In a unique initiative to help real estate consumers of Bengaluru understand and be aware of their rights, MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar and Namma Bengaluru Foundation along with Community Partner ADDA, on 18th June, 2016 launched the Namma Hakku –Citizens’ Rights Series. The first in the series of interactive sessions was organized with an objective to awaken, inform and educate citizens on the recently passed Real Estate Regulation Act (RERA). The workshop’s primary focus was to help real estate consumers understand their rights against law breaking/fraudulent developers.
Member of Parliament, Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who has relentlessly fought erring developers and encroachers, along with a team of legal experts and citizen activists offered valuable insights on RERA; clarified home buyers’ concerns against corrupt and inefficient builders; provided details of the obligations of developers and urged citizens to come forward to claim their rights under this iconic pro-consumer legislation.
The members of the expert panel were –
- Justice AV Chandrashekara, Former Hon’ble Judge of High Court of Karnataka,
- Shri Sajan Poovayya, Senior Advocate & Former Additional Advocate General for Karnataka,
- Shri Sunil Dutt Yadav – Advocate, Environmental Issues and RWAs,
- Professor Rajagopalan, Citizen Activist and
- Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Member of Parliament and Founder Trustee of Namma Bengaluru Foundation.
The workshop witnessed massive participation from citizens of Bengaluru, Citizen Action (CAF), ADDA, CIVIC and BRACE – an ensemble of more than 800 Resident Welfare Associations in Bengaluru.
Key Highlights discussed:
Salient features of Real Estate Act 2016 (RERA)
- Section 2, 3, 4 and 8 of RERA focuses on Registration, Consumer Rights, Builder Obligations and Violations.
- RERA is not retrospective. The Act applies to all projects that are underway and yet to be handed over for possession to the consumer.
- RERA mandates that Promoters should disclose details of all projects launched by them in the past 5 years.
- Promoters will have to deposit 70% of the project cost in a separate account.
Penalties under Real Estate Act 2016 (RERA)
- Failure to register project – 10% of the project cost.
- Failure to comply with orders relating to registration – 3 years imprisonment and additional 10%
- Providing false information – 5% of the project cost.
- Residuary penalty – 5% of the project cost.
- Failure to comply with RERA orders – Daily penalty up to 5% of the project cost.
- Failure to comply with an order of the Appellate Tribunal – 3 years imprisonment and 10%
- Failure by allottee to comply with RERA and Appellate Tribunal orders – 5% and 10% of apartment/plot/building cost, respectively.
Benefits for buyers
- Timely delivery: Increased assertion on timely completion and delivery of projects
- Safeguards investment: 70% of sales receipt will be locked in a separate account
- Balanced builder-buyer agreements
- More power to home buyers: Faster dispute resolution mechanism in place
- A regulated broker environment
- Assured 5 year defect liability period
Professor Rajagopalan, mentioned how RERA will decrease the practical problems being faced by real estate consumers and has increased the access to information.
Present on the occasion MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar talked about how the RERA initiative can only succeed if everyone collaborates towards its success. He mentioned that the relation between builders and buyers has been of exploitation and in case of any disputes the only recourse left to consumers was to go to court. And the assumption was that the builder can out last the consumer at court. He mentioned how RERA attempts to draw a balance.
“Consumer has rights. Builder has Obligations. Real Estate Bill formally enshrines consumer rights and builder obligations in law and also boosts the industry by creating a framework of competition, efficiency and investments for the sector. I hope that State Governments start reforming and making simpler and more transparent, the process of building planning approvals, land concession and that whole process that is currently so complex. I hope the Government appoints good, clean regulators and puts the focus on building good effective institution and capacity building in this area,” said Mr. Rajeev.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Sajan Poovayya, Senior Advocate & Former Additional Advocate General for Karnataka, talked about the how no proper governance mechanism was there in real estate industry. Previously between the consumer and the builder there was only a private contract. However, now with RERA, there is a proper governance mechanism backing the buyer.
“The efficiency of the rights will depend on the efficacy of the person who holds the post of authority. It is for the civil society to ensure that they put pressure on the state government to ensure that a person of impeccable repute is becomes the regulator,” said Mr. Sajan.
Shri Sunil Dutt Yadav mentioned that with the present judicial system overburdened, an appellate body like RERA will add a tremendous amount of value. This provides a forum for consumers who have not received their right. He mentioned that tenets like 70% of funds being locked for present project, no limits on compensation claims from builders, grace period for completion of projects not being made more than year, all makes this act very well defined. He said that The rules on stricter title scrutiny, will resolve 60% of real disputes.
“The greatest thing about the Act is its adherence to existing laws.”, said Mr. Sunil
There was a very interactive Question Answer Session, with the attending real estate consumers raising various questions on RERA. Replying to a question on what are the plans on promoting information related to RERA to the common man, Mr Chandrashekhar said that, workshops like this are supposed to perform exactly the same purpose. Also, creating awareness about the Act and laws is a statutory liability of RERA.
There were many questions on how and who can approach RERA, consumer rights on information related to whether the property is mortgaged or not, problems related to and the importance of the Occupancy Certificate issued by the Regulatory bodies.
Namma Hakku devoted to help citizens of their rights
The Namma Hakku series is the brain-child of MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who has long fought for the rights of Bengaluru citizens and for protecting the city. The series is aimed to create a platform of engagements with citizens / consumers of Bengaluru to build awareness about their rights. This ongoing exercise will bring experts and citizens together to address various issues by citizens and provide information about how they can exercise their rights – be it protecting their neighborhood, safety, and law & order, environment among others. From ADDA we wholeheartedly support this initiative as the Community Partner.
Please spread the word about this series of workshops in your community and let’s rise together to make Bangalore a model place to live in! #RISEHIGH