Benefits & Implications of a RERA registered home or property for home buyers in Hyderabad, Telangana
Telangana Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA) is meant to regulate the real estate sector. What we mean by ‘regulate’ simply is that the ‘promoters’ (builders) as well as ‘agents’ are under the scanner of the regulatory authority.
RERA is to real estate sector what ‘Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’ (IRDA) is to Insurance sector, and what ‘The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’ (TRAI) is to Telecom sector. We know how well the Insurance and Telecom sectors are regulated by these regulatory authorities powered by Government intervention and control.
Now, the same rigour and deterrence mechanism has been established for the real estate sector.
This is a major sigh of relief for the Indian real estate consumers. It is a landmark step in protecting the real estate sector… making it transparent and trustworthy. A regulatory authority is beneficial to both consumers and builders as it brings a sense of comfort while signing-up for huge financial transactions in the real estate sector.
The state of Telangana adopted the RERA act in 2017. It protects the interests of consumers, and simultaneously nurtures conditions for growth of the real estate sector in Telangana.
In this article we shall explore what Telangana RERA brings to the home or commercial property buyers in Hyderabad (Telangana of Telangana). We shall explore the following 9 topics-
- The background
- Regulation and promotion of the real estate sector
- Agents are required to register
- All commercial and residential projects are required to be registered before marketing begins
- 7 duties of a promoter / builder
- Provision for home buyers to file complaints against builder
- Complete transparency with details of projects visible in RERA website
- Mandatory citing of project specific ‘registration number’ with RERA and mentioning website of RERA in advertisements
- Strict rules for builders that are home buyer centric
Let’s begin exploring…
Prior to 2017, the real estate sector had extremely unpredictable and unreasonable times, with many builders going on a wild run without any checks and balances to protect consumers. This unchecked run harmed the home buyers, and also led many builders to the brink of bankruptcy due to poor decision making. Intentional fraud and misleading happened galore with Indian property buyers being left at the mercy of many unruly and uncouth builders.
In the absence of a regulatory body, many big companies went into a downward spiral, and could never give possession of the promised properties. Sadly, the buyers lost their life savings, and are continuing to writhe in pain till this day. The worst thing was the absence of a protective mechanism to safeguard the interests of buyers.
Till the Real Estate Regulation Act, 2016 came into being, the grievances of the buyer and seller were addressed in the consumer courts with no respite in sight. The builders continued to take the people into courts, and made merry with the money that was gobbled up. Buying a dream home became a nightmare for many, and investing in real estate was a far cry.
RERA was approved by the Indian parliament in 2016, and subsequently got implemented all over India, including in Telangana.
Regulation and promotion of the real estate sector in Hyderabad / Telangana
The intent of RERA clearly is secure growth of real estate industry in Hyderabad / Telangana. When things are regulated, the home buyers and commercial building buyers also come forward boldly as they feel their money is safe. A RERA approved projects gives a sense of assurance and comfort.
In a nutshell, it caters to all three parties, a) the buyer (residential & commercial), b) the promoters or builders, and c) the real estate agents.
Plus, RERA Telangana takes care of disputes with a proper mechanism only for RERA registered projects.
This gives a huge sense of comfort and respite, and home buyers feel much more relaxed and at ease buying a RERA registered property in Hyderabad or elsewhere in Telangana.
RERA authority helps the home and commercial property buyers to:
- Know about registered projects offered by promoters
- Safeguard buyers by ensuring a strict RERA registration process
- Safeguard buyers by registering real estate agents (brokers)
- Effectively stepping-up to handle complaints and redressal of grievances
- Helping State Government on important decisions to develop the Urban real estate landscape of Hyderabad / Telangana
Agents in Hyderabad / Telangana are required to register with RERA
Registration of agents prevents the ‘unregistered agents’ to deal with or even dupe innocent buyers. A broker or an agent is NOT authorized to facilitate sale or purchase of any property without obtaining registration. Registration for name sake alone is not the intent. By registering the agents are put under a scanner by the authority, and are required to protect the interests of both the buyers and sellers, especially safeguarding their financial and legal interests. Engaging in real estate transactions without registration as an agent brings in penalty to the ‘unregistered agent’.
All commercial and residential projects are required to be registered before marketing begins
This means that no builder can advertise, book, or offer for sale any property without registering. Marketing is simply NOT allowed unless the project is registered! Else, it’s construed illegal.
This is a blanket protection for the property buyer- both home and commercial. The builders cannot throw caution to winds, and accept money from unaware buyers at their whims and fancies. They are under the RERA scanner, and any violation can lead to severe consequences including jail time. Promoters or builders NOT complying with RERA directives is considered a punishable offence leading to imprisonment of the promoter / builder up to three years.
Failure to register under RERA can lead to penalty upto 10% of the cost of the property. So, the Telangana RERA comes with a reliable and solid deterrence mechanism to protect the property buyers in Hyderabad / Telangana.
Simple registration also is not good enough. Each builder is liable to inform the RERA authorities on the status of the project every three months (quarterly basis). This again means, that the builders and promoters are kept on their toes to fulfil their commitment after they begin taking the buyers money as per construction schedule.
7 duties a promoter/builder needs to fulfil
Duties of a builder are:
1. Not more than 10% to be accepted as advance payment or application fee without entering in a written agreement of sale
2. Builders responsibility to get Completion certificate (as called occupancy certificate)
3. 70% of amount taken from buyer from time to time to be deposited in an account for construction purposes of the same residential or commercial property. NOT permitted to use it elsewhere
4. Amount withdrawn by builder from this account should be same as percentage of completion. This must be vetted and confirmed by- i) structural engineer, ii) architect and iii) a practising chartered accountant. This triple confirmation ensures that a watch is kept by professionals who are supposed to follow a code of conduct as per their profession, and also act to protect the buyers. This ensures that money withdrawn is used for the purpose of construction only. No misappropriation of funds are permitted for other purposes. The builder is forced to keep the promise to the buyer by the regulatory authorities
5. Builder to compensate the buyer for any false statement with full refund with interest. This is a huge provision that puts the builder in the firing line if the builder intent is dubious
6. Accounts of the builder to be audited end of the financial year end. Any deviation or non-compliance can lead to freezing the builders’ account by Telangana State RERA authority. Another deterrence mechanism with teeth to protect the consumers’ interests
7. Financial penalties for non-compliances
Provision for home buyers to file complaints against builder
Consumers can file complaints any registered project. There is provision to make an appeal before the appellate tribunal as well.
Further, one can even approach the high court.
Prior to 2017, such organised mechanism did not exist where the builder would be brought under the scanner of regulatory body backed by stringent rules and expectations.
Complete transparency with details of projects visible in RERA website
Detailed of any project registered project in Hyderabad / Telangana are available online for citizens to verify in the Telangana RERA website.
Once can actually check whether or not a project is ‘registered’ by checking in the RERA website by typing the project title.
Process to check registered projects and agents:
Go to Telangana RERA website http://rera.telangana.gov.in/ Go to tab ‘SEARCH REGISTERED PROJECTS AND AGENTS’ A separate website opens Entre name of project or agent name to verify
An external website opens up where you can check the ‘registered projects’ and ‘registered agents’. The complete details of the project as well as the agent are made visible. You can not only view the ‘application’, but also the ‘certificate’ issued by Telangana RERA authorities.
This is a fabulous facility. All the registered and authentic projects and agents are out there in the public view. The scope of fraud and getting duped goes down drastically.
One can see the following details in the website:
A. Sanctioned plans, layout plans, specifications, number of building(s) or wing(s) in the project, schedule of completion, provisions for civic infrastructure like water, sanitation and electricity etc.
B. One can also view quarterly update of the bookings done, covered parking/garages booked, approvals taken/pending after Commencement Certificate is issued, status of the project and much more…
The authority further mandates that any marketing effort like advertisements or prospectus etc. must carry the website address of Telangana RERA authority clearly. All the marketing efforts also need to have the RERA registration number obtained from the Authority for the project being marketed. This helps the buyers – both home and commercial- to check and verify the claim of the builder in the website. Thus, preventing from being duped by unscrupulous elements.
Strict rules for builders that are home buyer centric
The home and commercial buyers of properties in Hyderabad / Telangana are required to have complete information at their disposal and make an informed decision. Also, helps them avoid the unregistered projects that are risky for the buyer.
The consumer centric measures of Telangana RERA include:
1. No alterations or additions in plans can be made by builder other than the sanctioned plans
2. If the builder fails to give timely possession (delivery), then the builder is liable to pay interest to the buyer on a monthly basis
3. If the buyer (allottees) want to withdraw from the project, they need to be refunded their money with interest
4. Builder / Promoter to ensure that within 2 months of occupancy certificate, with 60% of the project being handed over possession (after paying in full), the builder must facilitate formation of the ‘Association of Allottees’
5. Promoter / Builder to issue conveyance deed (registration of property in buyer’s name) within 3 months from date of occupancy, or when 60% of the allottees have taken possession having paid in full to the builder / promoter, whichever happens earlier
The key highlights of Telangana RERA for buyers of residential and commercial properties in Hyderabad / Telangana are:
i) promotion of transparent and smooth financial transactions between buyers and sellers of real estate properties
ii) project needs to be registered with Telangana RERA before construction without which marketing and selling is simply NOT allowed
iii) builders are held accountable for the money they take from buyers, and need to provide timely update of their projects
iv) a total of 70% of the amount taken from buyers to be safely set aside for the sole purpose of use in construction of the registered project
iv) a strong deterrence mechanism with penalties, and v) a customer centric redressal mechanism in place to keep up with the financial discipline by the builder / promoter.
With the Telangana RERA in place, the buyers, sellers as well as the agents benefit. The industry grows on the foundation of trust, transparency and a well-regulated structure. Business flourishes when there is an environment of trust and safety all around.
Clearly, Telangana RERA enabling the real estate sector is truly a win-win for everyone!
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