RERA (Real Estate Regulation Act) was passed in 2016 in order to bring in transparency in the real estate sector. The RERA Act has created a kind of uniformity in the real estate sector. As per the Act, the builders must provide the flats to the buyers on a fixed date; they must provide the owners with information about the progress of construction, and follow the rules as laid down by the Act. The RERA Act, when passed, was made buyer-friendly rather than builder friendly.
Possession date is an important clause in the agreement made between a builder and a home buyer. Possession date is a date when the builder promises to complete the construction work of the building, obtain permissions from the local authorities, and hands over the keys of the flat to the rightful owner. It is a date by which the builder must give the possession of the flat to the owner. The possession date is normally a few months or years from the date of signing the agreement. The builder must provide the possession on time or else face the penalty as prescribed in the Real Estate Regulation Act.
The Real Estate Regulation Act is an act that was passed to protect the rights and savings of homebuyers from the builders. Section 18 of the Real Estate Regulation Act states that, if a builder fails to hand over possession of the flat as per the date mentioned in the Agreement of Sale, the homebuyer has two options-:
He can terminate the agreement and seek a refund from the builder, wherein the builder is liable to pay the entire amount paid by the homebuyer with the rate of interest. The percent of the rate of interest differs from state to state
The person can agree to continue with the project. However, the concerned person must be paid interest for every month of delay.
If the builder has delayed in giving the possession of flats to the flat owner and also refuses to pay the interest, then the aggrieved person can approach the court and initiate legal proceedings against the person under Section 31 of the Real Estate Regulation Act.
The format of filing complaints is different for different states. Although the basic structure remains the same, the aggrieved person must provide the RERA registration number, basic details of the project, description as to how the RERA act has been violated by the builder, compensation if any, and other relevant documents such as Agreement for Sale, payment proofs to the RERA. One copy must also be provided to the builder. Thereafter the RERA will provide a date for the hearing.
While hearing, the Adjudicating officer must follow the Principles of Natural Justice, i.e., he must hear both the sides and ask questions, if any, to the parties and thereafter decide the matter. The good part of RERA is that there is no Adjournment culture as Section 71 of the Act prescribes a time limit of 60 days within which the matter must be decided.
The party against whom the decision is not in favor of an appeal against the judgment before the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal within 60 days from the date when the order was passed by the Adjudicating Officer.
The RERA Act is regarded as Buyer friendly, it is a major step towards the protection of the homebuyer’s rights. Previously the aggrieved buyers would file complaints against the builder, but it would take years to come to a decision. With the enactment of the RERA Act, the aggrieved person can receive justice speedily on account of delay in receiving the possession of the flat.