Real Estate Bill 2016 – A Welcome Change

Cheer amongst home buyers as amendments minimise risks and hurdles.

In a move to ensure the protection of home buyers and safeguarding their interests mutually with developers, the Cabinet cleared some key amendments to the Real Estate Bill in March 2016. The Pride Purple group welcomes these changes and vows to stand by them. The revised bill will improve procedural efficiency, transparency between developers and home buyers and also help attract more investment to the sector. The bill ensures ‘developer and government accountability,’ so that you can be sure of getting your money’s worth and within a promised time frame. Following are some key changes in the bill:

  1. Timely execution of projects:
    It provides for setting up of Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERAs) which will ensure timely execution of projects. The real estate authorities will regulate transactions related to both residential and commercial projects and ensure their timely completion and handover. The proposed law makes it mandatory for all residential and commercial projects to register with the Regulator and will apply to new and ongoing projects.
  2. Appellate Tribunals:
    Appellate Tribunals will now be required to adjudicate cases in 60 days as against the earlier provision of 90 days and Regulatory Authorities will have to dispose of complaints in 60 days. The Bill provides for imprisonment of up to three years for promoters and up to one year for real estate agents and buyers in case of any violation of orders of Appellate Tribunals or monetary penalties or both.
  3. Guidelines from the State Government:
    All state governments would now soon come out with guidelines enabling time-bound approval procedures for housing projects with appropriate penalties for erring departments/ministries.
  4. Limit on the receipt of advance payment:
    A promoter shall not accept a sum more than 10% percent of the cost of the apartment, plot, or building, as the case may be, as an advance payment or an application fee without first entering into a written agreement and registration of sale.
  5. Carpet Area, Clearances and Structural Defects:
    The parameters for carpet area have now been clearly defined. This eliminates ambiguity and scope for malpractices by developers. The bill also ensures that all clearances are completed before the launch of a project. Liability of developers for structural defects has been increased from 2 years to 5 years and they can’t change plans without the consent of two thirds of allottees.

Sources: Indian Express, DNA, India Today, NDTV, IBN, The Hindu, Economic Times

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