Customers continue to suffer despite RERA

By S Ben Raja Published on Jun 26, 2017 05:10 PM IST

Chennai: One of the most significant and beneficial amendments of this year is indeed the Real Estate Regulation and Development Act (RERA) 2016 which came into force on 1 May, 2017. This act has made sure that Real Estate promoters were not able to cheat customers or delay projects beyond their promised time frame.

That's not all, this law also enabled the setting up of a regulatory authority in each State which can frame its own set of additional stringent rules for the benefit of home buyers.

Till now, many States have implemented the law but residents said it doesn't have room to catch hold of fraudulent builders abroad. Yes, they added that this law has no possibilities to bring back the builders who are resting on their laurels abroad by cheating customers in India.

Speaking to News Today, Venkat, a victim of real estate fraud, said, "I signed a contract about seven years ago to build a house for my family. The contractor bought a lump sum amount even before the start of the project assuring us that the work will get over in a year. But, he just raised half of the building and went absconding. We tried to track him and finally identified him at the United States where he got permanently settled."

"Whenever we call him, he will shout at us and drop the call. It has been six years and the half finished structure remains as it is. The bank where I obtained the loan too didn't show any mercy. They said they gave a loan based on my record and don't have any relation with the builder. The sad part is even today, I am paying the loan. There seems to be no end to

this problem," he added.

Sathish Kumar, an IT employee and another victim, said, "Vijay Mallya has set a great example for our home grown builders. Dealing with crores of money on a daily basis, these fraudulent builders easily escape out of the country. While central government frames different laws, it remains indifferent with respect to granting visa or passport to these fraudsters."

"They are able to easily cheat customers and fly abroad. While RERA will curb cheating to a great extent now, it still doesn't provide ways to bring all those who are already settled abroad. They continue to enjoy at the cost of our hard earned money,"

TN in line
With many States already implemented the law, Tamilnadu followed suit last Thursday when it finally notified the Tamilnadu Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2017.

RULEBOOK

All real estate projects and real estate agents have to register with RERA, if they are involved in development and sale of any real estate project.

About 70 per cent of the amount collected from the allottees shall be deposited in a separate escrow account to cover the cost of construction and land cost.

The developer of each project has to certify through an affidavit that he has legal title to the land on which the project is being developed free from all encumbrances and the period within which the project will be completed.

Not more than 10 per cent of the total cost of the unit can be collected from an allottee without a specified written agreement and the total cost of the unit shall be specified in the written agreement.