Centre to notify rules of Real Estate Act soon: report

A meeting of the housing and law ministries convened today is expected to finalise the rules of the Real Estate Act and the government is expected to notify the rules within the next ten days, reports quoting official sources said.

The law ministry is currently vetting the draft rules and today's meeting of senior officials of both the ministries will be finalising the draft notification. The meeting will also discuss incorporation of suggestions from the public as well.

Operationalising the legislation will help to regulate the housing sector, bring transparency and help protect consumer interests, sources at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) said.

An earlier government notification, issued in April, had set 31 October this year as the date of notification of the real estate rules for the Act coming into force.

The ministry's April notification brought into effect 69 of the 82 sections of the Act from 1 May this year.

Real estate rules to be notified by the Ministry of HUPA are applicable to Union Territories of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep.

The Ministry of Urban Development will come out with such rules for the National Capital Region of Delhi while other states and UTs will come out with their own rules.

Parliament has approved the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2016 with the Rajya Sabha clearing it on 10 March and the Lok Sabha approving it on 15 March this year.

The Act, which is touted as a major reform measure to regulate the vast real estate sector, requires registration of all projects with state level Real Estate Regulatory Authorities to ensure protection of the interests of both buyers and builders.

The Act also requires builders to deposit 70 per cent of the payments made by allottees in a separate bank account to ensure that such funds are not diverted to other projects.

It also provides for imprisonment of up to 3 years for builders and one year for real estate agents and buyers for violation of any provisions of the Act.

As per the provisions of the Act, Real Estate Regulatory Authorities and Real Estate Appellate Tribunals have to be set up by the end of April 2017 and the entire Act is to come into effect the day after.

Meanwhile, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in a judgment on Friday said builders will have to pay penalty to all home buyers for delay in delivery.

As per the NCDRC ruling, all home buyers would be eligible to get relief from the builder, which could be a penalty, irrespective of the fact whether they have filed a case against the builder or not.

''The failure of the builder/ developer to deliver possession of the flat / plot sold to them and a complaint filed for the benefit of or on behalf of all such consumers and claiming same relief for all of them, would be maintainable under Section 12(1)(c) of Consumer Protection Act,'' NCDRC said while interpreting the Section 12(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act.

''The interest of the persons on whose behalf the claim is brought must be common or they must have a common grievance which they seek to get addressed. The defect or deficiency in the goods purchased, or the services hired or availed of by them should be the same for all the consumers on whose behalf or for whose benefit the complaint is filed. Therefore, the oneness of the interest is akin to a common grievance against the same person,'' added the ruling.

The NCDRC had imposed a delay penalty of 12 per cent per annum on Jaypee Group in May to buyers in Kalypso Court project on the Noida-Greater Noida Expressway.