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This article is written by Darshi Hetal Jhaveri, pursuing Certificate Course in Advanced Civil Litigation: Practice, Procedure and Drafting from LawSikho. The article has been edited by Aatima Bhatia (Associate, LawSikho) and Dipshi Swara (Senior Associate, LawSikho).

Introduction

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act was enacted in the year 2016. The main objective of the respective Act is to regulate and promote the sales and purchase of lands and buildings, apartments in the real estate sector. The goal is transparent and efficient service along with the protection of the interest of consumers. Consequently, the purpose is also to provide justice speedily. Solving disputes and hearing appeals of the matters connected with the developers and purchasers, regulating authority and officers.

What is RERA

For a long time, the real estate sector was ruled by developers. There was an inconsistent difference among the transactions between the buyer and the seller, which irrationally favoured the developers. This enactment reduces the same and provides transparency by making this sector easier, stronger, and durable which boosts the investments. But the primary question is how? The answer to this is the formation of a Real Estate Regulatory Authority (“RERA”) for each state.

As per the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 a RERA be set up to regulate the real estate sector of the country. The Act requires the Real Estate Regulatory Authority to be set up respectively for each state. Yet not every state across the country has a RERA set up nor has a website of the same; For instance, Assam. 

The ongoing projects of redevelopment and new construction at the time of commencement of the Act in the year 2016 that didn’t receive the commencement certificate along with the new projects must be registered under RERA. As of now, Maharashtra is leading with the number of projects registered under RERA across the country. The application of registration of projects shall be approved or disproved within 30 days itself. After which the registration process shall be commenced failing to which a fine or a penalty is given. 

Applicability of RERA

Parties

The major parties whose involvement is a must after the enactment of the Act are the developers, contractors, builders, or anyone else who constructs or develops land, building, or apartment to sell it.

Types

The types of real estate properties included in RERA are commercial as well as residential buildings and complexes that are developed for sale purposes whose area is more than 500 sqm or have more than eight apartments.

Registration 

RERA, as mentioned above, is individually established by each state and hence the process varies from state to state. But the common point is registration is online on the official website of the state after uploading the relevant documents depending on whether the promoter is a person or a company and certain applicable fees.

How to file a complaint under RERA

RERA complaints are completely hassle-free due to modernization as well as technology. Each state has its respective RERA website on which complaints can be filed by the buyer. This has changed the position of a buyer while purchasing a property. Before this, the developers were in a dominant position and the buyers did not have many options but RERA enabled the buyers to come in a dominating position and take action against the developers in such circumstances.

The process of filing a complaint is much easier currently. Any homebuyer can now file a complaint online by visiting the e- website of RERA of the state that has the jurisdiction. A form has to be filled along with the registration fees and the process is complete. 

Section 31 of The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 states as follows about Registering a complaint with the authority or with the adjudicating officer under the Act-

(1) Any aggrieved person may file a complaint with the Authority or the adjudicating officer, as the case may be, for any violation or contravention of the provisions of this Act or the rules and regulations made thereunder against any promoter allottee or real estate agent, as the case may be. 

Explanation:

For this subsection “person” shall include the association of allottees or any voluntary consumer association registered under any law for the time being in force. 

(2) The form, manner, and fees for filing a complaint under sub-section (1) shall be such as may be specified by regulations.

Procedure to file a complaint

I. A complaint shall be filed under the state’s official RERA website by clicking on the link of the Complaint registration.

II. Once the link is clicked, the complaint page appears where several miscellaneous details about the complaint are asked. For instance, the initial paragraph contains the name, address, contact details, and other personal verification of the complainant as well as the respondent.

III. Furthermore, the verification details of the registered project on which the complaint is filed are asked along with the supporting documents such as the property papers, receipt of the payment amount, etc.

IV. After which, the facts and the reliefs sought shall be mentioned in detail along with the synopsis of the case, just as mentioned in a litigation suit. 

V. At the end after fulfilling all the details asked while filing the form a payment option will appear. Once the payment is done, the complaint shall be registered and a tentative date arrives for appearing in the court. 

However, it shall be noted that this is the basic procedure for filing a complaint and the details may vary from state to state. For instance, the Maharashtra website of RERA requires the complainant to file the complaint through registration and uploading documents of the case whereas the Punjab website of RERA requires the complainant to download, fill and reupload a pdf named as form N and M respectively. 

RERA Complaint form- Sample of RERA Complaint form

Attached below is a Sample form named ‘FORM M’. This particular form is a necessity to file a complaint against the developer in the Punjab RERA. 

FORM ‘M’

[See rule 36(1)]

COMPLAINT TO REGULATORY AUTHORITY

Complaint under section 31 of the Act For use of Regulatory Authority(s) office: 

Date of filing: ______________________________ 

Date of receipt by post: _______________________ 

Complaint No.: _____________________________ 

Signature: ______________________ 

Registrar: ______________________ 

IN THE REGULATORY AUTHORITIES OFFICE (Name of place) 

Between 

__________________Complainant(s) 

And 

__________________Respondent(s) 

Details of claim: 

1. Particulars of the complainant(s): 

  1. Name of the complainant: 
  2. (ii) Address of the existing office / residence of the complainant: 
  3. (iii) Address for service of all notices: 

2. Particulars of the respondents: 

(i) Name(s) of respondent: 

(ii) Office address of the respondent: 

(iii) Address for service of all notices: 

3. Jurisdiction of the regulatory authority: The complainant declares that the subject matter of the claim falls within the jurisdiction of the regulatory authority. 

4. Facts of the case: [give a concise statement of facts and grounds for complaint] 

5. Relief(s) sought: [give prayer in the view of the facts mentioned in paragraph 4 above

6. Interim order, if prayed for: [Give here the nature of the interim order prayed for with reasons] 

7. Complainant not pending with any other court, etc.: 

8. Particulars of bank draft in respect of the fee in terms of sub-rule (1) of rule 36: 

(i) Amount 

(ii) Name of the bank on which drawn 

(iii) Demand draft number 

9. List of enclosures: [Specify the details of enclosures with the complaint] 

Verification 

I ____________(name in full block letters) son / daughter of_________ the complainant do hereby verify that the contents of paragraphs [1 to 9] are true to my personal knowledge and belief and that I have not suppressed any material fact(s). 

Place: 

Date: 

Signature of the complainant(s):

The above-mentioned form needs to be downloaded from the official website. After which all the required details regarding the case shall be filled and then resubmitted once again. This is how cases are operated in RERA. This is a modern solution and the cases resolve accurately and comparatively faster than the other civil matters. That is why the objective and execution of RERA is highly appreciated.

Conclusion

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act was enacted in the year 2016, and it formed the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) in each state. The main objective of RERA is to bring regulation and transparency in the real estate sector. Each and every project, be it commercial or residential shall be registered under the official state website by the Builder/ Developer/ Real estate agent. After registration, tentative dates of completion of projects shall also be mentioned along with all the other details. In case, the completion of a project is stopped or takes longer than the expected time or the builder refuses to construct or there is any other hindrance faced by the buyer then a complaint can be filed through the website of RERA. Different states have different measures to upload the cause of dispute but the overall details asked i.e., the personal details of the complainant and the respondent, the registration number of the project, the cause of complaint, and the payment of fees. Once the complaint has been made, a tentative date for hearing the complaint appears and the matter continues in the court as per the Act.


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