The Indian housing industry is rapidly surging ahead as demand for property is a never-ending constant truth of life. This has inadvertently resulted in upswing of real estate companies of all sorts, big, small and mid-sized companies that are vying for attention of the buyers. However, in this pandemonium, the consumer has been the biggest loser due to lack of regulatory authority to check the unreliable transactions entered into. Resultantly, there has been a surge in real estate disputes related to project completion dates, escalation costs, lack of clearance certificates and handing over of possession between the buyer and real estate developers.
Essentially, introduction of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013 has been to create a check upon such rampant irregularities and to create a Tribunal to address the grievances of the consumers in a timely fashion. It is significant to note that this Bill has been approved by the Union Cabinet on June 4, 2013 and in all probability will receive the assent of the President and be notified as a statute soon. The need for a uniform Real Estate regulatory environment in India has been felt for years due to the rampant corruption, red tapism and money laundering that has erupted throughout the country. Today, although the Bill promises to regulate only the residential housing industry and anything ancillary to housing but still it provides hope for a uniform set of rules that can be perceived by the consumer. Previously, being at the mercy of the developers and builders of real estate, the customers could never come to terms with the high-handedness of the deals and illogical dues charged from them in the name of development and had to bear with every demand made out of them. Today, the Bill promises to make things clearer and provides for mandatory registration of real estate projects that would keep the consumer informed about his choices.
Some of the major features of the Real Estate Bill and its effect of the consumer is enumerated below:
Overall, it can be reckoned that the Bill aims to provide consumer protection and is primarily a populist move that would regulate the residential real estate industry. However, the Bill does not regulate the quality of construction, which is the domain of local bodies and State government, since the Bill is a National Bill that would regulate the “transactional” part of real estate deals. It would be interesting to see the reaction of the developers and builders once this Bill is passed in parliament and reports suggest that residential real estate cost would see an upsurge once such law is formulated.