The implementation of a regulator for real estate transactions in India was expected to revive buyers’ confidence in the realty market. It has been little over a year since the Centre enacted the model law and the regulation is still a work in progress in most States. But Maharashtra’s version of RERA (MahaRERA) has made heads turn and is now setting an example for other States to follow.

What is it?

Under the Real Estate (Regulations and Development) Act 2016, all States have to establish a regulatory authority to deal with the issues arising from transactions in real estate market. With effect from May 1, 2017, all sections of this Act came into effect in Maharashtra. The State has established MahaRERA (Maharashtra Real estate Regulatory Authority) on March 2017 for regulation and promotion of real estate sector. Since the entire State is covered under MahaRERA, it is mandatory for all ongoing commercial and residential projects to be registered with the real estate regulator. The developers or promoters in the State are not allowed to sell, book or advertise their projects unless they are registered and compliant with MahaRERA. Maharashtra has appointed a regulatory authority which will deal with disclosures by developers, registration of projects as well as agents and take up consumer complaints. Any aggrieved individual can file a complaint with MahaRERA or the adjudicating officer with respect to any registered or non-registered real estate projects for any violations of regulations.

Why is it important?

The establishment of the real estate regulator was intended to ensure accountability towards property buyers and protect their interests, bring in the transparency in transactions, reduce delays in project hand-over, establish a fast track dispute mechanism and boost investor confidence in the realty market.

MahaRERA has ticked all these boxes since its launch. An individual can view projects online to know the status of their development and their expected date of completion. For instance, if you would like to check out the Esquire project developed by Oberoi Realty, the search result will give you the project type, project status (on-going or completed), proposed date of completion, whether subject to litigation, project type (residential or commercial), address of the project, proposed and sanctioned buildings, FSI details and the number of flats booked. Since MahaRERA has also transitioned the process of registration and fees payment online, you can see the details of number of projects registered and permissions granted along with complaints registered and resolved in the website.

MahaRERA has gained a reputation for speedy settlement of complaints. Of the total 4,090 complaints received, orders were passed for 2,370 according to the recent statistics available in the MahaRERA website.

Why should I care?

If you are buying property in Maharashtra, with the RERA in force, you will be able to make an informed decision about the builder/promoter. Unless an agreement for sale is registered, no developer can accept more than 10 per cent of the cost as advance payment from a buyer. With buyers’ interest at the forefront, promoters are mandated to pay interest for every month of delay. Buyers too are expected to make payment on time. Furthermore, Maharashtra regulatory authority uploads all the registered projects across the State on an online map so that prospective buyers can view the projects under construction, scrutinise the amenities before visiting the site.

Bottom line

MahaRERA proves that a regulated real estate market can be a win-win for all.

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