The real estate business is in higher demand than ever before, because of the ever-increasing need for homes and infrastructure. Although the second wave of Covid has proven to be fatal and devastating, and the real estate industry, like many others, has been savagely impacted, demand continues to soar.
The Indian real estate market is seen as an unorganized sector that lacks transparency and responsibility from promoters and developers, particularly owing to delays in project completion and pre-determined timelines, placing purchasers in a bind.
The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act was created to balance the interests of all stakeholders and to solve the sector’s various structural difficulties. Its main goal was to guarantee that the interests of buyers of commercial and residential real estate units were safeguarded by bringing uniformity to varied state statutes. Furthermore, different relevant authorities were established and conferred with the authority to enact the Act’s provisions, to set up the machinery for administering and adjudicating the Act’s provisions, and to promulgate regulations and rules under the Act in a timely way.
The settlement of complaints and disputes by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) and real estate appellate tribunals is similarly time-bound under the Act, indicating the legislators’ aim to safeguard consumers’ interests.
Furthermore, the Act contains several provisions that address the sector’s shortcomings, including strict liability for promoter irregularities and a disclosure framework in which they are required to register for real estate projects and projects that cannot be sold, advertised, or booked without the necessary approvals. In addition, the Act sets several legal and commercial constraints on promoters and developers to instill a feeling of responsibility in them.
Another notable provision of the Act concerns delays caused by the promoter in handing over possession of the property; in such cases, the promoter is liable to return the money with interest or compensation, and if the consumer does not want to withdraw, they are entitled to the interest amount accrued during the delay period. Finally, to guarantee that the Act is followed and that purchasers are not the only ones who suffer as a result of delays in the completion of a project, strict requirements were enacted as a deterrent, as well as criminal measures for infractions committed by purchasers or real estate brokers.
Despite the urgent need for a strong real estate activity in today’s pandemic-stricken country, where the demand for housing and infrastructure is unending, RERA has not been proactively discussed and adopted in its true spirit and form, which, if done, would allow for a smooth transition from the Act’s inconsistent and ambiguous state to being a beacon of hope for all parties involved.