No more sale agreements without MahaRERA stamp

Updated: Sep 22, 2019, 07:56 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

New law makes it mandatory for builders/buyers to register with the RERA; experts say those exempted should be given a certificate saying so

File photo of under construction building
File photo of under construction building

As per the Government of Maharashtra notification dated September 20, 2019, agreement for sale of any apartment will be done only if the project is registered or exempted from registration with MahaRERA. Thus to register an agreement for sale, a builder has to register the project with MahaRERA, says legal experts.

Speaking to mid-day, advocate Manish Gala said, "The initiative taken by the state government is welcome, but the question is how will the registrar at the registration office, know if the project is supposed to be RERA registered or not, as there are some special cases, in which registration of property is not required. For instance, projects on plots less than 500 sqm are not to be registered under the MahaRERA Act."

The solution, according to advocate Gala, is that the state will need to provide clarity with regards to properties that do and don't qualify for registration. Those that don't should be provided with a certificate specifying reasons for non-registration. "A copy of such exemption certificates should also be sent to the registration office and the Registrar should take necessary steps to keep the public informed, so that no duplication or inconvenience is caused."

Exemption of registration of document, as per the notification (copy of which is with this paper) can also happen in cases where the promoter has received a completion certificate for a real estate project prior to commencement of the RERA Act and also in case of renovation or repair or re-development, which does not involve marketing, advertising selling or new allotment of any apartment, plot or building, as the case may be, under the real estate project.

RERA expert Ramesh Prabhu said, "It is a very good move, which should have been done long ago like in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, where such norms are already prevalent." He added, "This was a demand by many litigants who raised concerns that unregistered MahaRERA projects were still coming up in the State, but since MahaRERA was not taking any cognisance on the issue, it is believed that litigants complained to state government officials, including politicians who finally intervened and therefore [made] this order [happen]."

Prabhu further added that this also means henceforth, the developers will not be able to enter into any agreement for sale without RERA registration. "Dubious builders would attract customers and make them invest in an under construction project and halt the work midway causing severe loses to the flat buyers." He also suggested that a similar circular needs to be issued by MahaRERA stating that no buyers should pay more than 10 per cent of the sale value as token money till they register the agreement for sale."

Prabhu added that even today over 2,000 developers are carrying projects across Maharashtra without MahaRERA registration or have registered, but have not uploaded all mandatory documents on the portal. "MahaRERA till date has received more than 9,000 cases and nearly 50 per cent cases are settled on paper. However barely ten per cent of the flat buyers may have received the settled amount, after MahaRERA intervention."

No. of cases settled on paper

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