MahaRERA launches help desk to resolve general queries of homebuyers

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has opened a help desk for citizens to resolve inquiries from home buyers regarding various services. Toll-free numbers are 1800 2103770 and 022-69157100 operate from 7:00 am to 11:00pm every day, except Sundays and public holidays.

MahaRERA’s secretary Vasant Prabhu said the technical assistance was launched when many citizens declared their inability to communicate with the authorities after the pandemic for various problems. A team has been appointed to assist citizens in resolving their concerns. The team will assist them in filing complaints online or checking dates of hearings or other project registration requests. The support service will provide general information. If there are citizens who want to understand more technical issues, a dedicated technical team will help them.

Ramesh Prabhu, chairman of the Maharashtra Society Welfare Association, said, this move would help citizens who are unfamiliar with MahaRERA’s activities. Many of MahaRERA members tried to call the toll-free number and found it very helpful. This move is very advantageous during the time of pandemic. Citizens can contact the support service and check the status of the project before investing in it.

The helpdesk will also help people file complaints under the direction of on-duty staff.

Manjunath Kakkalameli, a district court lawyer, said, even though the virtual hearing took place during the pandemic, there would be a help desk available to help citizens. Section (3) of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 requires the authorities to introduce an online system for submitting project registration applications.

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MahaRERA marks 1,824 residential projects as ‘expired’ across the state

maharera-marks-1824-residential-projects-as-expired-across-the-state

About 1,824 residential projects in the state were declared as “expired” due to exceeding completion dates set by the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA).

These projects will now require 51% of the buyer’s consent to ensure that appropriate completion dates are extended. 103 of these projects were completed on time in 2017, 541 next year and 1,180 in 2019.

According to an official, many projects were not completed, even after a one-year extension under section 6 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act. “All of these projects will now require the consent of 51% of the buyers in accordance with Section 7 (3) of the Act”.

Developers are now restricted to promotions-

Due to the Act, developers of these projects are prohibited from selling, advertising, or promoting them before applying for an extension. Of the 1,824 projects listed by MahaRERA as overdue or expired, 350 project renewals have been submitted. However applications of these projects are currently pending or under scrutiny.

MahaRERA has extended the deadline to September for projects that were supposed to be completed in March. “The rest of the projects had deadlines before 2020 year, when the pandemic hit,” a MahaRERA spokesman said. A majority of the projects are based in Pune, Mumbai, Thane and Raigad.

An additional 1,500 projects may be under the scanner since their deadline expired in March 2021. Developers of these projects may now benefit from a one-year renewal under RERA Section 6.

Strong message to arrogant developers-

The developers felt that the authorities should make decisions appropriately as the market was down and there were difficulties in getting documents on time.

Anuj Puri, Anarock Property Consultants chairman said, the MahaRERA’s decision was a strong signal for arrogant developers who were postponing projects. “Home buyers have been waiting to gain possession of projects for the past three years. The last year was unique as the pandemic resulted in disruptions in the supply chain and inaccessibility of buildings. The year 2020 should be considered as an exception.”

Credai Maharashtra President Sunil Furde said, “MahaRERA was right to point out the status of unfinished projects. However, many projects remain “unfinished” for technical reasons. The authorities need to consider and evaluate this aspect as well. In addition, the projects for Credai members listed on the portal were completed on time. The “completion certification” for these projects has been received from municipal corporations before the registered dates. There are projects that have been completed, but completion certificates were received later.”

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Non-farm use of plot only after infrastructure in place- MahaRERA

non-farm-use-of-plot-only-after-infrastructure-in-place-maharera

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority has stated that a simple conditional permit to convert an agricultural land into non-agricultural non-urban areas without providing any infrastructure can only qualify as an ongoing project and therefore must be registered under RERA.

A permit to convert a plot of land from agricultural to non-agricultural is only the beginning of the process and ends when tehsildar registers, that all imposed conditions are met and constitutes a “completion certificate”, MahaRERA explained.

Dealing in “plotted development” outside urban areas, MahaRERA instructed a developer to immediately register a project on August 10. It was found that the conditions imposed over a nearly decade-old nod for non-agriculture (NA) use by the Raigad collector remained pending.

No Advertisement before registration-

Ajoy Mehta, MahaRERA chairperson, said, the actual nomenclature of the completion certificate means that the premises are finished and suitable for human habitation. The use of Non Agricultural land starts when tehsildar corrects that all conditions are met.

Mehta ordered the developer not to advertise, sell or approve non-agricultural bookings in a project called Amarai in Kolad for sale. Until it is registered under Section 3 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA). He also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 for non-compliance with the provision of the law and failure to register an ongoing project. “The amenities that were promised and those listed in the NA judgment were not delivered. So, the property remains deprived of the amenities to allow a buyer to use it. Therefore, the project has no CC until the date,” said the order.

Mandatory to give Amenities stated in agreement-

Last year, the Amrai Kolad Plot Owners Welfare Association filed a complaint against Sai Developers, and others. According to their lawyer Zaman Ali, in May 2012, the Raigad district collector gave conditional NA permission to the developer to build infrastructure facilities, including roads, storm drains, sewerage, water supply and open space development within two years. Shortly after receiving permission, the developer started advertising the project, promising infrastructure services and a possession period of development costs of Rs 50,000 per plot. The complaint is that despite the payment “the project remained unfinished”.

After RERA went into effect on May 1, 2017, in October 2017, the developer announced new announcements for the remaining unsold plots offering services including the pool. But if infrastructure and services are not provided, the project will fall under RERA as an ongoing project that requires registration, the association said.

The developer, through his lawyer Tanmay Ketkar, argued that the project was completed in 2014, met all the conditions of NA and all plots were sold. So this is not an ongoing project, and the complaint is a “mala fide” harassment.

“In case of planned development, it is “imperative” that all agreed amenities should be completed, said Mehta. 

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6 month extension to builders to deliver projects-MahaRERA

6 month extension to builders to deliver projects-MahaRERA

6-month-extension-to-builders-to-deliver-projects-maharera

On Friday, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) gave builders a six-month relaxation to complete projects. Authority has accepted the demand to apply the force majeure clause due to the second wave. This is the second time during the pandemic that the authorities have provided such assistance to developers in the state.

“All projects registered by MahaRERA for which a completion date, revised completion date or extended completion date expire April 15, 2021 or later. The validity period for such projects is extended by six months, authority said in a notification.

Further authority said it would issue revised project registration certificates and revised timelines for such projects as soon as possible. It also made it clear that the renewal will not apply to projects that were to be completed by April 15th.

The notification said that on April 13, the state government issued instructions to restrict the movement of people due to another wave of infection, adding that the wave was more deadly. The lockdowns halted the construction activities due to labor shortages and impact on the movement of building materials. A six-month period of “force majeure” has been announced from April 15 to October 14.

Other authorities should also follow same process

The order was issued to help the government control the damage caused by COVID-19. Also to ensure that the implementation of the project is not affected.

The conditions or time limits for the implementation of projects that expire at any time during the force majeure period will be automatically extended till the expiration date. However the rights of allottees will not get affected through the order. The notification said that an association of promoters had presented themselves before the authority for help in view of another disruption ravaging the industry.

Developer Niranjan Hiranadani, National president of realty industry body Naredco, said, “This is a step in the right direction and the sector hopes that other authorities besides MahaRERA will follow the same thought process and provide the same relief.”

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MahaRERA restricts about 644 projects across Maharashtra from sales

maharera-restricts-about-644-projects-across-maharashtra-from-sales

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has banned the sale of a total of 644 residential projects in Maharashtra. Several units were stopped due to late completion and delivery, with Pune accounting for almost 30%.

According to data released by MahaRERA, most of the blacklisted project developers are smaller players with less than 100 units per project. Apart from some projects of well-known developers in the region most of them belong to small developers. Approximately 85% of blacklisted projects had an average of 70 units in each project. Such a blacklisting means that the project cannot be advertised, marketed or sold in any condition.

The list also consists some of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) projects promoted by the state government.

Most apartments are sold!

Anarock real estate analysts report that 80% of the apartments in 644 projects have already been sold. According to MahaRERA, 16% of the projects were to be completed in 2017 and the rest were to be completed in 2018. Due to market size, Mumbai topped the list with 274 blacklisted projects, or about 43% of the total, followed by Pune with 29%. The rest are in smaller markets like Aurangabad, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Nashik, and others.

A developer in the region states the condition of small or new developers. He said “ the smaller developers are increasingly struggling with RERA compliance, e.g. proof of capital and due diligence for land. Banks, NBFCs and housing finance companies are often reluctant to lend capital to such agents for fear of low or inadequate securitization.

Anuj Puri, the chairman of Anarock, said, this move by MahaRERA is a strong signal for disobedient developers who are constantly delaying projects. Homebuyers have been waiting to take over home ownership since 2017 or 2018. In the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) there are at least 496 projects (launched in 2014 or earlier) that have been delayed or stalled so far, while in Pune almost 171 projects have been delayed or stopped.

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Publicly Disclose the Apartment Sales: MahaRERA

publicly-disclose-the-apartment-sales-maharera

Due to a growing number of complaints about developers illegally transferring the same apartment to multiple buyers. The MahaRera Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRera) ordered them to publicly disclose whether the apartment was sold or reserved.

To avoid more than one transaction with apartments / plots, it is mandatory to provide information immediately once a flat is booked or sold. According to experts from the real estate market, there are cases where builders only issue an allotment letter to the buyer. (A letter of allotment kind of confirmation that the apartment is booked). 

The apartment can be resold to another buyer and the first buyer remains unknown of this. Also the same apartment can even be mortgaged to banks or financial institutions. Ultimately, neither the first nor the second buyer is aware of the sale of the apartment. Also the bank is not aware of this kind of sale. Thus, the developer illegally collects funds for the same apartment from two or even three different buyers.

Difficulties to lenders and consumers

Pankaj Kapoor, an official from a real estate firm, Liases Foras, said, the main purpose of RERA was to suppress such threats and actions. The law stipulates that developers upload information about mortgaged and sold properties on the RERA website. Previously, it was noticed that many builders’ projects were stuck in the NCR and MMR trap and practiced similar approaches. It had caused several difficulties to lenders and consumers. These builders need to severely be punished as this undermines consumer confidence and discredits the entire industry.

Shop Sold Multiple Times

Manohar Shroff, Navi Mumbai based builder said, Navi Mumbai has become “a villain’s port”. The whole industry suffers from some dishonest brokers and builders.
In one case, Shroff said a developer cheated or misled several investors and fled to Pune. In another case, a builder fled with Rs 100 crore, and a third sold a shop several times in Belapur’s CBD and misled buyers. So, to avoid these kinds of fraud, buyers should register their documents as soon as possible.

Must Register Sales Agreement-

Property law expert, Lawyer Anil Harish said, it appears that even after the arrival of RERA, some developers continue to issue more than one allotment letter for a single property. This is obviously wrong in both civil and criminal law.
Buyers should also check the MahaRERA website to see if the project registered and if building permits have been received. Also search sub-registrar registrations to check ownership and mortgages.

According to experts, buyers must register an agreement if more than 10% of the apartment price is paid. Stamp duty for a letter of employment, a letter of intent or a memorandum of understanding (MOU) can be 1% of the price to encourage people to sign up. This 1% must credited to the stamp duty specified in the contract, so you only have to pay the remaining 4%.

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MahaRERA Orders Acme Housing to pay interest of 21 months of delay

Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has commissioned developer Acme Housing India Pvt. Ltd to pay interest on deferred ownership. The authority has directed to pay 21 months of interest to homebuyers of the Alpinia project in Thane. In accordance with section 18 of the RERA Act.

The order from MahaRERA member Vijay Satbir Singh was received in response to a complaint from home buyers Aniket and Rajashri Alashe. They had booked an apartment in this project in December 2014 with the promise of ownership until 31 December 2017. The buyer also made a payment of Rs 1 crore. But the developer did not transfer the property under the registered sale and purchase agreement.

Thane Municipal Corporation was responsible for the delay!

Advocate K.R. Shekhawat, quoted by Acme Housing India Pvt. Ltd. strongly opposed the demand for deferred ownership. He said clause 9.2 of the agreement allows home buyers to terminate the agreement if the ownership has not been transferred. But they had not canceled the agreement. Shekhawat said that clause provides for an extension of the period of ownership in the presence of force majeure. (Force Majeure refers to a clause included in contracts to exclude liability for unpredictable and natural disasters that disrupt the course of events and obstruct participants from completing their task).

Claiming that Mumbai High Court did not allow Thane Municipal Corporation to issue building permits and Occupancy Certificates (OC) for projects on Ghodbunder Road due to lack of water in PIL (Public Interest Litigation). He said the Alpinia project suffered from this stay order because the project was near Ghodbunder Road.

Shekhawat also claimed that the demonetization and implementation of RERA and GST created a monetary crisis. This creates a lack of funds and daily wage laborers could not hire for construction work. He also cited a lack of sand, cement, and ready-mixed concrete in 2013-2014 as well as a ban on sand mining as reasons for the delay in project completion.

K.R. Shekhawat also accused Thane Municipal Corporation and said the OC granted four months after the completion of the project. He further said the ownership offered to home buyers after receiving OC. But they approached MahaRERA instead and therefore their complaint could not be resolved after granting the OC.

Violation of sale and purchase agreement

Lawyer Tanuj Lodha, representing home buyers, filed an objection and firmly rejected the developer’s claim. He claimed that the developer had accepted significant capital from buyers and the excuse of force majeure is baseless. He claimed that the developer had violated the terms of the sale and purchase agreement and the Maharashtra Real Estate Court of Appeal. In addition, the Bombay High Court has clearly ruled that the developer is obliged to pay interest on deferred ownership. Under section 18 of the RERA in the event of a breach of the terms of the agreement.

Developers should be aware of market risks!

MahaRERA member Vijay Satbir Singh noted that the sale agreement refers to a six-month extension or grace period until June 30, 2018. But by that date, the developer had not granted ownership. He rejected arguments about demonetization, RERA, GST, sand mining, etc. He said that the developer should have a good understanding of the real estate sector and market risks before starting the project. The developer failed to inform the applicants about the restrictions and also did not provide explanation on delayed possession. 

He claimed that the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act (MOFA) allows the developer a maximum extension of six months or until June 30, 2018. After RERA came into force on May 1, 2017. The developer should pay interest on late ownership in accordance with the provisions of section 18.

Singh also noted that the buyers filed a lawsuit on June 20, 2020, after the developer received the OC and offered ownership of the apartment on March 3, 2020. “In that sense, MahaRERA feels that under the provisions of section 19 RERA. The buyers are obliged to take possession of the apartment within 2 months from the date of OC. However, the applicant violated the provisions of section 19(10). He noted and denied the increase in interest after March 3, 2020. The order stated that Acme Housing should pay 9.3 percent interest for each month from July 1, 2018, to March 3, 2020.

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MahaRERA order developers to disclose sold, booked inventory

maharera-order-developers-to-disclose-sold-booked-inventory

The format requests data such as a total number of floors/wings, number of floors/shops/ townhouses, carpet area, sold/reserved/unsold property. And the date of registration at the sub-registrar’s office.

AURANGABAD: The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has ordered all developers to unveil their inventory. This includes the sale of apartments, houses, land, booked flats, as well as other construction details. This database is important because it will provide greater clarity to buyers and prevents more than one transaction. 

Information in proper format-

MahaRERA asked developers to provide details in the prescribed format. Referring to the permissible provisions of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016, which has been in force since May 2017.

The format requests data such as a total number of floors/wings, number of floors/shops/ townhouses, carpet area, sold/reserved/unsold property. And the date of registration at the sub-registrar’s office.

Currently the CREDAI Maharashtra has 3,000 active members in 59 cities across the state.

According to RERA, any aggrieved buyer can file a complaint with the competent authority. In relation to a real estate project that has been registered for violating any laws or rules and regulations related to RERA. The authority can put in place a complaint access mechanism to deal with such complaints quickly. Anyone who feels dissatisfied by an instruction, decision, or order from MahaRERA or a judicial officer. He/She can appeal to the appellate court and then to a higher court.

CREDAI welcomed MahaRERA decision-

Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI), Maharashtra, has appreciated this decision of the MahaRERA. Officials from CREDAI said this decision aimed at corrupt developers who are not registered with the association’s offices in the state.

Sunil Furde, CREDAI Maharashtra president said- “We appreciate and welcome the new MahaRERA order, which seems to be aimed at eliminating illegal construction, which is mainly seen in small towns.

Now the developers will disclose or announce the number of sold units and upload the details to the MahaRERA website in accordance with legal requirements. CREDAI correctly accepts the MahaRERA circular as defined by developers who do ethical business and comply with the law.

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