Pune is witnessing an unprecedented growth in employment opportunities leading to a steep demand for commercial & residential property in Pune; well-developed social infrastructure and Govt initiatives in Maharashtra combined to make it an excellent option to invest in Pune. Due to the unregulated real estate sector earlier, buyers were always at the receiving end of any developer frauds. To overcome this situation and to instill confidence among buyers, the Govt. of India introduced the RERA Act in 2016. Maharashtra has one of the most active Real Estate Regulatory Authorities in India-MahaRERA.
MahaRERA came into existence on May 1, 2017. The real estate scenario in India called for some control mechanism to revive buyers’ confidence in the realty market. To address this Real Estate (Regulations and Development) Act 2016 was introduced wherein all States have to establish a regulatory authority to deal with the issues arising from transactions in the real estate market. Maharashtra’s version of RERA (MahaRERA) has made heads turn and is now setting an example for other states to follow.
As per 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 must sell, book, or advertise their projects only once they are registered and are compliant with MahaRERA. This authority takes up consumer complaints, deals with disclosures by developers, and registration of projects as well as agents. Individuals 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.
The establishment of the real estate regulator was intended to ensure accountability towards property buyers and protect their interests, bring in transparency in transactions, reduce delays in project hand-over, establish a fast track dispute mechanism and boost investor confidence in the realty market. MahaRERA handles registrations related to the state of Maharashtra as well as the union territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu.
Since Maharashtra RERA has some of the most active real estate markets under its jurisdiction, like the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and Pune, the quantum of investment in these markets is much more, as compared to other cities, which affects the life of homebuyers, as well as investors.
MahaRERA has an official website that is very user-friendly- https://maharerait.mahaonline.gov.in/. The website provides information on projects which have been registered with the MahaRERA. It facilitates homebuyers and property investors to be better informed. The website provides information on projects such as expected date of possession, the credibility of brokers, etc; in fact, borrowers/home buyers can now know when the project is going to be completed and they can decide when they should apply for a home loan too.
An individual can view projects online to know the current status of their project. The authority uploads all the registered projects across the State on an online map so that any prospective buyers may view the projects under construction, scrutinize the amenities before visiting the site. Here you also get to view the details of the projects and the various permissions granted along with complaints registered and resolved.
MahaRERA allows the process of registration and fee payment online.
You can complain about any project if required; MahaRERA has an extremely speedy settlement of complaints.
MahaRERA is quite buyer-friendly. With the status of the project available online, you can figure out delays in the completion of projects; the delays are handled stringently. For any delays, if the buyers do not want to withdraw from the project, the developers are required to compensate the buyers by way of refunding them money along with interest at the stipulated rate for every month of delay till the developer’s hands over the property to the buyers.
All in all, if you are buying a property in Maharashtra, you will be able to make an informed decision about the builder/promoter. Perhaps the greatest benefit that customers have is the reinforced trust in the real estate sector. This has led to a reinvigoration of the sector and greater confidence among property buyers.
Before the implementation of the RERA Act, there was a lack of transparency in the real estate sector; buyers were left to the mercy of developers to obtain possession of the property they purchased. Earlier the promoters and developers could publish non-factual advertisements, etc. But now with RERA in place, the consumer has access to all the information related to the project in which he has invested; the developer has to report on its progress and intimate about delays. Also, the buyers have the right to question each step involved in both development and promotion.
The developers can no more funnel funds collected from investors and redirect them to some other projects. The down payment has been fixed at 10%. Non-compliance to RERA provisions attracts penal action of imprisonment up to 3 years as well as a financial penalty.
Also now developers must deposit 70% of all funds paid towards a particular project into a single account. These funds are to be used only for construction or the cost of land. Developers must also report progress periodically on the project to the regulatory authorities.
The area of a property is often calculated in three different ways – carpet area, built-up area, and super built-up area. Hence, when it comes to buying a property, this can leads to a lot of disconnects, between what you pay and what you get. Not surprisingly, the maximum number of cases registered in the consumer courts, are against developers on the issue of cheating, vis-à-vis the size of the flat. As per changed RERA provisions, it is now the duty of the developer, to make buyers aware of the carpet area and quote prices based on this and not the super built-up area.
As per the RERA guidelines, a builder must disclose the exact carpet area, so that a customer knows what he is paying for. Section 61 of the RERA says that for providing false information and other such contraventions, the promoter may have to pay a penalty of 5% of the estimated cost of the real estate project.
MahaRERA is a blessing to real estate customers in Maharashtra. With all information related to their project available online and stringent RERA rules, their money is safe.