Can the RERA Act truly resolve India’s housing crisis?
The introduction of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act on May 1, 2017, by the Parliament of India, came as a welcome move for Indian home-buyers, giving them the means to address pertinent issues such as project delivery delays, property pricing, quality of construction, and title and other changes. The Act was established with the goal of bringing in unprecedented efficiency and transparency in the Indian real estate sector, which contributes more than 5-6 percent of India’s GDP and is expected to touch a formidable US$180 billion by 2020. However, in order for prospective home buyers to effectively leverage the benefits of RERA, they must pay attention to a few key factors.
While RERA promises to usher in a new era of transparency for home buyers, many are still unaware of crucial factors they should look for before investing in a residential property. Most real-estate transactions in metro cities are conducted via real-estate agents. According to the RERA Act, in order to market RERA-certified projects, agents must also be registered with the regulatory body. Buyers can – and must – demand this registration number before conducting business with a real-estate agent. Similarly, before deciding to put money down on a real-estate purchase, buyers should check for the RERA registration number for the property they are interested in.
Many buyers will put up boards that list the property as ‘RERA Applied For’ to confuse potential buyers into believing that the project is RERA-certified or listed. This is a blatant misuse of RERA and an important consideration for potential home buyers.