BENGALURU: The inordinate delay in notifying the rules of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act or RERA by the Karnataka government has corroborated the homebuyers’ apprehension that the state government is likely to safeguard the interests of buyers who invest in new realty projects and not of those who have invested in the existing ones.
Despite RERA coming into force on May 1, only 11 states and 7 UTs have notified state rules while rest are in the process. Although Karnataka was the first state to notify the draft rules last year, it’s yet to come out with the final rules and set up a state-level regulatory authority mandated by the Act. The buyers apprehend that the final rules proposed by the housing department may exclude projects for which builders have applied for occupancy certificates or part completion certificates under pressure from the builders’ lobby.
By delaying the notification of rules, buyers allege, the government is facilitating builders to apply for occupancy and completion certificates so that they won’t come within the ambit of the RERA regulations. At least 8,000 realty projects in Bengaluru alone are either delayed or are facing charges of delaying possession.
Home buyers who have invested in the existing projects were left disappointed with the recent cabinet decision to defer the agenda claiming the discussion was incomplete. Fight for RERA, a group of prospective homebuyers, accused the state’s Congress government of favouring developers, but claimed to have received a positive response from Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and party’s newly-appointed state in-charge K C Venu Gopal, who, they said, ensured that Karnataka will not deviate from the fundamental rules to keep up the spirit of the law brought out by the previous UPA government.
M S Shankar, convener of Fight for RERA’s Karnataka Chapter, said, “There is likelihood that corrupt practices will prop up in the transition period and subsequently in the offices of sub-registrars by registering properties which are under the ambit of RERA without following project registration process. We will meet the CM soon and ask him to direct all the sub-registrars not to register properties without completion certificate or occupation certificate of the projects under the ambit of RERA. The planning area authorities and local authorities should also be asked to be proactive and meticulous while issuing completion or occupation certificates.
A top housing department official involved with implementation of the Act said that interests of all the stakeholders will be safeguarded and the law will be enforced after incorporating feedback from the homebuyers’ association.
‘RERA rules must cover all projects’
We want the final RERA rules to cover all the ongoing commercial and residential projects, including plotted projects, which don’t have completion or occupancy certificate
– J C Sharma, a leading developer
What is RERA?
RERA, which came into force on May 1, provides a speedy dispute resolution mechanism in case of default by developers. It also stipulates compulsory registration of all residential realty projects with the regulator, where plot sizes are more than 500sqm. This applies to ongoing, under-construction projects too. All the states have to notify rules and set up their own regulators but so far only 11 states and 7 UTs have notified the rules, and only Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Maharashtra have set up a state level regulatory authority.