The Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA) was introduced in order to prevent the builders from exploiting the buyers. The Act was introduced to bring about transparency, efficiency, and to protect the interests of the buyers. With the enforcement of the Act, it has become mandatory for all ongoing and new projects to register themselves with the respective authorities under RERA. The article further deals with the Builder registration in RERA and the effects of non-registartion.
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What happens is the builder is not registered in RERA?
The RERA Act has made it mandatory for the builders to be registered with the respective authorities. However, there are a few builders who don’t register themselves with the RERA authorities.
- The potential buyer has to conduct due diligence to confirm the authenticity of the project and the builder.
- The Act allows homeowners to file a complaint against a non-registered project. This allows it to act as a regulator in the real estate sector. It helps to maintain accountability between the builders and the buyers. It also ensures that the money paid by the buyers is not misused.
- Since it is an authority to which complaints can be registered by the buyers, the authorities are also involved in providing solutions regarding the issues raised by the complainants.
How do I know if my builder is registered in RERA?
Potential property owners look at the area before buying the property. Once the buyer has shortlisted the particular area where he wants to own property, the next thing to do is to access the state’s RERA website.
After opening the RERA website, there will be a list of projects that are approved, rejected, and those projects that are awaiting approval.
In this way, potential buyers can confirm of the builder is registered with RERA.
What happens if the builder does not follow RERA orders?
RERA establishes a complaint redressal mechanism that helps potential homeowners or any other person file a case with the RERA authority or the Adjudicating Officer. A case against the builder can be filed for delayed possession, non-compliance with real estate laws and rules, extra charges levied by the builder, changes in the building layout without the buyer’s permission, etc.
- Once the RERA authority passes an order, the builder has to comply with the order within 45 days. The builder will have to execute the order and provide compensation and interest to the buyer.
- The 45 days’ time period can be further extended only if the builder provides substantial reasons to the authority. The 45-day period begins from the moment the order is served to the builder.
- The Act lays down the penalties for non-compliance with the orders of the RERA authorities. If any promoter fails to comply with the orders, he shall be liable to a penalty of 5% of the estimated price of the project for every day during which the default may occur.
- The builder may also face imprisonment for a period of up to 3 years or a fine which may extend up to 10% of the total cost of the project, or the builder may face both the imprisonment and the fine.
How do I file a case against a builder?
There may arise a situation where the buyer of the property feels the need to file a complaint against the builder. This may be with regard to any matter associated with the construction of the building. Complaints can be filed against the developers, builders, and the agents with the regulatory authority or the adjudicating officer. All complaints that are filed under RERA must be in the form that is prescribed under the RERA norms.
The following steps are to be followed while registering a complaint under RERA:
- To file a complaint with the Authority, the complainant needs to visit the State’s official RERA website. On the portal, they would have to search for the ‘complaint registration’ option.
- A form would have to be filled, where the details of the complaint would have to be registered.
- All the required details would have to filled, including personal details. If there are any supporting documents, they would also have to be attached.
- Once the form is filled, the complainant would have to pay a requisite amount to file the complaint. Online payment mode is also available to complete the transaction.
How can I get my booking amount back from the builder?
Most of the time buyers pay the booking amount in a property that they are interested in but due to some unknown reasons, they may feel the need to cancel the booking of the apartment and may demand a refund of the booking amount. The terms and conditions regarding the booking of the apartment and the refund of the booking amount are clearly laid out in a contract which is executed between the buyer and the builder.
- There are circumstances in which potential buyers may pay the booking amount for the property, only to ask for a refund for the amount paid as the booking amount.
- However, this may pose a problem because the RERA Act has no provisions which deals about the refund of the booking amount paid by the buyer to the builder.
- But the RERA Act allows the complainant to approach the authorities to seek legal remedy for the same. The remedy which may be awarded to the complainant may depend upon the facts and circumstances of the case. There is no clear solution which is available to the complainant at this stage.
Format for complaints or letters
The RERA Act has a mechanism to handle builder complaints and has specialized authority to handle builder related issues. The complaint drafted has to be in compliance with the following rules.
- Mention the place of authority and the detail of the authority has to be mentioned at the top of the complaint.
- The complete name and address of the complainant and respondents have to be mentioned in the specified.
- It has to be mentioned as to why does the tribunal has the jurisdiction.
- Complete facts of the case need to be mentioned such as –
- Complete payment details
- Project complete details
- Date of possession
- Facts leading to delay in possession.
- Defects if possession has already taken
- Breach of builder buyer agreement
- Remember that the facts have to be mentioned in detail.
- Mention clearly, the relief to be sought, like possession/compensation/removal of defects in possession/penalty and interest.
- Interim orders like till pendency of complaint the interim order that the complainant wishes to have, for example, stay on cancellation of allotted unit
- Complaint not pending before any tribunal.
- Court fees details under RERA rules state will have certain court rules.
- List of enclosures-Attach all documents like receipts/agreement
- Verification of the complaint as per format
It can be seen that with the implementation of the RERA Act, there has been an increase in transparency and efficiency in the delivery of projects to the buyers from the builders. With the strict rules and regulations, real estate developers are now more accountable. The RERA authorities have reprimanded developers who did not follow the rules and regulations that were laid down. The Act allows the builders to be aware of the state of the development of their projects and ensures that the money taken by the buyer is used for the specific purpose. It also holds the builders accountable for delivering the property on time to the buyers.