Property and real estate sector have been more popular for unpleasant buyer experiences. History tells us that lot of builders have misled potential home buyers at their whims and fancies with an intention of making huge sums of money in quick succession. In the process, potential buyer(s) who is generally a common individual(s) ends up losing hard earned money, almost the entire life-savings in some cases. Research has proven time and again that there exists a severe lack of transparency and accountability in the sector. To make matters worse there was no regulator where complaints could be filed against rowdy property developers.
However, the government took cognizance of the fact that setting up an independent real-estate regulator was the need of the hour for faster redressal of complaints. It was in May 2016 that the Indian Government passed the Real Estate Regulation Authority (RERA), Act for addressing concerns of buyers, builders, brokers and all other stakeholders of the real estate industry. Under the Act, each state in India was required to set up an independent regulatory body for monitoring and regulating the real estate sector in the respect state. Currently, 22 states and 6 union territories have an independent regulatory body.
What is MahaRERA?
The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) is a regulatory body that has been established in May 2017 to provide an oversight to the real estate industry in the state of Maharashtra. Over the last several years, MahaRERA has proven to be one of the most efficient and vigilant real estate regulatory bodies in the country.
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For the state of Maharashtra, MahaRERA is generally responsible for the following:
- Overlooking and regulating the real estate sector
- Registering new projects of builders (commercial or residential)
- Providing access about information of registered, unregistered and lapsed projects to buyers
- Registering brokers and agents
- Keep a watch on builder activities and project monitoring for compliance to various laws
- Acting as an Appellate Tribunal for registering complaints of aggrieved buyers
- Ensuring faster dispute settlements between buyer(s) and builder(s)
With setting up of MahaRERA, some of the following illegitimate activities on part of errant builders have significantly reduced:
- Delaying project completion resulting in delayed deliveries to buyers
- Sharing misleading project information with buyers for getting bookings
- Misusing project funds
- Not sharing the project delivery date clearly with buyers
- Making changes in property or project without taking buyer’s consent
How can buyers verify the status of a project or property or builder or broker or agent?
As per the RERA Act, it has become mandatory for builder and brokers to register with the state RERA body for legally operating in the real estate industry. It is also mandatory for builders to register all the projects that they plan to launch for development. This registration has to be done prior to starting the construction activities.
MahaRERA, for example, charges a small registration fee from builders and brokers who wish to get registered. Upon successful registration a unique RERA Number is issued to the builder, broker and each property that is registered under MahaRERA. This is process is mostly common across states. However, registration charges or fee may vary from one state to the another. As per the guidelines laid by law, it is also mandatory for all builders and brokers registered under MahaRERA, to publish the RERA Number of all MahaRERA registered properties on their websites.
How to verify the project or builder or broker details on MahaRERA?
Any buyer who wishes to verify the MahaRERA registration status of a builder or broker or property can take the following steps for verifying the details:
- Log on to MahaRERA official website - https://maharera.mahaonline.gov.in
- Click on ‘Registration’ option and go to ‘Registered Project’
- A new page will open where the user needs to:
- Go to ‘User Type’ and then select one option:
- Registered Projects
- Registered Agents
- Revoked Projects
- Here you can also search any builder or broker or agent using the:
- Project Name
- Promoter Name
- MahaRERA Number
- Go to ‘User Type’ and then select one option:
- On filing the details and clicking on ‘Search’, details of the registered project or builder or broker or agent are displayed on the screen
- Project location
- Type – residential or commercial
- Current status
- Estimated completion date
Is there a need of a property lawyer?
Yes, a potential buyer may feel the need of taking help of a property lawyer who have in-depth knowledge of the RERA Act, especially when they are at a dispute with the builder.
Many errant builders still publish misleading information to attract buyers for project booking, or make alterations to the property designs midway of the construction process without taking permission from the buyer or mostly delay the handover of the finished property to the buyer on agreed timeline. In the process, buyer feels cheated and betrayed despite making all efforts of paying builders in a timely manner. Distressed buyers can file a complaint as per guidelines laid in the act to invoke its provisions and take legal actions. A qualified and competent property lawyer comes in handy in such situations and it is only and always pragmatic to involve one.
Note: MahaRERA charges a nominal fee of Rs. 50 per complaint from buyers for registering a complaint against a builder or broker or agent. The process of complaint registration can be done on MahaRERA website. Additionally, buyers can use the website to verify the details of a builder or property or project or agent or broker. It is, however, advisable to consult a property lawyer for proper verification and complaint registration process.
If you are facing similar issues with your builder, you need to consult a competent property lawyer right away on the LegalKart platform.