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Real Estate Bill And The Road Ahead

The bill imposes onerous responsibility on builders in the form of project registration and mandatory disclosures on a regular basis through a portal to be maintained by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority

The Indian real estate market has seen a sea change in terms of development in the recent years and thus, industry experts are keeping high hopes that the market will gain its reputation after the implementation of RERA in each state. It has been accumulated that the real estate sector will generate revenues worth $180 billion by 2020 against $66.8 billion in 2010-11. Several policies and schemes announced by the Government of India have benefitted the real estate sector profusely in the recent years. To promote this sector even more, on 25 March 2016, RERA received the assent of the President of India. It has paved the way to setting up of a real estate regulator.

As one of the industry expert recently said that RERA is formed to revolutionize the way real estate is built, sold and consumed in India. The main aim of this bill was to set up a regulatory body to guard consumers and promote the sector. According to the bill, the regulatory body will address disputes and improve the image of the industry, which was degrading in the past few years due to various reports on forgery by unknown developers.

The major advantages for the buyer in lieu with the new bill are that the bill provides for mandatory registration of all projects with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority in each State. Real estate agents who intend to sell any plot, apartment or building should also register themselves with this authority. It makes mandatory the disclosure of all information for registered projects like details of promoters, layout plan, land status, schedule of execution and status of various approvals. It seeks to enforce the contract between the developer and buyer and act as a fast track mechanism to settle disputes. The bill prohibits a developer from changing the plan in a project unless two-thirds of the buyers have agreed for such a change.

In concise, the bill of 2016 is a big leap ahead which keeps the buyer's point in view and keeps a healthy check on the builder/seller. The bill casts an onerous responsibility on builders, in the form of project registration and mandatory disclosures on a regular basis through a portal to be maintained by the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). The bill strongly works towards the correction within the sector that were caused due to absence of regulatory body. Moreover, with the passing of the model Building Byelaws, government again has shown that they are in full swing to streamline the approvals.

The bill stipulates that the brokers need to register themselves with the State regulatory authority. This comes as a very big step by the government that will eventually lead to a transparency and professionalism in the real estate brokerage sector. Moving into an organized mode will make the real estate sector more lucrative. Progression in this sector totally depends on the broker's skills and catering according to the needs of the customer. The brokerage profession with sufficient training is heading towards more organized zone. Training will play a crucial role for the industry to have NEW AGE BROKERS and eradicate Fly by Night brokers.

These are the major changes and focus points of the Real Estate bill 2016 but still there are so many challenges which are to be tapped and covered by the future amendments namely; The bill is restricted to only purchase and sale of real estate projects and it misses out on the problems faced by builders when it comes to approval bottlenecks. The requirement to park 70 percent of collection in a separate escrow account is likely to be a big dampener for the already cash strapped builder. I believe that it's a good move but the only hunch being that the burden should not fall on the end customers due to unnecessary price rise. These are some of the shortcomings of the bill that can be worked on in future, with time as the bill would be implemented on a practical ground we would see the finer details and would understand what more needs to be worked which would ultimately lay grounds for the newer amendment.

With all these benefits and lags in the bill, the year is still going to be vital in making a strong foundation for this sector to move ahead in the right direction and eventually emerge as a developed mature market based on trust, accountability and customer service.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.



Sam Chopra

A Chartered Accountant by profession, Sam Chopra is the chairman of CybizCorp, which specializes in consulting, incubation, franchising, licensing and channel distribution. He is the founder and chairman of RE/MAX India and also the president-elect of National Association of Realtors

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