Four and a half years since RERA Act came into force, Maharashtra continues to lead the country in terms of projects registered.

RERA has brought discipline to real estate sector but needs more teeth, say experts

Four and a half years since Real Estate Regulatory and Development Act came into force, Maharashtra continues to lead the country in terms of projects registered. Experts, though, say that the Act, which has brought about discipline into the real estate sector, needs more teeth and manpower to plug its loopholes.

Analysis by Anarock — a real estate consultancy firm – showed that across the country, 71,307 projects have been registered with the regulator. Maharashtra has reported the highest registration with 31,664 projects, followed by Gujarat (9,272) and Karnataka (4,497), respectively.

In terms of grievance redressal of homebuyers, as many as 78,903 cases have been disposed so far by various state and Union Territory (UT) regulatory authorities. Uttar Pradesh and Haryana have disposed the highest number of cases, accounting for an approximately 61% share of total disposed cases. “UP saw 30,990 cases disposed, and Haryana nearly 16,864 cases, as per the latest progress report released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs,” the report read.

All states, except Nagaland, the report said, notified rules under Rera act; the northeastern state is in the process of doing so.

As many as 30 states and UTs have set up their Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) of which Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and West Bengal have notified their rules but are yet to establish their authorities. Besides, 28 states have set up Appellate Tribunals with Arunachal Pradesh, J&K, Ladakh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Sikkim and West Bengal under the process of establishing the same.

On the loopholes in the law, Prakash Thakur, head of research team of Anarock, said manpower shortage is one of the major concerns for the authority. The Act specifies regular updating of sales report and project reports but that rarely happens, he said. Also, the authority does not have an efficient way to check the documents, which are uploaded on the website by the realtors, he added. Thakur said the mere regulatory nature of the authority does leave a gap in implementation of the orders of the RERA.

Both Thakur and Anuj Puri,chairman of Anarock Group, were quick to point out that the judiciary has stepped in to plug some of the loopholes that have been felt in the act. Recently, the Supreme Court upheld the jurisdiction of the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 on all realty projects that were ongoing and had not received completion certificates until the law came into effect. This means that states that had diluted the provisions and did not include several under-construction projects under RERA’s ambit are now expected to do so.

As a result, we may see increased number of residential projects being completed in times to come,” said Puri. “Many developers with under-construction projects outside RERA had focused their resources on projects that did come under its ambit. This is no longer an option. The number of heavily delayed and even stalled units is likely to reduce. As per Anarock data, as of July 2021, nearly 6.29 lakh housing units launched in 2014 or before were incomplete or stalled across the top seven cities,” he added.