Rights and Duties of Home Buyers under RERA

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) came into force on May 1, 2016 and 59 of its 92 sections were notified on May 1, 2016 where as the remaining provisions came into force on May 1, 2017 in all Indian provinces. The act was introduced to improve and grow the real estate sector by promoting transparency and accountability and having the dynamic changes needed in an environment that affects the well-being of all stakeholders.

A tenant or buyer of a home, in terms of Section 2 (d), includes a person who acquires the property by transfer or sale, but does not include the tenant.

RERA registration is mandatory for buildings with more than 8 units or land development, measuring more than 500 sq m. RERA rules and regulations seek to protect local buyers or distributors from illegal actions by developers and provide them with a faster way to act immediately in the event of complaints.

Rights and Duties of Real Estate Agents

Section 19 under Chapter 5 of the RERA Act, 2016 sets out certain rights and duties of real estate agents or shares listed below:

Right of access to information:

The buyer of the home has the right to obtain project details in accordance with the approved plans, building plans, RERA registration number and the prescribed details approved by the relevant authority.

Right to know the completion schedule:

The home buyer has every right to know the completion schedule of the project, including the provision of water, sanitation, electricity and other services and services specified in the terms and conditions of the contract are for sale.

Right to own property:

A homeowner has the right to claim property, including common land, in the event that all due process is completed and the required remuneration is paid.

The right to claim a refund:

A home buyer has the right to lodge a complaint under RERA and claim a refund of interest paid and interest and compensation from the manufacturer, in case the builder fails to comply or is unable to obtain the goods in terms of the terms of the sale agreement or as a result of termination suspension or revocation of his registration.

However, engineers will be given another opportunity to set the appropriate timeline for delivery, failing which they will have to pay the required fines. An appeal may also be lodged with the Appellate Tribunal in the event that the consumer is dissatisfied with the decision of RERA.

The successful implementation of RERA

All provinces have had a positive impact on the construction industry. Some of them are below:

  • The great success of the reforms is that it has restored the confidence of local consumers and investors. According to reports, the first quarter of 2018 recorded an 8% increase in housing demand after the RERA reforms.
  • It is mandatory that all projects are registered with RERA and provide relevant information about the assets such as organizer details, approval and approval strategies, total number of units and carpet location etc. commit. This also discourages the misrepresentation or easy advertising until the registration of the goods is complete. Nowadays, developers also need to update their company website with all the necessary details including the general progress of the project to keeps consumers informed.
  • RERA has enabled developers to respond by quoting the exact location of the carpet area in all contracts with the exception of the built-in structure that gives the consumer a sense of space and cost.
  • The implementation of RERA has stopped the indiscriminate misrepresentation by developers and ensures that all approvals are in place before the start of a major project. Only sustainable builders can thrive in the industry now which will make it more organized and the supply of goods will have a better profit margin.
  • Many developers tend to have multiple projects at once. Previously, they were allowed to transfer funds collected from one project to another. However, this is no longer the case as 70% of the proceeds need to be deposited in a separate bank account. This fees can only be issued after verification by the engineer, CA and the architect.
  • After the changes, the builder cannot take more than 10% of the project cost to the buyer as a prepaid payment or request. This saves the consumer from the mental and physical stress of planning big investments in the short term.
  • Prior to RERA, if the promoter delayed access to the goods, the interest paid to the consumer was much lower than if the consumer delayed the payment of the promoter. Submit RERA, both parties must pay the same interest rate.

Supreme Court and Delhi High Court rule that home buyers can register a complaint with both, NCDRC and RERA

The Supreme Court (SC) had ruled that aggrieved home buyers can take their cases to both, the State’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority, as well as the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), since their jurisdiction is concurrent. 

Proceedings that come to the NCDRC are judicial, but the commission cannot be considered as civil court as clarified by the apex court. It was further held that Section 79 of the RERA Act does not in any way bar the (Consumer) Commission or Forum under the provisions of the Consumer Protection (CP) Act to entertain any complaint. In 2019, the Delhi High Court (HC) gave the same verdict.

Observations

Many builders sought relief on the basis that pending cases against them should be put to rest in the NCDRC in case home buyers had registered complaints against them under the RERA. However, in what comes as a big win for buyers, justice Prateek Jalan dismissed 62 such petitions from developers.

It is important to note that the RERA allows home buyers to withdraw previous/ pending cases that come under the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and the same argument was taken up by developers. However, Delhi HC has said that the verdicts of both, NCDRC and RERA are ‘concurrent’ and that in previous similar cases, the Supreme Court (SC) and the NCDRC have upheld that for buyers’ benefit, cases can run parallely.


About the Author – Aditya Pratap

Aditya Pratap is a lawyer practising in Mumbai. He argues cases in the Bombay High Court, Sessions and Magistrate Courts, along with appearances before RERA, NCLT and the Family Court. For further information one may visit his website adityapratap.in or view his YouTube Channel to see his interviews. Questions can be emailed to him at aditya@adityapratap.com.

This Article is made by Aditya Pratap in assistance with Avisha Ranjan

Cases argued by Aditya Pratap can be viewed here.

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