What is RERA Act & RERA Approval in India?

RERA Approval in India

Nothing resonates more with ambitious millennials than house hunting. Needless to say, it is a pain in the, uh, wrong place. Security deposits, rent charges, and apartment loans are in themselves a headache and a half. However, finding a house, meeting essential requirements are bonus worry points. (Pursuing office incentives seem like a piece of cake in the face of it). While some perks are preferable, others are NOT. This is where the RERA approval comes in to play. On the 1st of May, 2016, the Government of India took upon itself to relieve prospective buyers agonizing over finding the perfect house.

The Parliament of India passed the Real Estate (Development and Regulation) Act, 2016 (RERA). The Act aims to protect home buyers while encouraging investment in the real estate sector. It also acts as a referee in resolving real estate disputes. With the introduction of RERA, it has become mandatory to register a project even for a soft launch.

How Does RERA become your stress buster?

RERA Approved has become a USP phrase for builders and owners looking to sell or rent out their properties. Getting a property approved by RERA requires extensive and exhaustive documentation. It also requires constant revision of present property status and strict adherence to pivotal parameters of property development.

Mandatory Items to Obtain RERA Approval

Based on demography, terrain, ecological and community aspects, each state, and union territory may or may not add to RERA’s already detailed list of specifications. Following is the index of records it stipulates, to hand out its much-anticipated validation:

About Builders

Verified builders/promoters/developers: The Authority (RERA) directs the developers to submit a host of documents to prove their authenticity. The Act instructs to submit not only personal but also professional details.

Personal Information: The developer must furnish their PAN card, proof of identification, educational background, and contact information. If the developer is part of an enterprise, the Chairman, Directors, Partners and other authorized personnel are expected to provide the same.

Professional Information: RERA urges builders to provide particulars of their respective establishments. They are directed to submit the type of venture, postal address, website links and contact information of their business and relevant registration certificates. If you want a RERA approval, you better be good at what you do. To ensure creating a trustworthy and competitive real estate market, the regulatory body prefers to know the career graph of builders. Some facts they inquire are:

The total number of years of real estate work experience, in the state or union territory of residence.

  • The total number of years of real estate work experience, in the state(s) or union territory(s), other than the place of residence.
  • A composite data of completed projects and sum of constructed area.
  • An aggregate of ongoing projects and the proposed sum of area to be built.
  • Description of pending and accomplished projects in the past five years.
  • Attributes of litigations faced in the bygone five years.

Money Matters: Survival of a healthy industry is based on clean economic security. RERA mandates builders to present minutes of audits, balance sheets and cash flow examined by a practicing chartered accountant. This measure attempts to safeguard the market from questionable practices.

About RERA Approved Projects:

  • RERA targets to protect the interests of buyers by compelling builders to be accountable. They are bound to fork out vital elements of their projects. To receive RERA approval, developers are to ensure they have the approvals and commencement certificates from local municipality/corporation. These projects will eventually have to submit completion as well as occupancy certificates. Such documents assist potential buyers to be certain about the veracity of their coveted project. (The days of sweaty legwork might be soon gone. Phew!)
  • India has often witnessed scams where buyers were presented with a different floor plan than the one they ultimately received. The Authority seeks sanctioned plans from the builder, along with layout plans of the project. It delves deeper and makes the builders share their project or phase specifications. These steps are designed to make the industry more purchaser oriented.
  • RERA has made it mandatory to charge customers on the basis of carpet area. Previously, builders charged on the basis of super built-up area. As a result, customers paid for more space than what they can actually use. Feels like achche din!
  • Like a proper nosey aunt, RERA needs to know how many apartments would be in the project, their type (1/2/3/4/5 BHK/Duplex) and the carpet area of each apartment unit on sale. Besides apartment units, it gets the promoters to inform regarding car parking spaces too. Like apartment units, builders have to give details about the total number of garages in the project along with their respective area occupancy.
  • RERA was clearly not joking when it intended to be the one-stop information stronghold about real estate projects. It makes it obligatory for developers to furnish names and addresses of real estate agents as well as consultants like architects, structural engineers and any other external parties associated with the completion of the project.
  • The exact location of a proposed project can be dicey. What better way to escape the confusion than having proper latitude and longitudinal endpoints? It also asks for further details like landmarks and postal address of the plot where the project is being developed; a clear land demarcation of the spot where the project will stand also helps.
  • Prevention is better than cure. Keeping this adage in mind, RERA demands to know the builders’ plans about safety measures. They want a detailed report on fire fighting measures and emergency evacuation measures in an upcoming project. As we are heading towards an environmental crisis and water shortage, RERA is hoping to encourage sustainable living while solving water woes as much as possible. Therefore, the body likes to know builders’ plans about the use of renewable energy and arrangements for potable water. Supplying salient features of the project, accessibility to the project site, electric supply, and drainage of storm-water are other features RERA is interested in knowing, before shelling out an approval.
  • Real estate has long been an opaque industry mired in scams, controversies, and cons. To redefine the landscape of the industry, the regulatory body has issued steps to create greater transparency in the market. With the advent of easy technology in our daily lives, RERA is taking optimum advantage to achieve its objective of transparency.

Builders are asked to keep customers informed through the RERA website, such as:

  1. Updates on the progression of ongoing projects. The number of apartments and garages booked for sale
  2. Status of construction of each phase – building, floor, internal structure
  3. Status of approvals – approvals received, approvals applied and expected date of receipt, approvals to be applied
  4. Project amendment or modifications from the original plan
  5. Gantt Charts projecting detailed project schedule.

RERA has an obsessive thing for documentation of registered projects. The following list (yes, another list!) proves its hang up:

  • The title deed of land. Details of encumbrances on land, if any.
  • Relevant No Objection Certificates procured from necessary departments.
  • Environmental Clearance.
  • Consent to establish and operate the property.
  • Height Clearance from Airport Authority of India, wherever applicable.
  • Site plan with names of revenue estates, survey numbers, cadastral numbers, area of each parcel of the project land.

RERA is the buyer’s Superman in the real estate industry. Gone are the days of the buyer combing through one municipal record after the other, to assure themselves of the legitimacy of their intended investment. The revolutionary act does the spadework to build a more egalitarian playing field. With RERA, the government has indeed heard the voice of the people. Vox populi, vox Dei.

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About the Author: Karnika Roy

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