The term RERA stands for the Real Estate Regulatory Authority, and its governed by the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, which is also known as the RERA, 2016. This act was introduced to formulate an authority named RERA for the regulation and protection of the interest of consumers in the Real Estate Sector. Further, this act came into effect from May 1, 2016. This act also seeks to make sure transparency in the project, and also provide proper information regarding the builder and establish an adjudicating mechanism for the speedy dispute redressal. As per this act, the developer or the builder does not have the right to make any additions and alterations in the authorized plans that are fixed to be taken, without the prior consent of the buyer. After the enactment of the RERA 2016, i.e. the Real Estate Regulatory (and Development) Act, 2016, the real estate buyers are now feeling secure and assured. Also, RERA is one of the most pioneering reforms taken by the Indian government as it has fully transformed the way transactions used to be carried out in the real estate market. Further, this act basically safeguards the homebuyers from all sorts of fraudulent and dishonest activities of the developers and builders. Moreover, after the implementation of this act, a lot of transparency has come into the transactions of Indian real estate. Lastly, RERA is working as a shield to protect the buyers from the corrupt developers and builders of both the commercial and residential projects in India. Further, the implementation of RERA has empowered the buyers to file complaints against the fraud developers and builders for their fraudulent and dishonest business practices. Hence, now the property buyers have a proper prescribed course of filing their complaints and grievances to get the proper standing and solution for the complaint filed. However, it is significant to note that the buyers who have owned a property before the implementation of this said act, i.e. RERA 2016, they are not eligible to complain against the project builders. The buyers should seek help from the legal authorities. Today also there are many developers and builders who still not register their projects under the provisions of RERA. So, the buyers of such housing projects are in a dilemma as they find it difficult to lodge a complaint against them. Hence, in this learning blog, we will be discussing how to file a complaint on the projects whether housing or commercial which are registered under the provisions of RERA and also the projects which are not registered under the provisions of RERA. Further, we will also be discussing the procedure and other requirements for filing the complaint under the act. Complaint Under RERA Regarding the Projects According to RERA, 2016, in India, both the developers and builders of property must get their projects registered under the state regulatory authority of the concerned state. As this will be providing the buyers with an ideal platform to keep an eye on the development of the under-construction projects and also to file any complaint if in case, they have any grievances either against the developer or builder or both. Any buyer who has been duped either by the developer or builder or by both, then, in this case, the concerned buyer is eligible to file a complaint against them under the Form ‘A’ of Section 31 of the said Act. Further, the complainant is also required to enter their details together with the registration number of the developer or builder projects and the details and particulars of those against whom the complaint is being made. If in case the buyer is not able to find any suitable and appropriate solution from the RERA, then he or she can take these matters further by filing an appeal before the Appellate Tribunal within a period of sixty days of filing the complaint with RERA. If in case the concerned buyer is still not getting a solution or measure from the Appellate Tribunal then he or she can file an appeal before the High Court of the respective state within a period of sixty days of appearing before the Appellate Tribunal. Complaint Under RERA Regarding the Projects not Registered with RERA In India, there are many developers and builders who have still not registered their projects under the provisions of RERA till now. So, as a consequence, the buyers of such commercial or residential units in such projects are facing numerous troubles as they are not able to understand where they should take their complaints. That’s why the buyers, who are stuck with the unregistered projects, have no other way out apart from to seek other legal remedies. They can either seek remedy by filing a criminal case or from filing case in the consumer courts against the builder or developers of the unregistered project. Further, they can also file an appeal in the high court and can seek the refund from the fraud builders or developers for their unregistered projects. In India, as there is an increasing number of cases against the builders and developers for the unregistered projects, as a consequence many state governments are now demanding for a fool-proof plan in order to register, address and pay attention to the complaints filed by those buyers who are trapped with the builders and developers who have not registered their projects. However, the buyers who are struck with an unregistered property can now take a sigh of relief. As, both the government and the real estate regulatory authority (RERA) are putting a lot of efforts to address the complaints ad grievances filed by the buyers. Also, there is a ray of hope for all the property buyers or the prospective buyers that there would be an appropriate and accurate regulatory mechanism to deal with their complaints and problems against the unregistered builders and developers in India. Procedure to file a complaint under the RERA 2016 Following listed are the steps involved in the process of registering a complaint or grievance with the RERA – Step 1 - If any person wants to file a complaint with the authority, firstly, he or she needs to have to visit the state’s official portal. There, the concerned will be required to search for the page where he or she can register the complaint. Step 2 - Now, that concerned person is required to have to click on the complaint registration link. After clicking on it, he or she will be redirected to the complaint form which that person is required to fill with all the details of his or her complaint. Step 3 - When that person will file the complaint, as a homebuyer, then he or she could be asked to submit his or her personal details and particulars such as the name, address, contact details, etc. the concerned can also attach the supporting documents while filing the said complaint. Step 4 - Once the person has completely filled the form as a complainant, then after that, he or she is required to pay an amount prescribed for filing the complaint. One can make use of the online payment mode for completing the said transaction. More on RERA : Grievances Redressal Mechanism & Penalties under RERA. When to File a Complaint under the RERA A buyer may file or lodge a complaint with the RERA Authority for any violation, infringement or contravention of the provisions mentioned under the RERA Act either by a builder, developer, promoter or by the real estate agent. Conditions under which a buyer is eligible to file a RERA complaint includes the following – Delay in Possession- If in case a builder or developer delays in the delivery of possession of the property, then the concerned buyer has the right to file a complaint against the said builder or developer in order to get immediate delivery of possession or to get a full refund together with interest. False Advertisement – A complaint can be lodged against the developer, promoter, and even against the endorsers if a buyer was misled by the false advertisements based on which he or she decided to deposit an amount with the promoter. Advance Payment – A builder can ask for only up to 10 per cent of the total cost of the building, apartment or plot as an advance payment. If in case the builder asks for more than 10 per cent, the buyer is eligible to file a complaint against the builder. Improper Registration of a Project – It is authoritative that all projects must be registered under RERA. If in case a builder has sold or even is trying to sell an unregistered project, then the buyer can file a complaint against that builder. No details about the Project – All details regarding the project inclusive of the project plan, layout, and the government approvals are needed to be updated on the RERA portal. One can lodge a complaint if in case a builder or developer does not adhere to this provision. Structural Defects – If in case there are any structural defects in the workmanship and in the quality of the services, the promoter will have to compensate or reimburse the amount paid by the allottee. If not compensated, then the buyer can file a complaint. Ownership Transfer- A promoter cannot transfer his majority rights to any third party. If in case he or she is found of transferring majority rights to any third party without obtaining the consent of the two-third majority of allottees, one can easily file a complaint. Different Forums available under the RERA Act RERA Authority RERA Adjudicating Officer RERA Appellate Tribunal Rights of the Buyer under the RERA Act Transparency - Transparency in the area measurements, project completion timelines, payment structure, penalties for the delay or legal issues will be shielded under the provisions of the Act. The Clarity in Area Measurements - The builder is needed to quote the price of the carpet area and no other units such as the built-up, super built-up or PFS, etc. This makes sure uniformity in the price terms laid down by the builders. Claim Refund - A buyer is qualified for claiming a full refund and the interesting post the due date. If in case the buyer wants to wait it out, the builder concerned has to pay 10 per cent interest every month till the handing over the property. Speedy Trial - Adjudicating mechanism to be put in the correct place for the expeditious hearing and disposal of appeals or complaints Financial Discipline - Builders are asked to keep 70 per cent of the funds in one escrow account for each project. Further, if the builder is caught red-handed using the funds of one project for another, he can be penalized and even jailed for a maximum of 3 years. Conclusion After the enactment of the RERA 2016, the real estate buyers are now feeling secure and assured. Further, as per this act, both the developers and builders of property must get their projects registered under the state regulatory authority of the concerned state. As, this will be providing the buyers with an ideal platform to keep an eye on the development of the under-construction projects and also to file any complaint if in case, they have any grievances either against the developer or builder or both. Furthermore, some many developers and builders have still not registered their projects under the provisions of RERA till now. So, as a consequence, the buyers of such commercial or residential units in such projects are facing numerous troubles as they are not able to understand where they should take their complaints. But, after the implementation of RERA Act, 2016, the buyers, who are stuck with the unregistered projects, can either seek remedy by filing a criminal case or from filing case in the consumer courts against the builder or developers of the unregistered project. Read, Also : RERA Investigating Powers to Crack Down on Builders.