What is Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA)? What are my options if I decide to pursue this option?
Under a new law, states have to establish Regulatory Authority (RERA) which is a special body dealing with the real estate sector. Here’s what you need to know about the law with respect to your particular problem:
- Compulsory registration of new and ongoing projects – All builders and developers have a duty to register their new and ongoing projects with the Regulatory Authority.
- Please remember that this duty extends to projects which are currently going on as well. They have to complete this by the end of July 2017. However, if the builder or developer has already obtained the completion certificate, they do not have a duty to register their project under this law.
- They are not required to register projects which are very small – if the area of the land which is going to be developed is less than 500 square meters and the number of apartments is less than eight. This exemption might differ from state to state.
- Once the registration is granted by the Regulatory Authority, the builder or developer has to publish entire details of their projects on the website of the Regulatory Authority. The registration is valid for the period indicated in the project application as the time required for completion of the project. Once this period is over, the Regulatory Authority has a right to revoke the registration granted for this project.
- If the builder or developer has not handed over the property by the date mentioned in your agreement for sale or if the registration granted by the Regulatory Authority has been suspended or revoked, you have the right to withdraw from the project.
- If you choose to withdraw from the project, you have the right to be compensated for the full amount you have paid till date along with interest. You get this right as soon as the date has passed – you do not have to file a complaint or case at this point. The developer and/or builder is supposed to compensate you as soon as you make the request.
- If you choose not to withdraw from the project, you have the right to be compensated with interest for every month of delay. The exact interest amount will differ from state to state and depend on the state regulations issued.
- If the builder or developer is not voluntarily compensating you, you have the right to file a complaint before the Regulatory Authority. Each state Regulatory Authority is supposed to appoint an officer who performs the functions of a judge. He will conduct an inquiry and pass an order once he has decided whether you are actually supposed to get the interest or money spent.
- You need not compulsorily hire a lawyer to represent yourself. You can appear yourself or even hire a chartered accountant or cost accountant or company secretary.
- If you are not satisfied with the decision of the officer, you can file an appeal before the Appellate Tribunal set up under this law within 60 days. Every state is supposed to have one such appellate tribunal.
Every state and union territory is supposed to have such an authority and an appellate tribunal. Since this is a very recent law (important provisions came into force on May 1, 2017) and a number of states have not yet set up authorities, you will need to check if the state in which the property is located has set up the Regulatory Authority and Appellate Tribunal to see if this option is available in the first place.
What is the time period within which the Regulatory Authority is required to dispose the complaint?
The new law states that the Regulatory Authority should endeavour to dispose of the complaints within 60 days from the date of filing. However, the Authority can take more time and is only required to record the reasons for not completing the proceeding within the 60 day period.