Passed into action, at the end of fiscal year ’15-16, the RERA had come into full force shortly after fiscal year ’16-17 commenced. Looking to discipline the real-estate transaction process more by the book, and curb influx of black money into the trade, the RERA did not stutter in its steps in spite of a long delay in implementation. The RERA’s regulatory body not only sought to cull black money trade but also looked to safeguard the interests of the consumers. The regulatory body in charge of upholding the RERA provisions ensures that consumers also do not have to face the delayed delivery timescales and the due diligence avoidance by the real estate developer.
With RERA coming into action the real estate developers who could not meet the compliance terms had to return the funds to the customers who had put the money down on the project. Other real estate developers who did not have to foreclose the projects took their time to orient the crew behind the project as per RERA guidelines, much to the chagrin of consumers who did not want to pull out of the project. However, these are isolated gaps created by the fell swoop of the RERA. In the grander picture, the main reason why RERA coming into action was an imperative was:
1. Builders often defaulted in paying out the EMIs to loans taken from the bank.
2. Real estate developers often channeled funds from one project to other to make up for unexpected costs, stalling one project or the other in the process.
3. Developers not keeping their word on all the nitty-gritty parts agreed to, by signing the fine print.
4. Developers not delivering quality promised to the investor before the latter invested.
5. Change in the architectural plan that the investor was not privy to.
6. Developer being lackadaisical about honoring the deadline.
To this effect, the RERA has its own regulatory and authoritative body which is quite stringent about the real estate developers being compliant of the policies laid down by the Act. Realtors, who are non-compliant, are subjected to the following actions by the RERA authoritative body.
1. Take action against realtors who are not delivering as per the clauses of the contract, by withholding their completion certificates.
2. Every state has RERA involvement, and can be invoked by someone who wishes to file a complaint against a real estate developer.
3. The Appellate Authority judges all cases pertaining to RERA compliance, and can refer them to the State High Court and even the Supreme Court from there.
4. Any consumer can approach the RERA concerned authoritative body, and speak with the adjudicating officer about filing the complaint. On the basis of the adjudicating officer’s decision the Appellate Tribunal conducts an inquiry about the complaint filed. The entire process is supposed to be settled within 60 days since the day of the complaint being filed. The authoritative body decides upon the compensatory fee that the complainant gets.
The benefits that the consumer can avail by knocking on the RERA regulatory body’s door are manifolds. For instance:
1. Quick settlement of the complaint, as opposed to the days of the old.
2. Partial or complete monetary relief depending upon the gravity of the injustice meted out to them by the realtor.
3. The RERA bench is particularly stringent about frowning upon possession relate qualms filed by complainants. Failure to deliver on the promised deadline is a severe and primary category of misdeed committed by the realtor, in the eyes of the authoritative body.
4. The RERA is particular about the contract clause signed between the investor or the consumer and the real estate develop. Not meeting the expectations set by the contract, with respect to the plan and the dimensions of space, is heavily penalized.
The ramifications of failing to comply with the RERA policy prevents a developer from making any new real estate deals, so honoring the contract is of prime concern for the realtor. Though, the complainant faces no time limit in putting forth their complaint, word to the wise is to submit it as quickly as possible. The prime reason for this is that should the realtor manage to secure any kind of completion certificate, they would be out of the RERA’s jurisdiction; this means, the RERA would have no scope in such a matter to prevent the realtor from completing the project and even putting it up for business. Another reason for asking the complainant to bring any shortcomings like dimensions and plans to the RERA authoritative body’s notice is the fact that if the realtor manages to get a housing certification for the real estate, the RERA would lose any jurisdiction in preventing the realtor from marketing the business.
The main reason for these challenges blocking the RERA from full implementation in several states across the country is the fact that several of the states haven’t amended their state real estate laws to accommodate for the RERA. The RERA cannot properly hinge its jaws in a scenario where the state laws prevent right action. However, the silver lining lies in the fact that most of the states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and even Uttar Pradesh has taken major steps to evoke the RERA. The fear of breaking the law has been made effective by making defaulting realtors cough up as much as 10% of the project cost as penalty; should the offences be grave enough to result in imprisonment, the RERA has policies which allow the compounding of the offense clause. Under certain sections of the RERA, both imprisonment and a percentage of the project cost as penalty for every day of the default, is levied as well!