RERA or Consumer Forum: Which provides effective solution

Ever since the implementation of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA), the smooth execution of this consumer-centric Act across the country hasn’t been smoothly operative as most of the states are far away from the implementation as they have neither infrastructure support nor resources to set a steady platform for RERA to roll out.  Some states are there who are in early stages of preparation to uphold the regulation framework. Thus, RERA is unable to show its ultimate power in safeguarding the rights of the buyers and investors in due course of market restoration.

People used to move Consumer Forums at large to raise their complaints against real estate stakeholders. Apart from real estate, Consumer Forums deal with many other cases with respect to buyers’ safety, thus there was no fixed time for arriving at a decision. Besides, there were segmentations too- only those cases where the relief sought exceeded Rs 1 crore could be referred to the National Consumer Forum, above Rs 20 lac to below Rs 1 crore were meant for state Consumer Forum and below Rs 20 lac had to be referred to the district level forums. Yet the appeal can be moved from lower to higher forums even the court level. Now with enforcement of RERA, state RERA Authorities are designated to hear only real estate issues of the respective states.

RERA competence

Only registered projects are covered under RERA. Properties or developers who got occupancy certificates under Consumer Forums won’t be covered under RERA. RERA covers properties that have been developed exceeding 5000 sq ft consumption area or properties with an apartment size of 8. RERA works to a clear concise and only step-wise redressal is possible under RERA. RERA Authorities acknowledge timely redressal of complaints.

Consumer Forum territory

Consumer Forums hear a variety of case that may or may not be defined. Consumer Forums relieve clubbing of cases so that complainant can approach higher forums. Particularly for real estate, any property owner/seller can move consumer courts. There is no such amount-centric segregation issue for approaching Consumer Forum. Still, there is no timely redressal of complaints as Consumer Forums cover a wide array of desecration.

“Consumer Forums will continue being the only solution until the remaining states don’t notify their respective RERA norms. States delay in RERA notification impacts the buyer sentiment in a negative way. We hope states will accelerate the notification process to make RERA a fixed reality for the sake of enhanced buyer protection,”-said- Mahesh Somani, Chairman- National RERA Committee, Head- East Zone, National Association of Realtors India (NAR).

Published On : 27th January, 2018


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