RERA Act – The Lesser Known Details

RERA Act – The Lesser Known Details
13/12/2016 , by , in Interview Old

Come 2017 and Real Estate Regulations and Development Act, RERA Act (2016) will hopefully be formalised across the different states of India. Real Estate being a local subject, the minimum guidelines, roles &responsibilities and penalties amongst others have been defined by the centre. The states will deliberate on the topic to implement it in their jurisdictions now.

The most popular of the rules of RERA is that a builder from here on will have to maintain an Escrow Account in which all the payments collected from the buyers will be deposited and only a certain percentage of it will be allowed to be taken out. This provision makes an adequate check on governance of a project and a company.

One of the gravest dangers that a property buyer has encountered in transacting in real estate in India is that his hard earned money ends up funding a developer’s expansion, but not the brick and cement for property he purchased. Undoubtedly the Escrow Account mechanism if it is adopted in its spirit will go a long way in safeguarding end users interests.

But let’s step back a little and look at the buying process of real estate.

A builder first acquires land then applies for permissions as per the plans and later launches a project. At the launch or just before it and throughout the lifecycle of project’s construction the campaigns start to feature on life-size hoardings, full page newspaper advertisements, online and offline classifieds, pamphlets, emails, Google and Facebook campaigns. What do most of these campaigns look like as of today –

  • Firstly a project is glamorised as if it is parading in a beauty contest – magnificent elevations, lighting, amenities and landscaping that make you feel as if this place is not India
  • Carries a price tag – in per square feet cost of saleable area or in unit price but of one without any further preferential charges or costs of parking etc.
  • Location – Just the name of the popular neighbourhood going to the extent of redefining the cities itself such as calling Lower Parel as Upper Worli and Wadalaas New Cuffe Parade, amongst others

However, the RERA Act is making it clear that any deviation from plans that a developer portrays in its campaigns would find the company on the wrong side of the law.

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