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RERA Effect On Real Estate Agents



RERA Act 2017: Effect On Real Estate Agents

The Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA) introduced new regulations not only for real estate companies but for real estate agents as well. Now, it is mandatory for every real estate agent to register themselves before dealing in any real estate transaction. The broker segment is estimated to be a 4 billion dollars industry in India, with almost 5-9 lacs brokers in the business. However, just like the real estate industry, this sector has also been highly unregulated and disorganized over the years. So, how will RERA impact the brokers and agents?

In progressive real estate markets, real estate brokers and agents need to register and get certified before doing business but in India, there were no such provisions till now. There has been a need for proper vigilance and systematic functioning for a long time, besides there is a lack of transparency and responsibility in the sector. Once agents register themselves under RERA regulations, it will help them to gain the trust of home-buyers and investors which will increase sales; hence it is beneficial to the consumer as well as brokers and developers.

Registration details for Agents under MahaRERA:

  • ₹ 500 to Mahaonline for Maha-Rera website (additional charges might apply).
  • Charges for the individual, proprietor, or proprietorship firm will be ₹ 10,000.
  • Charges for partnership firm, society, private Ltd/Ltd company, LLP, etc. will be ₹ 1,00,000.
  • Agents will need to maintain separate records for accounts and other documents for each individual project.
  • Agents will get registration number along with certificate within 30 days of registration from respective authority.
  • The registration will be valid for 5 years and renewal should be done 60 days prior to the expiry of registration.
  • The registration certificate should be displayed at business place.
  • The registration number should be displayed on all advertisements, selling or purchase papers. Non-compliance might be subject to penalty.
  • In case the project is not complete then agents are liable to pay a penalty of ₹ 10,000 or a maximum up to 5% of the value of the deal or project.

Under RERA brokers cannot make any false promises about amenities or services which are not mentioned in the documents. Moreover, brokers will have to provide all information and documents at the time of booking. RERA will also ensure that inexperienced or unprofessional brokers are dealt with accordingly. Not even 100 brokers have registered so far, so the number is a bit on the lower side but it is expected that more will register in the coming months. One of the major concerns that brokers have raised is that increased cost of compliance will leave no room for profit especially for those who operate on a freelance basis or independently. Unlike the real estate developers who have register within 31st July, there is no timeframe as such for brokers to register as of now.

The success of RERA will depend a lot on proper implementation, therefore, the central government needs to closely monitor the implementation of RERA in all the states across India. At the same time, the centre needs to ensure that there is no bifurcation from the draft rules proposed by them. Many states are yet to establish regulatory authorities where agents can register themselves, while some brokers are complaining about the heavy penalties in case of default as they are claiming that the broker’s commission is way less as compared to penalties.

Ahmedabad Real Estate News

Under Construction Flat Booking Finds Tax Deduction Under Time Constraints



Tax Deduction

If a buyer makes a transaction to book an under-construction flat and if he acquires it within the three-year period of the sale of his old house, then he is entitled to a tax deduction, says a ruling from the Mumbai bench of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT). If an apartment is booked in an under construction project than it must be viewed as a method of constructing residential tenements, says the December 18 judgment.

That means if the buyer uses the entire gain from the transaction to buy another house within two years or construct another house within three years. The two- and three-year period applies even if the buyer bought another house a year before selling the first one. But the property should have been bought in the name of the seller.

It is mandatory that within a period of two years after or one year before the date of transfer of old house, the taxpayer should construct a residential house or acquire another residential house within a period of three years from the date of transfer of the old house. The date of receipt of compensation will determine the period of acquisition or construction in a case of compulsory acquisition.

This exemption is effective and can only be claimed in respect of one residential house property purchased/constructed in India. In the case of multiple house purchases or constructions, the exemption under section 54 will be available in respect of one house only. Any purchases made outside the country does not fall under any kind of exemption. Section 54 gives relaxation in such cases by providing relief to the taxpayer who sells his residential house and acquires another residential house from the gained capital.

After the sale of an asset, the difference between the buying price and the selling price is a capital gain or a capital loss. These are further classified as long-term or short-term. If a property is held for 24 months or less, with effective from 2017-18, then that asset is treated as Short Term Capital Asset. Then an investor can make

treated as Long Term Capital Asset. Then only a Long Term Capital Gain (LTCG) or Long Term Capital Loss (LTCL) can be made on that investment.

ITAT agreed that booking of a new flat in an under-construction apartment should be considered as a case of “construction” and not “purchase”, hence following the earlier decisions of the Bombay high court and the tribunal itself. Further ITAT allowed the fact that the construction can began prior to the date of sale of the old asset. Same was stated in the earlier judicial decisions of the Karnataka high court and Ahmedabad ITAT, that the date of commencement is not relevant but it is the completion of construction that comes in relevance to section 54.

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India Real Estate News

HDFC and Quikr Make A Deal



HDFC and Quikr Make A Deal

According to a deal between HDFC and Quikr, a stake of more than 3 percent will be given to the mortgage giant in return to its transfer of offline and online real estate brokerage business to the classified ads platform.

After acquiring Commonfloor in 2016 Quikr already has a major presence in online real estate broking.

“Most of the searches for real estate are moving online. Quikr has a much bigger presence online. Through this deal, we are partnering Quikr in the broking business,” said HDFC MD Renu Sud Karnad. According to her, this deal will strengthen Quirks position with offline support.

The deal suggests that HDFC will transfer to Quikr its entire shareholding in HDFC Realty, a real estate brokerage platform, and HDFC Developers, which runs the HDFC RED online platform.

Karnad added that the deal expects Quikr to generate home loan leads for HDFC. The transaction consists of a co-branded alliance between both parties and the HDFC brand will continue to be used online for a year.

The e-real estate classifieds platform HDFC RED has around 7,000 project listings and generates traffic of over 80,000 unique visitors per month. HDFC Realty has a 300-member, in-house sales team, and 7,000-strong nationwide broker network. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial adviser to Quikr while Kotak Investment Banking acted as the exclusive financial adviser to HDFC on this.

30 million monthly users make Quikr India’s largest classifieds platform. It runs multiple vertical businesses across real estate, automobiles, jobs, services, and goods. The Quikr Home, its real estate vertical generates 3.5 million monthly unique visitors.

Both companies intend to work closely and conduct analytics and identify potential homebuyers, and therefore home loan customers, early in their home-buying journey. Quikr founder and CEO Pranay Chulet said, “We see great synergies between Quikr and HDFC as we start working together to bring a seamless online-to-offline platform to developers and consumers.”

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India Real Estate News

Retaining The Sustainability: GRIHA Launches Star Rating For Urban Homes



GRIHA Launches Star Rating For Urban Homes

Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA), is the National Rating System of India, a Sanskrit word meaning – ‘Abode’. Human architecture has always consumed resources in the form of energy, water and material from the environment. From their construction to operation, these habitats absorb the resources throughout their life cycles, emitting wastes in the end. This emission could be direct in the form of municipal wastes or indirect emission into the atmosphere, such as from electricity generation. Hence GRIHA was formed to reduce an architecture’s resource consumption, waste production and overall environment impact up to certain national acceptable limits.

In attempt to quantify all these aspects, like energy consumption, waste generation etc. GRIHA tries to manage, control and bring down the respective to the best possible limit. Being a rating tool, it helps people to assess the performance of their respective projects against the national benchmarks.

Hence it becomes an evaluation of the environmental performance of an architecture on a holistic level. Covering its entire life cycle, this evaluation provides a specific standard for a ‘green building’. This rating system aims to strike a balance between established institutions and emerging concepts, on a national as well as the international level.

The process starts with an online submission of documents according to the criteria. Then a team of professionals and experts from GRIHA Secretariat takes a site visit for the evaluation of the building.  There are four different sections categorized by 34 criteria in GRIHA rating system. Some of them are site selection and site planning, conservation and efficient utilization of resources, building operation and maintenance, and innovation. 

Sanjay Seth, CEO, Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment (GRIHA) Council says, “A rating between one and five stars is being provided, helping the costumers to know about the sustainability of the houses”.

According to the Union Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, the climate resilient and sustainable buildings are the need of the hour. As the government is aiming to construct around 1.2 crore houses for the urban poor under the affordable housing scheme.

In one of his keynote addresses, Andreas Baum, Ambassador of Switzerland to India and Bhutan said that the Indo Swiss collaboration is operating with the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency in the development of guidelines for energy efficient housing.

“At present India is witnessing a rapid urbanisation, if each building becomes greener than the last one, then we have a huge opportunity and hope for our country. We need to look beyond the conventional methods of building, in order to provide our citizens with a good quality of life. Hence, GRIHA gains important in meeting our national goals with respect to a sustainable society”, says Dr Ajay Mathur, director general, TERI & president, GRIHA Council.

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