Builder defied deal? Homebuyers have to approach UP-Rera again


Buyers who have lodged complaints in UP-Rera through a conciliator but are yet to get a satisfactory resolution will have to make fresh appeals to get their cases heard.

UP-Rera member Balvinder Kumar said a complainant is given two options on the regulatory body’s website — a buyer can either file a case through a conciliator, which is free of cost, or make a direct appeal to get the case heard in the Rera court.

The conciliator usually helps the builder and buyer reach an agreement, which is signed by both parties for future reference. However, several buyers have alleged that builders are yet to honour the agreements, even after months of signing them.

A group of 45 buyers of a housing project in Noida Extension had approached the conciliator over delay in handing over their flats. “We had booked our flats in 2010 and were supposed to get delivery by 2013. After six years, we approached UP-Rera through the conciliatory forum. An agreement was reached between the builder and us that they would hand over the flats by December 2019. But till date, nothing has moved. We have just wasted time,” said Bhupendra Tiwari, a buyer.

Ravindra Jain, who has bought two shops in a project, said, “I had approached the conciliator to get the penalty for delay in handover. The conciliator had made an agreement and the builder had agreed to pay the penalty. But it was not honoured later. We tried reaching out to the UP-Rera again. But the lockdown had been enforced by then.”

Arun Taneja, who booked a flat in another project, had a similar complaint over penalty. “The conditions laid down in the agreement by the conciliator have not been honoured by the builder. The terms of penalty payment that the builder had promised in the meeting have been defied by them. What are we supposed to do now?” he asked.

RD Paliwal, a conciliator for UP-Rera, said, “In most cases, builders do agree to meet the promises. But we have not been able to issue signed documents for cases heard via video conference during the lockdown. We usually put the agreements on a document and send it to both parties. If some agreements have not been honoured, we will look into them again,” Paliwal said.

Kumar said the process of approaching a conciliator first can be time-taking. “When a buyer opts for conciliation, the builder often gains time. It is better that buyers make an appeal in the UP-Rera court. If the court feels there can be conciliation, it can issue a directive. In that case, Rera has some enforcement powers, unlike in a conciliation agreement. So, if a conciliation has not been honoured, buyers will have to make a fresh appeal,” Kumar said.


Now online applications for project’s registration will be submitted in RERA


In view of the corona pandemic, promoters are required to submit applications through RERA web application for registration of project with Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA). For scrutiny by the RERA, promoters are required to submit hard copies of only 5 necessary documents. The remaining documents will be submitted online only.

Promoters are required to submit hard copies of 5 documents along with the application i.e. certified photo copy of Khasra (Form B 1), original affidavit for new project and original affidavit cum declaration (Form B) or any other affidavit required with application. Along with this, they are required to submit only A 3 size lay out plan approved by the Town and Country Planning and document of building plan certified by the competent authority. Submission of hard copies of any other documents with the authority is not necessary for the promoters. Only online documents are sufficient for the promoters.


Kerala: K-RERA to introduce virtual hearing from July, number of registrations cross 100 in the state

K-RERA (Kerala real estate regulatory authority) will launch virtual hearing from July on wards to redress rising number of complaints regarding real estate projects; especially those of emergency nature. The registration of real estate projects has also crossed 100 in the state. K-RERA has given registration to 135 projects till date and the figures are expected to cross 200 in next two weeks.

K-RERA has recently communicated that the authority has been compelled to adjourn all the hearings of complaints till June 30. In case of complaints requiring urgent hearing, the complainants have been directed to submit an application through e-mail along with their complaints. K-RERA which began hearing of complainants on February 5 had to put off hearing during lock down and owing to social distancing measures, the authority has been focusing on complaints of emergency nature alone. Over 230 complaints are now pending with K-RERA for redressal and many of the complaints are centred around single project with multiple parties filing complaints against the builder.

K-RERA has recently communicated that the authority has been compelled to adjourn all the hearings of complaints till June 30. In case of complaints requiring urgent hearing, the complainants have been directed to submit an application through e-mail along with their complaints. K-RERA which began hearing of complainants on February 5 had to put off hearing during lock down and owing to social distancing measures, the authority has been focusing on complaints of emergency nature alone. Over 230 complaints are now pending with K-RERA for redressal and many of the complaints are centred around single project with multiple parties filing complaints against the builder.

The authority had thought of an e-court like system to do virtual hearing however the web portal needs to be upgraded to facilitate such a system. Virtual hearing will mainly focus on resolving complaints of emergency nature. “ There are a few complaints which require immediate redressal and it can’t be put off owing to restraints in arranging physical hearing process. Virtual hearing is going to be the way forward,” an official with K-RERA said.

K–RERA officials said that although the number of project registrations has crossed 100, majority of the projects come under ongoing category. Of the 135 projects which have been registered, only two come under new project category. Even with the number of applications pending for registration, less than 10 projects are categorised as new. “ This hints at a dullness in real estate sector given the present circumstances. We hope the situation to change as housing demand could go up,” an official with K-RERA said.

The authority has put off registrations for nearly three months owing to lockdown. There have been issues in proper filing of applications on the part of certain builders causing further delay in processing of applications.

With the frequent recurrence of inaccuracies and irregularities, K-RERA had earlier warned the promoters that it will invoke section 60 of Real estate ( regulation and development) act, 2016 which stipulates that any false information given or any contravention of provision of relevant sections by the promoter will attract a penalty which may extend up to 5% of the estimated cost of the real estate project.


Coronavirus impact | UP RERA extends deadline of real estate projects by three months

After MahaRERA and Karnataka RERA, UP RERA on April 14 extended the validity period of registration of real estate projects in the state by three months on account of COVID-19.

“In view of the dislocation of the construction activity under the real estate projects, CREDAI and NAREDCO have requested the Authority to extend the completion date of the projects as done by some other state RERAs,” UP RERA said in a statement.

In view of the slow pace of construction work due to the need for social distancing and movement restrictions and stoppage of the work following the national lockdown in March, the Authority has decided to extend by three months the date of completion of the projects with the date of completion between March 15, 2020 and December 31, 2020, it said.

The revised registration certificate of such projects will be issued separately and send to the concern promoters, the authority said in a statement.


NCR realty developers request RERA authorities to set aside penalty orders

Several developers in the National Capital Region have requested the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) of UP, Haryana and Delhi to delay recovery notices issued to builders by at least six months, in light of the Covid-19 crisis that has crippled the sector.

These builders were ordered before the clamping of the lockdown to pay compensation to homebuyers for project delays.

“We have requested that no adverse order of refund or recovery be issued for a minimum period of six months. Cash flows of our industry are badly impacted in the present scenario and no customer is able to pay the due instalments,” said RK Arora, the president of the Uttar Pradesh chapter of the National Real Estate Development Council.

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority had extended the validity of registration of projects by three months, effectively pushing back the deadline to complete the projects.

However, developers in the NCR are not keen for such an extension, and have instead sought relief in delaying payment of compensation to homebuyers and more time to file quarterly update on projects.

With mass exodus of labourers, developers fear mobilising construction workers to resume work would bea major challenge.

“It is impossible for the promoters to comply with the penalty orders. Considering the situation wherein the financial markets have collapsed, it will take a long time to get the required funds. Hence penalty should be reviewed and orders be set aside,” Arora told ET.

UP-RERA chairperson Rajiv Kumar told ET that it had held initial talks with developers and a final decision on what relief to offer would be taken soon.

“Expert opinion is that the Covid-19 impact will be long-lasting and will redefine the marketplace for the near future. We have requested to declare this lockdown as force majeure and extend the project completion period by a minimum 9-12 months. This is because once the lockdown is lifted, which is yet uncertain, it will take a minimum six months for us to remobilise the finances and labourers who in most of the cases have migrated to the hometowns,” said Gaurav Gupta, the president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India, NCR-Ghaziabad, which has analysed the impact on business for the next year.

Gupta said receipts from sales already completed was almost zero since March 20 and that this trend was expected to continue as a state of fear was prevalent and people were focussing on day-to-day needs.

Experts said much of the direct impact had been caused by the liquidity crunch the sector had been facing for the last couple of years and that the lockdown had exacerbated it. “The supply chain for necessary raw materials for construction activity, like cement and steel, simply does not exist anymore. This has, therefore, had a cascading effect on daily wagers whose principal source of employment comes from the real estate sector. Therefore, a delay in delivery of ongoing projects, both housing and commercial, is expected and timelines provided to RERA will change,” Athena Legal partner Simranjeet Singh said.


Call to turn vacant flats into quarantine centres

Many eady-to-move-in flats in the city are lying vacant as there are no takers. So why not convert them into quarantine units, is a suggestion from many people. Realtors from across the city, real estate associations, and even RERA-K officials are now thinking of ways to implement this suggestion. Vishnuvardhan Reddy, member of Real Estate (Regulation and Development Act), Karnataka, told The New Indian Express that many government constructed units like those built by the Bangalore Development Authority and Karnataka Housing Board, are lying vacant.

“These can be used as quarantine centres. They are better than private ones because most private properties lack basic facilities. The ones constructed by the government should have all basic facilities like water, electricity and other amenities, and can be put to immediate use,” he said. He added that Karnataka can also follow the example of Maharashtra, where unused government offices have been converted into quarantine units as logistics-wise, they were a better option.

Those associated with the real estate sector are welcome to the idea of opening their unused apartment and commercial units as quarantine centres. Kishor Jain, CREDAI Bengaluru president said that if it’s unsold, the entire unit can be used as a quarantine centre, but not individual homes as it will create fear. Though there is no request from the government, the idea is being mu l l ed amo n g t h e stakeholders. A senior FICCI member added that since the real estate sector is seeing a lull and many units are vacant, they can be converted into quarantine units. The FICCI member added that discussions among the members, stake holders and with the government, were being held and a decision will soon be taken.


Bengaluru: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has identified non-air-conditioned hotels which will converted into quarantine centres. The state government will pay the room rent for the number of days the patients will stay and for food. The hotels have been directed to use disposable cutlery. The hotels are: Sabarwal Residency, Sudamanagar (50 rooms); Emirates Hotel, BTM layout (40); Empire, Koramangala 5th Block (39); Silicrest, Koramangala 4th Block (30); Oyo Amethyst, Jayanagar 5th Block (32); Ramakrishna Lodge, Gandhinagar (200); Hotel Citadel, Anand Rao Circle (111); Likith International, Gandhinagar (70), Fortune Park JP Celestial, Sampangi ramanagara (129); Arafa Inn, Gandhinagar (46); Lemon Tree Premier, Ulsoor (60); Keys Select, Hosur Road (120); Chalukya Hotel, Chalukya Circle (70); Oyo Town, near Ulsoor lake (28); Sri Lakshmi PG, Domlur (27); Keys Select Whitefield by Lemon Tree Hotel, ITPL Main Road (220); and Trinity Wood Hotel, ITPL Main Road (25).


Coronavirus pandemic | UP RERA, MahaRERA adjourn hearings until March 31

With the coronavirus outbreak causing major disruptions, the Uttar Pradesh RERA and MahaRERA on March 17 said they have decided to adjourn the hearing of all complaints until March 31.

“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, UP RERA has decided to adjourn the hearing of all complaints listed between March 18 to March 31, 2020, both at the Lucknow headquarters and the NCR regional offices,” UP RERA said in a public notice.

Rescheduled dates would be communicated soon, it said.

Homebuyers and real estate developers wanting to list urgent matters may write to Secretary, UP RERA, at, it said.

UP RERA will again review the situation at the end of the month before deciding to resume the court, it said.

MahaRERA also said in a public notice that all cases before it and the adjudicating officer shall be adjourned until March 31.

RERA Bihar has also decided to postpone all hearings of cases scheduled from March 16 to March 31, 2020, it said in a public notice on its website.

“Haryana RERA has also decided to postpone the hearing of all cases from March 18 until March 31, 2020, Dilbag Singh Sihag, member HRERA, Panchkula told Moneycontrol.

“The project/agent registration process is completely online. MahaRERA staff is allowed to work from home till further orders,” the notice said.

Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) came into effect from May 1, 2017, and Maharashtra was the first state to implement it by setting up MahaRera. Midwifed by two governments – UPA II and the NDA II – between 2009 and 2016, the legislation was necessitated by the growing misery of tens of thousands of harried homebuyers.


K-RERA approaches state govt to approve model sales agreement

The Karnataka Real Estate Regulatory Authority (K-RERA) has approached the state’s housing department to finalise the model sales agreement as per central government rules.

The K-RERA that started functioning two years ago had faced delay in model sales agreement due to change in government and the absence of RERA chief in the state.

“The model sales agreement has been sent to the government and is expected to be notified soon. There were objections that has been looked into before sending to the state,” said MR Kamble, chairman K-RERA.

As per the model sales agreement on the K-RERA website, builders will have to convey the final carpet area to the buyer after the construction of the building is complete and the occupancy certificate is granted by the competent authority. “Builders will have the right to forfeit the booking amount in case of cancellation by home buyers but has to finish the project on timely manner,” it said.

For home buyers, the model agreement says that buyers can ask for refund if there is default on the part of the builder and stop the payment amongst other benefits.

The Karnataka government notified Karnataka Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules-2017 in the state gazette in July 2018 with the setting up of Karnataka RERA.

According to Anarock research, among all states and UTs across the country, RERA has been fairly pro-active in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka, among others. Individually, Karnataka RERA has seen 33% jump in project registration since October 2019 – from 2,906 projects registered in early October 2019 to nearly 3,871 projects as on date.

“Among the nature of complaints largely seen in Karnataka, late delivery of projects tops the list for which errant builders have been asked by concerned RERA authorities within the state to pay compensation to aggrieved homebuyers. Despite this, many such builders have failed comply. Hence, authorities have further directed their revenue department team to issue show cause notices to the errant builders for property attachment,” said Anuj Puri, chairman, Anarock Property Consultants.

As far as registering complaints and resolving them is concerned, as many as 3,950 complaints have been registered under Karnataka RERA till date (March 2020) out of which nearly 46% cases (or approx. 1,817 cases) have already been disposed of. Back in October 2019, the tally of disposed of cases was nearly 1,513 cases.

However, as far as disposing of complaints is concerned, Karnataka still lags far behind its immediate neighbour Maharashtra, where RERA has been significantly active. Out of the total 10,814 complaints registered under Maha RERA till date, a whopping 72% cases have already been disposed of by the concerned authorities.


MahaRERA tells Alamdar Infrastructure not to sell flats to protect tenant

After the representatives of a real estate firm repeatedly failed to appear before the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), the company has been restrained from selling, accepting bookings or transferring any unsold flat in a project at Marine Lines till a complaint by a woman tenant of the redevelopment project is resolved.

According to the complaint filed by Pervin Bahadurji, she had surrendered her premises for the redevelopment of Marine Palace off Princess Street at Marine Lines and was allocated flat no. 2101on the 21st floor of the building with carpet area 1221.39 sqft by developer Alamdar Infrastructure Pvt Ltd.

As per an agreement signed on March 15, 2017, she was supposed to get possession within 42 months from the first commencement certificate. The developer had also agreed to pay rent to her for temporary alternative accommodation but the rent was stopped from March 19, 2019.

Advocate Avinash Pawar, appearing for Bahadurji, submitted that the commencement certificate (CC) issued by the planning authority showed 20th floor as the last floor in the building, which means that the developer was not permitted to construct the 21st floor where the flat has been promised. The complainant requested MahaRERA to direct the developer to execute a supplementary agreement for allotting her a flat on the 20th floor of the building.

According to the registration page of Marine Palace project, the completion date is November 11, 2025. Its latest CC, issued on September 25, 2019, and valid till May 11, 2020, mentions that the projection has permission to go up to 20th floor. Out of the 54 flats in the building, only 8 have been booked, as per data uploaded by the developer on the MahaRERA portal.

MahaRERA member Bhalchandra Kapadnis noted that despite several notices served on Alamdar Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, the developer has not appeared for hearings to inform whether any unsold flat is available in Marine Palace which could be allocated to Bahadurji. He also took note of Bahadurji’s apprehension that unless the developer is prevented from selling flats, she won’t be allocated a flat.

Kapadnis directed the developer to appear before the authority on April 29, 2020, to disclose its unsold inventory.

Advocate Pawar said, “My client is the original tenant of the old building. Despite three hearings being scheduled, the developer did not appear before MahaRERA. If the developer has already sold all the flats, where will she go? This MahaRERA order will serve as adeterrent to builders.”


High Court directs Sahyog Homes to deposit 60 per cent of a refund amount before tribunal hears the appeal

Upholding a Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal order, the Bombay High Court directed a developer to deposit 60 per cent of a refund amount set by the tribunal, before the tribunal hears the appeal.

Justice Bharati Dangre in an order last week refused to interfere with a MREAT order dated December 13, 2019, directing Sahyog Homes to first deposit 60 per cent of Rs 82 lakh refund to be given to a homebuyer.

Section 43 (5) of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act states that a promoter may approach the appellate tribunal but it shall not entertain the appeal unless the promoter deposits a minimum of 30 per cent of the penalty or higher percentage as determined by the tribunal.

An aggrieved Sahyog Homes moved the high court against the MREAT order. When the court indicated that it would not like to interfere with the order, the counsel for the developer submitted that they will deposit 60 per cent of the amount within six weeks from the order. The court then disposed of the appeal.

This is not the first time that a developer has tested this RERA provision before the high court. In February 2019, ITMC Developers Pvt Ltd, the promoter of Sapphire 1 project in Kurla, had also moved court after the tribunal asked the developer to deposit 50 per cent of the refund amount imposed by MahaRERA. The high court had confirmed the tribunal decision and rejected the appeal.

Advocate Tanuj Lodha who represented homebuyer Krishna Agarwal in this case, said, “It’s important that section 43(5) of RERA is adhered to since it safeguards the interest of the allottees.” In September 2019, MahaRERA had held that even an unregistered Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was evidence enough that the homebuyer had booked a flat and directed Sahyog Homes to refund Agarwal Rs 82.95 lakh with 10.75 per cent interest from 2012.

Agarwal had booked flat no 2202 in Verona Tower S2 in Oshiwara in 2012 and paid Rs 82.95 lakh out of the flat cost of Rs 89.41 lakh based on a MoU. The developer promised possession in the 35-storey tower by 2016, but in 2017 it unilaterally revised the possession date to July 31, 2022, the complaint said.

During the hearings, the developer claimed that the Agarwals were not homebuyers but investors and that the MoU was not registered and hence a void document. The company attributed the delay in construction to noncooperation by slum dwellers in the SRA component.

MahaRERA member Madhav Kulkarni observed that the appellate tribunal had held that even in the absence of a registered agreement, such complaints were maintainable. Stating that the developer should not have accepted such huge amounts when the project was not progressing as per schedule, Kulkarni held that the developer had failed to deliver possession of the flat as per agreement and directed it to refund the entire amount with interest. This order was challenged by the developer before the tribunal.