RS clears RERA; homebuyers vindicated
Here’s good news for homebuyers across the country, especially those in the NCR. The Real Estate Regulatory (RERA) Bill has been passed by the Rajya Sabha on March 11. It seeks to protect the interests of property buyers from unscrupulous realtors.
The legislation is a key reform in the real estate sector, which aims to bring transparency to all property deals.
Welcoming the news, homebuyers of Noida termed it a vindication of their stand. Puneet Prasad, a homebuyer from Amrapali Heartbeat City, said, “We have waited for this since 2013. Once the Bill becomes an Act, builders won’t be able to cheat innocent homebuyers any more. They will be dutybound to fulfil the promises they make at the time of booking.”
Navneet Sarin, founder of NCR Home Buyers Group and President of Unitech Unihomes Buyer Association, said, “The builders, who take 70 per cent of the total house value from buyers, will have to deposit the amount with the government. They can no longer spend it on another head, as they used to.”
Highlighting the key features of the Act, he noted that the builder will have to take the consent of two-thirds of the homebuyers in a particular project before charging for super area. Builders who are yet to obtain completion certificates from the authorities will come under the RERA ambit.
Moreover, the rate of interest payable by the promoter or the allottee in case of default and delay will be the same. The period of a developer’s liability to repair structural defects in the sold property has also been increased from two to five years.
Promoters will be barred from changing plan and design without the consent of consumers.
The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), to be set up, will have jurisdiction on both residential and commercial real estate. It is mandatory for developers to register their projects with the RERA before launching them. Any violation of the law will invite a penalty of up to 10 per cent of the project cost or three years’ imprisonment.
However, succumbing to builders’ lobby, the Cabinet, in a first, introduced a new penal provision for allottees too, for failure to comply with RERA orders. Allottees will have to shell out up to 5 per cent of the apartment cost or serve a year in jail, or both, for payment default or any other violation.
The RERA Bill had become a political hot potato after Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi charged the Centre last year about diluting some provisions that harmed the interests of middle-class homebuyers.