As RERA registration deadline nears, industry cries foul

The delay in the notification of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) rules in the State has resulted in a registration frenzy among builders.

The real estate industry is in a rush to register projects under RERA as the deadline is just four days away. The extremely short window for registration has left the industry crying foul, and many builders are seeking a deadline extension.

The RERA Act, 2016 says that all projects should be registered with the regulatory authority within three months of the law coming into force. The law was implemented across the country on May 1, which left July 31 as the deadline. However, the RERA rules for the State were notified only on July 11 and a functional RERA website is just three days old. But July 31 remains the deadline.

Farook Mahmood, chairman and managing director, Silverline Group, said that ideally, the deadline should be three months from the date of notification of the rules. “We hope the government in its wisdom will extend the deadline for registration of projects,” he said.

‘Can’t change Act’

Kapil Mohan, Principal Secretary for Housing, said extension of the deadline was not possible as it was stipulated in the Act. “We understand that the rules were notified late. But we also cannot change the Act,” he said. Of the several thousands of projects in the State, only 120 have registered with RERA till now.

If a project is not registered under RERA by July 31, the builder is liable to be penalised up to 10% of the project cost. For agents, it is up to ₹10,000 for each day of violation. Many developers feel this kind of coercion is unfair.

Suresh Hari, secretary, CREDAI-Bengaluru, said the RERA website has already crashed twice and has some peculiar problems. “For instance, the website allots only 5 MB per project to upload related documents. Five MB is precious little and this has become a stumbling block. Promoters will be forced to submit all relevant documents physically at the RERA office. But the deadline needs to be extended and there is no option left,” he said.

However, M.S. Shankar of Fight for RERA – Karnataka Chapter, who have been fighting on behalf of home buyers, said the implementation of RERA has already been delayed in the State and a further extension of deadline was not in accordance with the law.

Unregistered, but still advertising

Only projects registered under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act can advertise and sell flats once the RERA rules have been notified and the regulatory authority formed. But while only 120 projects have registered under RERA to date, several unregistered projects continue to be advertised across media platforms. The city’s streets are still dotted with hundreds of billboards and hoardings advertising special offers and even pre-launches.

M.S. Shankar, of Fight for RERA – Karnataka Chapter, said they have observed a lot of advertisements, which is against RERA, and have demanded suo motu action by the regulatory authority. Kapil Mohan, Principal Secretary for Housing and the interim head of the authority, said the authorities would initiate action after the July 31 deadline.