Status as on- 23/04/2021
Who is a “real estate agent” / “broker”?
Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 clearly states the definition of a broker in Section 2 Clause (zm) as:
“real estate agent” means any person, who negotiates or acts on behalf of one person in a transaction or transfer of his plot, apartment or building, as the case may be, in a real estate project, by way of sale, with another person or transfer of plot, apartment or building, as the case may be, of any other person to him and receives remuneration or fees or any other charges for his services whether as commission or otherwise and includes a person who introduces, through any medium, prospective buyers and sellers for negotiation for sale or purchase of plot, apartment or building, as the case may be, and includes property dealers, brokers, middlemen by whatever name called.
Importance of RERA Registration
The government passed the “Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (“RERA”) in March 2016, to regulate the real estate market and establish strict policies that developers and brokers must follow when selling any land. Brokers and agents will have to ensure that, they are properly registered with the regulator under RERA. Brokers become more accountable to home buyers and fully responsible for their company operations and practices after registering. The law requires developers to file reports with the regulatory authority about the current status of construction projects, the status of the land where housing units are being developed, any delays in the completion of layout plans, and so on. Brokers must also be aware of all of this because, as an intermediary, they are entitled to be aware of all of this information, which prevents him from inadvertently making false statements to a home buyer.
Procedure for Agent Registration
According to section 9 of the RERA Act, it is important for any real estate agent to register itself with the RERA, without which he/she is not allowed to indulge in any kind of action related to facilitating prospective buyers and sellers into selling or purchasing any kind of real estate property, whether it is a plot or a building or an apartment. All the RERA agents need to compulsorily register themselves with the concerned state-level regulatory authorities. After registration, the agents will be given a registration number by the authority which will be valid for 5 years and will be renewed thereafter. The procedure for Agent registration differs from state to state hence, it is advised to take proper legal advice to initiate the registration process smoothly.
Punishment for Non-registration under RERA
Section 62 of RERA provides punishment for non-registration and contravention which states:
“If any real estate agent fails to comply with or contravenes the provisions of section 9 or section 10, he shall be liable to a penalty of ten thousand rupees for every day during which such default continues, which may cumulatively extend up to five percent. Of the cost of plot, apartment or buildings, as the case may be, of the real estate project, for which the sale or purchase has been facilitated as determined by the Authority.”
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