Overview In the past, we have seen or heard reports regarding the inefficiency in the work process of the real estate developers. There were reports regarding constant failures on the part of the real estate developers to keep their promises, leading to long-drawn court cases and various other issues. Therefore, in order to regulate the real estate and to establish the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) for regulating and promoting the Real estate sector, the Real Estate Regulation Act, 2016, was enacted. The main objective of this RERA Act is to safeguard the interest of consumers in real estate and to establish a redressing mechanism for a speedy resolution of the disputes. It led to the establishment of the Appellate Tribunal to hear appeals against the decisions or the orders of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority. In this article, we shall go through the various provisions of RERA, including its registration process, documents required, offences, etc. What is RERA? RERA stands for Real Estate Regulatory Authority. The RERA Act was enacted with an aim to regulate and promote the real estate sector so that there could be transparency and efficiency in the conduct of the sale of an apartment, land, or a building. The RERA Act, through proper regulation, ensures protection to the interest and the rights of the consumers. The Act was enforced from 1st May 2017, across India after it was enacted by the Parliament in the year 2016. With its implementation, RERA would bring a high sigh of relief for the homebuyers. The builders would be accountable for the promises that they make to the buyers. It would ensure that consumers are protected from fraud. Proper regulation would encourage consumers to invest without fear. What are the Documents Required for Registration under RERA? The documents which are required for registration along with the application form are listed below: The name, address and other particulars of the enterprise and the kind of the enterprise like society, proprietorship, companies, partnership and the photographs of the promoters;The details of the projects by the promoters in the last five years including the current status of the projects and details of land type and pending payments;A copy of approvals and commencement certificate by the authorities obtained by law;The details of the proposed project like the sanctioned plan, layout plan and other specifications approved by authorities;Details of the development work in the proposed project;The Proforma of the allotment letter and agreement of sale;Name and addresses of the agents of the real estate project, if any;Information regarding the persons involved in the project such as engineers, architects, contractors, and others;A declaration stating the legal title of the land on which the project is proposed by the builder supported by relevant proofs;In case the builder is not the owner of the land then a letter of consent is required from the real owner;Any other relevant document is needed to be presented if required under RERA. Registration Process under RERA The process of registration under RERA entails the following details: Filing of the promoter details, project details including project type, project type, and other development details for uploading the same online. The full list is mentioned on the RERA website. Payment of the online fees as prescribed under RERA.Then the following copies of documents are submitted to the concerned office within three working days:Application documents,Receipt of the payment of fee,Printout of email acknowledgement,Printout of the application submission Also, Read: RERA Registration for Real Estate Agent. Key highlights of RERA RERA comprises of various provisions. The important features of the RERA are enumerated below. The regulations of RERA shall be followed in the whole of India, and it shall apply to both residential and commercial properties.Under RERA, the builders shall be required to deposit 70% of funds in a separate bank account collected from the consumers for the project work.The developers shall be required to disclose the project details like a financial statement, legal title deed, etc. on the website, and construction progress must be updated. A project with a minimum size of 500 sq. Metre or 8 apartments should be registered with RERA.The builders must submit the original plan of their projects and the alterations made therein to RERA.Under RERA in case of violation of the law, imprisonment of up to 3 years for developers and imprisonment of 1 year for agents and buyers.If the developers or the builders of a project do not abide by the rules and regulations of RERA, they shall lose the registration of the project and shall also be liable for punishments.If any structural defects or any workmanship defects are found in the building during the period of 5 years, then that must be redressed within 30 days by the promoter without any additional charges. In case of failure to do so, the buyer shall receive compensation under RERA.The developers can’t demand beyond 10% of the property cost as advanced payment before signing a registered sale agreement.The developers can’t advertise, offer, sell, book any plot without registering to the authority.The developers shall be required to furnish an affidavit stating that the land is free from liabilities.The complaints can be filed under RERA, and it shall be followed in every state of India. It will apply to both residential and commercial properties.The sale of a property shall be based upon carpet area, not a super built-up area.In order to protect the interests of the buyer, the buyer has the right to communicate with the developer within 1 year of taking possession to demand the shortcomings in the project.In case the complainant is not satisfied with the decision of RERA, then the aggrieved can appeal to the appellate tribunal.If a company commits an offence under the RERA Act, then the person who was leading that business at the time of the offence shall be held guilty.Any matter that comes under the purview of RERA or the Appellate Tribunal’s jurisdiction, no civil court shall have any jurisdiction to that matter. No court shall grant an injunction against any action taken by RERA or the Appellate Tribunal. Implications of RERA With the initiation of the RERA Act, there have been numerous positive impacts. Some of them are specified below: Law-abiding promoters or developers shall benefit from RERA, considering that many of them shall spend time in understanding the aspects of the RERA Act. It will ensure lesser competition.Where the RERA Act shall benefit the Law-abiding builders and developers, it shall ensure that dishonest builders are dealt with strictly. The RERA Act shall ensure financial discipline in this sector.This Act shall further increase the confidence of the consumers to invest without any fear of being duped. Implementation of this Act will make the developers adhere to go through a lot of processes in order to make any change to the project. This may lead to further more investment by the consumers in this sector. How to file a complaint under RERA? Section 31 of RERA allows a person to file a complaint against promoters, buyers, or agents. The procedure to file a complaint has been mentioned below: Fill in the complaint form according to the rules of the concerned state in which the project is situated.Fill the details of the applicant and the respondent, along with the address and registration number of the project.Mention facts of the case and the grounds for the claim, and if any relief is sought, mention the same along with it.Thereafter pay the prescribed fee. It is vital to note here that the fee may differ according to the state.You can also file a complaint online through your state's RERA website.There is still a remedy even if you are not content with the decision of the RERA. You can file a complaint with the RERA Appellate Tribunal within 60 days of notice of such decision.In case you are still not satisfied with the order of the appellate tribunal, then you can challenge the order of the tribunal in the high court within 60 days. Offences and Penalties under RERA The RERA Act prescribes various penalties and punishments for offences committed under it. These offences can be by promoters, buyers, or agents. The various offences and its penalties under RERA are as specified below: For Promoters OFFENCES PENALTIES/PUNISHMENTS Non- Registration of a project 10% of the real estate project’s estimated cost False Information 5% of the real estate project’s estimated cost Violation of law under RERA Imprisonment for three years or/and 10% of the real estate project's estimated cost For Agents OFFENCES PENALTIES/PUNISHMENTS Unregistered Project 10000Rs. per day and which can extend to 5% of the cost of property Failure to comply with the RERA Daily penalty and which can extend to 5% of the projects value Failure to comply with the appellate tribunal Imprisonment for one year and/or fine of 10% of the projects cost. For Buyers OFFENCES PENALTIES/PUNISHMENTS Failure in compliance with RERA Daily penalty and which may extend to 5% of projects cost Failure in compliance with the Appellate Tribunal Imprisonment for one year and/or fine of 10% of projects cost Takeaway The absence of regulatory authority in any sector can lead to various problems. The buyers experienced such problems in the past due to a lack of proper management and regulation of the Real estate sector. The main difficulties were delay in possession of the properties, poor quality projects, lack of accountability from the developers or the builders. However, after the initiation of the RERA in 2016, this sector has seen stability, transparency, and accountability that were never seen before. The regulatory authority has been empowered, and thereby the confidence and the trust of the consumers as well have increased in the real estate sector. Hopefully, the provisions of the RERA Act shall facilitate the development and growth of this sector. See Our Recommendation: RERA Provisions for On-going Projects in India.