MUMBAI: A poll conducted by Magicbricks, India?s No.1 property site, shows that 74 per cent of respondents do not know that it is mandatory to check if the project is registered with state Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) and how to go about checking it on the RERA website. Even a year after its implementation, the RERA (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, seems to be far from creating the connect as 74 percent of home buyers still don?t know how to check if their projects are registered under this Act, revealed Magicbricks Consumer Choice Poll.
In fact 12 months have passed by and 15 states are yet to set up the online sites where developers can list their projects and consumers can check all information about the projects. For a law which is aimed at protecting consumer interest and promote fair play in real estate transactions, this is a poor number.
“States where the governments have been proactive and got the website and the machinery going have also seen a large number of consumers using it to check the legality of their project. However, since a large number of states are yet to get their act together, consumer awareness too is low,” said E Jayashree Kurup, Head Editorial and Advice, Magicbricks.
Even though developers are following the mandate of mentioning their RERA registration number in the advertisements that they feature, not many home buyers can cross check the details at the official portal in states where the websites are not up and running.
Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh were the first states to be ready with the RERA authority and websites on May 1, 2017, when the law became a reality. Maharashtra?s real estate developers are registering their projects with RERA authority websites and mentioning the registration number in their advertisements. Where it is not followed the RERA regulators have been penalising them and publishing the same. But how much impact there has been on the ground and in the lives of the home buyers.
Developers and brokers across Maharashtra swear that consumers are actively using the website and keeping themselves up-to-date with approvals, stages of construction and all other details related to the project. More than 15000 projects are already registered with the Maha RERA.
On the other hand, in Gurgaon, more than 150 projects are registered but as there is no Haryana or Gurgaon RERA website operational, consumers cannot use these as reference points to check approvals or completion status. However, the authorities are now set up and consumers can either mail or physically visit the offices in Gurgaon and Panchkula and get their problems and doubts cleared.
“As a prospective home buyer, you must check the information about the project put up on these websites. The details on the brochures and marketing material has to conform to what is posted on the website. Moreover, the RERA website also informs you about the projects available in your area,” says E Jayashree Kurup.
All states have adopted RERA and are in various stages of execution. So, in case a RERA portal is not functional, a home buyer can check with the RERA authority about the status of the project. If an under-construction project is not registered with the state?s RERA authority, the consumer can make a complaint to the authority which then has to ensure that the project is registered.
So, let us redefine the property buying cycle. It now begins with checking the RERA registration number on the advertisement of the developer and then cross checking it on the website. It is just the matter of time that all RERA websites will be robust containing all the information required by home buyers.