Real estate bill to protect home buyers' interests

The draft bill, which was released by Union Minister for Urban Housing and Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja here, said the major aim plan of the legislation is to regulate the activities of the real estate sector and usher in an era of “accountability and transparency” in land selling and housing transactions.

Once the law comes into force, no promoter or builder will be able to develop any immovable property without registering in the real estate project and obtaining a registration certificate from the proposed authority.

However those promoters who want to develop less than 4,000 square metres need not to register.

The proposed law also has a provision asking the promoter to compulsorily deposit a portion of funds received from the allottees in a separate bank account, to be used for that project only.

Once the promoter registers his project, the firm will be asked to open an online account through which all the necessary documents will have to be sent to the authority, which will further verify them.

The authority, which will have a chairperson and two members having adequate knowledge in the sector, will have the powers to impose penalty on erring promoters and direct them to refund the money that they have charged from the consumer.
The legislation also proposes establishment of a Real Estate Appellate Tribunal to hear appeals from the authority’s orders and to adjudicate on disputes.

A central advisory council will also be established to advise the Centre on matters concerning implementation of the Act.

Selja said both the Centre and states will have powers to make rules over subjects specified in the bill, and the regulatory authority to have powers to make regulations.

Though the Union government had planned the bill long ago, it was delayed due to opposition from the real estate lobby. The minister said after seeking public comments, the draft bill will be sent to the Cabinet by year-end.

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