Home buyers had much to cheer about when Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) was passed last year. However things are not that straight forward as they initially seemed and there are gaping holes which violated the spirit of RERA.
Under RERA each state is to have a regulatory body to resolve disputes between buyer & builders within 120 days. However many states are far from ready to implement RERA as they haven’t come out with rules under RERA yet nor do they have a regulatory body or the appellate tribunal in place. These states have exceeded the given deadline of May 2017 for implementing it.
Moreover states have the flexibility to modify or add rules; consequently many states have diluted the spirit of the law. Intense lobbying by the realty sector bigwigs has resulted in rules favouring the builders. Some states have exempted ongoing projects from being registered under RERA leaving the buyers who have been waiting long time for possession in a lurch.
Ongoing projects which have received completion certificate or occupancy certificate or have applied for it but are far from handing over the possession in near future have been exempted from RERA. In Gujarat any project launched before 2016 has been exempted from RERA. All these rules are basically in favour of builders without providing much needed relief to home-buyers stuck with delayed projects.
RERA was to steer in transparency & accountability in the realty sector. The real estate projects and real estate agents operating under it are required to put up the details of all registered projects on a website for public access. However in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for ongoing projects the builders are to submit details of only their last sanctioned plan, giving them possibility to not reveal details of changes or delays with respect to the original plan and promise.
Real estate sector has run amok without any check or regulation this long and with the gaps so far revealed in RERA a home-buyer’s struggle seem far from over.