- Home buyers accuse the UP and Gujarat governments of weakening their state's RERA rules
- Both state RERAs have provisions related to ongoing projects that differ from the centre's act
- Gujarat's RERA only covers real estate projects launched after the rules were notified.
DELHI: Even as homebuyers across the country were cheering the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act 2016 or RERA rules finally being notified by the Union Government, housing activists are now claiming that state governments are actively trying to water down the provisions of the act.
The Centre’s RERA rules for Union Territories were notified on 31st October 2016, but the state governments were required to notify the rules for application in their respective states by themselves. Experts were hoping that the Centre’s rules would act as a template for states to draw from. But now, it seems that is not the case with the state RERAs of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (UP) weakening key provisions.
For instance, the central act is unambiguous in its scope and covers all ongoing real estate projects without Completion Certificate (CC). This was a major victory for homebuyers considering that there are thousands of under construction projects across the country which have been delayed, or where developers are resorting to unfair trade practices. But both UP and Gujarat have a different take on it.
UP’s rules contain provisions that exclude projects from the state RERA where,
– Services have been handed over to the local authority for maintenance,
– Common facilities have been handed over the Resident Welfare Associations.
– All the development works have been completed and sale/lease deeds of sixty percent of the apartments/houses/plots have been executed
– The application has been filed with the authority for issue of completion certificates.
On the other hand, Gujarat has taken this one step further, by stating that its RERA will not have a retrospective effect, only covering real estate projects launched after November 1st, 2016. This essentially means that housing projects launched before the date will not be bound by the provisions of RERA.
“They have defined Ongoing Project as only those which are launched on and from Nov’16 which is Ultra Vires to Section 3 (1) proviso of RERA’2016. This is intended to take out from the ambit of RERA as many projects as possible and clearly with the motive to favour builders. The whole objective of the Act to provide relief to the homebuyers of ongoing project will be defeated and it must be immediately rectified by the government of Gujarat,” said Abhay Upadhyay, national convenor of the ‘Fight for RERA’ movement.
Housing activists and homebuyer movements are furious about the move. Several groups are now moving to petition the state governments to review these provisions and bring them more in line with the central act.