DELHI: The endless wait for accountability in real estate in Delhi has come to a halt, with the Ministry of Urban Development approving the Real Estate General Rules and Rules for Agreement for Sale for the National Capital Territory of Delhi as required under the Real Estate Regulation & Development Act,2016 (RERA).
Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu approved these Rules, which were formulated after consultations with the Delhi Government, the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi, the Delhi Development Authority and other stakeholders. These Rules will be notified by the 27th of this month, the date set by the government for all states and union territories to notify their RERA rules.
The Vice-Chairman of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) Udai Pratap Singh has been appointed the interm regulatory authority for DElhi. The interim regulator will be responsible for undertaking preparatory actions like setting up website and putting in place required institutional mechanisms so that the RERA can start functioning as and when it is established.
In many ways, the Delhi RERA mirrors the central rules that were released on October 31st by the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation for the five Union Territories without Legislatures. The rules are also unique in that they contain several additional provisions designed to aid home buyers. These include:
The publication of litigation details pertaining to the promoter on the company website. This includes details of litigations disposed of by the concerned court in the past five years in respect of projects developed or being developed.
The rules also allow the regulatory authorities to undertake third party quality audit of real estate projects registered with them, to ensure quality of construction, services etc. of the project in the interest of homebuyers.
The sales agreement may also include other elements or features besides the apartment, plot, garage, parking, if required. The rules state that this has been provided to address special contingencies relating to the nature of projects to be taken up or the needs of buyers.
Delhi RERA rules come at a time when both the Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Gujarat state governments have come under fire for diluting their RERA rules. With this, the government will move away from the controversy that erupted when Gujarat decided to keep on-going projects out of RERA, while UP tweaked the definition of ‘on-going’ projects. Both these moves were termed pro-builder and housing activists in both states have raised objections to this. This may be why Delhi’s rules have taken a tougher stance.
However, activists still claim that the Delhi RERA rules are a dilution of the Centre’s original rules and are calling upon Venkaiah Naidu to revisit them.
“The provision in the Rules that Promoter needs to give details of only those cases which has been disposed of and not all those which are pending is Dilution in favour of builders which is quite expected since Urban development Ministry held consultations only with builders. This is in contradiction to Section 4 (2) (b) of RERA which clearly provides “details of cases pending”. This provision will curb transparency and Consumers will not be able to take informed decisions,” says Abhay Upadhyay, national convenor of the Fight for RERA group. “It appears that Shri Venkaiah Naidu has been completely misled by Urban Development Ministry, since it is not expected of a senior cabinet minister to allow notification of one set of Rules from HUPA and another set of diluted Rules from UD ministry under same Central Legislation,” he added.
The Centre’s RERA rules for Union Territories were notified on 31st October 2016, but the state governments were required to notify the rules for application in their respective states by themselves. As various states prepare to meet November 27th deadline for notifying RERA, homebuyers across the country are hoping that states will toe the centre’s line and adopt homebuyer-friendly rules.