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Are You Still Waiting For Possession Of Your Home? Will RERA Help?

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Are you one of those people waiting possession for your home that you booked years ago? Is your builder giving you constant excuses about the delay? There are millions of people across India who has to face this issue on a regular basis, paying crores of rupees in EMIs and bank loans, without getting possession of their homes. Not only they pay the EMIs but also have to pay their rents resulting in double expenditure. There are thousands of registered cases against developers pending in various courts awaiting decision.

After years of waiting, Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA) will finally be effective from May 1 2017, giving hope to millions of home-buyers across the country. Under the Act, it is mandatory for every state to set up a real estate regulatory authority within 3 months from enactment of the law, to regulate the conduct of developers and take necessary actions against those who are guilty. If the act gets implemented as envisaged, then developers might be forced to pay an interest close to 10% in case of possession delay to home-buyers. If the buyer demands a refund then the developer is bound to refund the entire amount at the same rate within 45 days after the claim. If the developer fails to refund the amount, it can result in imprisonment as well. Amongst all the ill-practices in the Indian real estate sector, RERA is a ray of hope for the millions of home-buyers who spent years of time and money to get possession of their home.

On the contrary, some experts think that even though creation of RERA was to protect the self-interest of the homebuyers, there might be a possibility that many states will alter the laws while implementing it in their respective states. The law means to bring all old projects under the new law as per the regulatory draft but there are reports that many states are trying to dilute the law to provide relief to private developers, so if it happens RERA will only favour new home-buyers.

A report by Hindustan Times stated that in Uttar Pradesh, developers are giving possession to buyers by taking partial completion certificates under the UP Apartment Act which got incorporated a while back. According to the clause, builders deliver possession to buyers without any interior work (buyer will have to manage on its own) or basic amenities, but as per RERA such an act will require developers to pay penalty to the buyer.

Union Urban Development Minister Shri Venkaiah Naidu has stated, “All states will have to apply RERA in its original form and there shouldn’t be any dilution.” But the fact remains, since it’s a real estate law, it comes within the domain of both centre and state, so there is possibility of many years of litigation in case there is any dilution of the law. While the developers are lobbying hard to get the RERA law diluted, buyers have also formed a collective force in order to put pressure on the state as well as central government, so that there is no dilution.

The real estate sector has earned a pretty bad reputation over the years due to various reasons but RERA is seen as a positive move which will re-shape the Indian real estate sector.

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