
West Bengal has refused to implement the Act as it has its own West Bengal Housing and Industrial Regulation Act (WBHIRA). This has, however, been challenged in the Supreme Court by the Forum for People’s Collective Efforts (FPCE), an umbrella association of home buyers.
One of the biggest problem that remains even after the implementation of RERA is that of obtaining various approvals from various Govt agencies by the Builder. In the absence of a single-window for disbursal of all regulatory approvals the launching of the projects tend to get delayed in the hands of the developers. The same has been a long-standing demand of the real estate sector as it will help in timely completion of the projects.
Although there are loopholes and the implementation has been patchy, analysts and market players feel RERA has brought about a systemic change in the real estate sector which has also boosted the sentiments among home buyers. With the regulatory mechanism in place, the consumers’ grievances can now be resolved faster.