Year 2017 presented the Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) in the form of a blessing to property buyers, since it made them optimistic that their old but creaking grievances against developers would finally be addressed and resolved.

From the 393 projects that cleared the process of registry, till date according to the guidelines of RERA by the Haryana government, 246 are urban based and the remaining 147 are from other regions of the state.

Thousands of investors in urban home realty sector have faced the torment of indeterminate holding up of possession, even though they have paid 90-95% of their installments for the flat. Previously, buyers were completely hooked on to the whims and fancies of the builders. They were made to run from door to door of the offices of the town planning department, to move different courts and even approach the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, pinning all hopes on the agencies. However, all their efforts yielded no result against the powerful builders’ lobby.

The state government uploaded its RERA blueprint on its public domain on April 30, asking for recommendations, propositions and criticisms from denizens. It has given a 15-day deadline within which, residents can post their feedback.

The government announced the draft legislatives on July 28, 2017 and assigned chairpersons Rajan Gupta for Panchkula authority and KK Khandelwal for Gurgaon and Faridabad on November 27, 2017.

“In last ten years or more, possession delay has been a major cause for concern for city homebuyers. Thousands of buyers are suffering on account of delay in possession of plots and flats and now, all projects that are incomplete or have not started despite the builders collecting money from buyers after obtaining license from the government, will invite punishment,” Dilbag Singh Sihag, Executive Director, RERA, Haryana, said.

The Union Government launched RERA on May 1, 2016. States were instructed to declare applicable RERA rules from May 1, 2017. It became binding to register all real estate projects and property agents with the appropriate regulatory authorities by July 31.

Nevertheless, the state government is said to have diluted a few of the construction directives as framed by the Centre, which has got property buyers raising a lot of questions.

RS Rathee, president, Gurgaon Citizens’ Council (GCC) that moved a petition against Haryana government on August 10, said, “Contrary to the RERA rules notified by the Centre, the Haryana government allowed builders to remain outside the ambit of the RERA rules even if they apply for licenses or receive part completion or occupation certificates for their projects before the Act is notified. It meant that builders who did not complete projects and left property buyers in the lurch, cannot be penalized under RERA rules. This is a major dilution aimed at helping builders”

According to the construction directives rules notified by the Centre, all the in-progress projects, that are still awaiting competition certificates (CC) by developers from the concerned authorities, will be covered by the scope of RERA. Shephali Verma, Vice President, Federation of Apartment Owners’ Association, Gurgaon, said, “The state government has let down property buyers who are waiting for their dream homes. Nearly three lakh homebuyers in Gurgaon are victims of inordinate delay in possession.”

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