RERA IS NOT THE MAGIC PILL

Every time a new change is implemented it is deemed to be the “Panacea” everyone had been waiting for. RERA is no exception and all the voices within and outside the real estate industry now feel that everything has been sorted out and put in place – the silver bullet to kill the werewolf has been ultimately forged.

Or is it?

To my mind, it is just a start and does change some things but still does not replace the need for good old “Due Diligence”.

RERA, like all other existing legislation is precisely “The Law”. The implication being, that to prove the errors have been done by the builder the buyer will still need to follow the due legal process.

Property Advisor

Following are the challenges a common buyer will face when dealing within the ambit of RERA.

A.   Hiring Advocates

Buyer will need legal help and hence the need to hire “Advocates” to draft, plead and represent their interests to the tribunal. Though this is not a technical necessity but after all, how many buyers really possess the legal acumen to pursue things by themselves?

B.   Resistance by Builders

The builders would also put up stiff resistance as they have been doing under the present laws too. The builders, like any defendant, use every trick available to delay, defuse and confuse the situation. It would be childish to think that the same would not be done under the RERA regime.

C.   Long way to go

The RERA as an institution, as a body itself, will have its own learning curve. The members, the doctrines and the procedures will take a life of their own in understanding, detailing and adjudicating on the issues being presented. There would be no overnight solutions.

D.   Just like any other law

In case of either party feeling, aggrieved appeals would be fought, further delaying the awards. The same would be even more pronounced when there are big awards or class action suits against the builders. All legal roads in India ultimately lead to the Supreme Court and RERA would be no exception.

Hence once the excitement abates on the implementation of RERA and the statutory bodies are put in place it would be business as usual. Sadly, lots of states are still to implement RERA in its full force even after more than a year has passed since the central government. Given the speed of things, implementation of the law in its full force will take a long time.

RERA is indeed a strong law, but it needs implementation. Also, the fact is that the need to approach RERA implies that the buyer/s is feeling or has been wronged. Which brings one back to the basic premise, “Prevention is better than cure”.

Buyers should make attempts to conduct a thorough due diligence to avoid going to the legal procedure. Howsoever strong and effective a medicine may be, it is, at the end of the day, given to a sick person. Why fall sick if the same can be prevented!

Home Buying Decision

To extend the discussion further a lot of builders are now marketing their products as being “RERA” registered. Frankly, this does not absolve a buyer of its duty to still ask all relevant questions.

We covered what all to ask in our previous newsletters. You can find them here:

1.    Living in the mythical stereotyped financial world

2.    How the real estate industry fleeces the bank & you

3.    Are you a smart buyer

The buyer not only would make better choices but would also in the process discover things which the builder would have camouflaged despite being “RERA” compliant. Hence the process of discovery should be correctly followed and more so for “RERA” registered projects. Remember BUYER BEWARE”!