How & When to file a complaint in RERA
The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) came into effect on 1st May 2017, a year after it was passed by both the houses of parliament.It has shown a ray of hope to the homebuyers, they are optimistic about the implementation of the new law as it will protect their interests. However, the main question comes here into picture is that, whether people are aware how and when to register the complaints under the new RERA rules.
Digbijoy Bhowmik, head of policy, RICS, explains, “Complaints can be filed under Section 31 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, either with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority or the adjudicating officer. Such complaints may be against promoters, allottees and/or real estate agents. Most state government rules, made appurtenant to the RERA, have laid out the procedure and form, in which such applications can be made. In the case of Chandigarh UT or Uttar Pradesh, for instance, these are placed as Form ‘M’ or Form ‘N’ (common with most other states and union territories).”
In the new RERA rules to register a complaint, it is required to be in a prescribed format under the respective state rules. The complaint can be filed with respect to a project registered under RERA, within the prescribed time limit, for violation or contravention of provisions of the act or the rules or regulations framed under RERA.
Registering a case under RERA
Ameet Hariani, managing partner, Hariani & Co, points out that “As far as Maharashtra is concerned, the rules with respect to lodging a complaint with the RERA authority, have been notified. Any person who has an interest in the project, can file an application with the RERA authority. The application can also be filed online, as per the format available. The complainant must provide:
- The information of the applicant and the respondent.
- The registration number and address of the project.
- A concise statement of facts and grounds of claim.
- The reliefs and interim reliefs, if any, sought.”
To begin proceedings before the adjudicating officer for compensation under RERA, the complainant needs to file a similar application. This application must also be made in the prescribed format and must contain informations similar to those required in the application to the RERA authority, Hariani adds.
What should be done with the pending cases under NCDRC?
Experts pointed out that real estate cases under the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), can take a lot of time for final adjudication, owing to the bulk of cases pending before the commission. The Real Estate Act, hence, may provide for speedy disposal and prove to be more effective than the NCDRC, vis-à-vis judgment and realisation of compensation under Sections 12, 14, 18 and 19 of the RERA.
“For cases pending before the NCDRC or other consumer fora, the complainants/ allottees can withdraw the case and approach the authority under the RERA. Other offences (except complaints under Section 12, 14, 18 and 19) can be filed before the RERA authority,” explains Ajay Monga, partner at SNG & Partners law firm.
Time limit for dispute resolution under RERA
There is no specific time bound provided in the RERA rules, for filing a complaint. Hariani explains, “Complainants under RERA, will require to comply with the time periods for initiating proceedings, as prescribed in the Limitation Act, 1963. The time periods under this Act vary, based on the specific claims. In addition, in order to seek urgent interim relief, it would be advisable to approach the RERA authority as soon as possible, after the action causing the complaint takes place.”
The advantages of filing a case under the RERA
- Speedy disposal of complaints.
- Requirement of financial discipline by the promoters.
- No ambiguity in area measurements.
- Promoters are liable for compensation for delayed delivery.
- Adjudicating mechanism to be in place.