If a homebuyer feels cheated by a property developer, he/she can approach the appropriate authorities under the newly enacted Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA).
If a builder of under construction project refuses to return the money, the complainant can seek justice under RERA.
In such a case a customer can file a complaint under Section 31 of RERA either with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority or the adjudicating officer. This complaint can be filed against promoters, allotters and/or real estate agents.
Many state governments have laid out the procedures for filing applications under RERA. A complaint must be in the form prescribed as per the respective state government’s rules.
The complainant can visit the RERA portal of the respective state government. The fees for filing varies from state to state. For example, in Maharashtra, the fee is Rs 5,000 while in Karnataka the fee is Rs 1,000.
Karnataka, Maharashtra and UP are some of the states where one can go to the RERA website and file a complaint. All your details such as project name, its address, total value of the flat and date of completion should be as per the agreement.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) may take time for final adjudication so RERA offers a hope for expeditious disposal and early resolution of a complaint.
If your case is pending before the NCDRC then you can withdraw the case and approach the RERA authority directly.
“The best part of RERA is that you can expect a faster resolution in comparison to other legal forums for that matter. It is a quasi-judicial authority meant for only real estate matters. Therefore, real estate cases can be better handled under RERA,” a lawyer was quoted as saying.
RERA is consumer friendly and looks into real estate cases only. It is more competent to understand the relief a consumer may need and chances are high that the dispute is resolved at the earliest.
Some of the benefits of filing a complaint under RERA are fast disposal of cases; promoters cannot manipulate the law; transparency is high; and buyers can claim compensation for delayed projects.
As per the Central RERA law, any project that did not have a completion certificate by May 1, 2017 would be an ‘ongoing project’ and amenable to RERA. However, some states have set a different yardstick for what would constitute an ‘ongoing project’ and consumers in those states would face a jurisdictional hurdle in approaching the state RERA.