What is Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA)?
We might have seen the words REAR and RERA-approved plots, in flyers. But how many of you know what is RERA and what it has to do with real estate? RERA (Real Estate Regulatory Authority), as the name suggests, is a regulatory body established to ensure smooth functioning, avoid corruption, and avoid builders levying extra charges on the public.
Building a house or buying a plot is a huge milestone in people’s lives. At the same time, thinking of buying a house and the process it entails can be intimidating. Before RERA and its rules, since there were no particular rules to govern the process, there was a lot of money mismanagement, opaque practices, prolonged delays in the process, and money transacted under the table. Considering this, the nation employed the watchdog, RERA under the RERA Act, 2016 to oversee all the residential and commercial projects above 500 sq. m.
In simple terms:
Imagine RERA as a watchdog that guards home buyers from corrupt builders and creates stringent deadlines, crucial project details, and mandated registration to create a safe environment for home buyers. Over the years, RERA has redefined how real estate is and comes up with updated regulations every year.
You can associate RERA with confidence since it safeguards you from fraudulent activities. It is established under the Real Estate Act of 2016. It operates on a three-tier structure:
- Central RERA – It oversees the national framework, provides guidelines, and solves inter-state disputes.
- State RERA – Functions and governs framework within the state, registering construction projects, and solving local disputes regarding the same.
- RERA authorities – It is established in every major district and city to oversee frameworks and actively solve disputes.
Governance of RERA varies from place to place. Robust areas like Maharashtra and Karnataka are the early adapters of RERA, whereas some regions such as Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan are still catching up. The infrastructure, regional needs, and variations in the legal systems determine the rules. But the core principle of RERA is transparency and smooth functioning of the Real Estate industry nationwide.
Key Functions of RERA
Here are some key functions of RERA that benefit home buyers:
1. Registration and Disclosure
Transparency is the credo of RERA. Before the establishment of RERA, there was a lot of misconduct, and involvement of unaccounted money stood between home buyers and the builders.
With the RERA Act 2016, every development project that is above a certain amount should be registered with the construction details, ownership, approval, and financial statements. With these sensitive documents made opaque and available online, illegal activities have been reduced.
2. Setting Up Regulations for Developers and Real Estate Agents
Goodbye to the days when you have to pay developers and real estate agents under the table. This was one of the huge threats that home buyers faced. RERA has imposed some stringent rules regarding charging fair prices for the services. With this, a huge deal of buyers’ funds can be saved. According to the act, severe actions will be taken against officials who overcharge.
3. Fast-track Dispute Solving
No more languishment in solving disputes. RERA has established tribunals in every state and district to solve disputes between buyers and sellers quickly. It cuts down the never-ending wait and frequent visits to the court.
4. Protecting Homebuyers’ Rights and Interests
Back then, the field was hugely centered on developers and real estate agents, leaving the homebuyers behind. RERA helps homebuyers in the following ways:
- By providing detailed information regarding the project without holding back anything, the homebuyers can make informed decisions.
- It helps buyers step back once they feel stalled. They can also retrieve their money if they want to without much hassle.
- By mandating the usage of escrow accounts, misusage of money is avoided.
- RERA encourages buyers to form an association, helping them voice their concerns.
Benefits of RERA for Homebuyers
Imagine stepping into a room full of darkness where you have to take every step carefully and you do not know what lies before you. Wouldn’t it be frightening? Now imagine stepping into a room bathed with sunlight where you can see everything clearly with ample ventilation. How would that be? These are the before and after of RERA. As a homebuyer, RERA provides the following benefits:
- RERA has mandated the disclosure of the project blueprints and the layouts to the buyers to help buyers make calculated decisions.
- With the updated rules, the homebuyers will be informed of the legitimacy of the documents such as construction and all the necessary approvals. This will help them tread peacefully.
- Developers are instructed to disclose all the financial transactions regarding the project to ensure financial health and prevent scams, and unfinished projects.
Your wait is over with the RERA Online Portal
All your information regarding the housing project is no longer stored in a dusty file kept in the even more dusty rooms of the offices. You do not have to wait for someone to get your information. It is available at your fingertips. You just have to log on to the online portal, fill in the required information, and get the information you want to know.
It does not stop there, RERA runs an extra mile to help you. Not only the registration details, but you can also keep track of all the construction processes in the online portal to help buyers at peace. This open communication saves time and effort.
- Your long wait ends with RERA. You do not have to wait for a longer period to get your construction done. With RERA’s stringent rules, developers have to adhere to strict timelines and get the work done ASAP. Developers cannot shrink the square footage. They have to stick to the regulations and provide what the homebuyers deserve.
- RERA will not tolerate subpar constructions. RERA encourages buyers to raise a complaint if the project is not up to the standard.
- RERA imposes penalties in case of delay in the construction process. This will get things done on time and help buyers.
Challenges of RERA in the Future
RERA has undoubtedly changed the way real estate used to function. The tables have turned. However, there are some challenges that RERA has and will have in the future. Some of the challenges of RERA are as follows:
- All the rules and regulations of the authority are tailored specifically to make things easier for homebuyers. But still, there are some people, especially from rural areas who are unaware of the situation and fear the whole process. They should be educated by conducting campaigns to ensure equal development throughout the country.
- Implementing these schemes and stringent rules is not child’s play. It requires manpower. The lack of skilled manpower is one of the huge hurdles RERA has.
- As the bright side grows, the darker one grows with it. Despite the stringent rules and timelines, some people find their way to rise above all these and continue to exploit homebuyers. Vigilance should be severed to ensure non-fraudulent activities.
The Government’s Meticulous Efforts
The government is working meticulously to put an end to the malpractices circling the area. Some of the efforts taken by the government are as follows:
- The government is actively conducting campaigns, and outreach programs online and offline. They are holding hands with private media to reach awareness in every corner of the country.
- They are actively engaging in educating interested candidates to help reach the word to the last person in the country.
- Regulatory bodies are staying vigilant in avoiding malpractices in the area. They actively seek feedback from buyers to ensure transparency.
Good luck with your future house!
The Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) is a watchdog appointed by the government to avoid malpractices in the field. It is a regulatory body controlled by the government to help homebuyers tread carefully and without any hassle. With RERA, the spotlight is on the buyers. Things have changed a huge deal after RERA. Developers swindled a lot of money from homebuyers before the establishment of RERA. Now, the tables have turned and with the stringent rules imposed by the government, someone can’t perform malpractice. However, some grey areas need some attention. It is the duty of every one of us to spread the word and make sure even the last one of us knows what RERA is.
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