Status as on 30/04/2020
The real estate industry is on a halt as a strict lockdown is in place till 3rd May 2020. It has resulted in sparking unrest among the major stakeholders in the real estate industry. The continuous demands of the project developers of extending the RERA registration have posed a major question of marginalizing the interest of the Homebuyers.
The continuance of nationwide lockdown has forced several state real estate regulatory authorities to extend the RERA registration. This never came as a surprise as it was done in lieu of the ceaseless demand raised by the real estate project developers.
Section 6 of the Act, provides for the extension of registration. The much-debated force-majeure ground for extension of RERA registration is incorporated under explanation to this section. The power granted under Section 6 of the Act has been invoked by several RERA authorities like -MAHA RERA and UP RERA to extend the RERA registration.
However, the major question being posed before us is that –
Whether the extension of RERA registration will limit the rights of the Homebuyers?
To answer that let us analyze Section 18 of the RERA. It is clear words provide that if the promoter fails or is unable to give possession. Firstly, according to the terms of the agreement for sale by the date specified in the agreement. Or Secondly due to discontinuance of business as a developer on account of suspension or revocation of the RERA registration or for any other reason. Then it makes promoter liable towards the homebuyer for –
- Refunding the amount paid on demand in case the homebuyer wishes to withdraw.
- Paying the interest for every month of delay till the handing over of the possession.
Therefore Section 18 in no manner draws its validation from RERA registration. It further under Sub-Section 1 Clause (b) excludes the possibility to even put that as a defense to evade the liability imposed under Section 18. RERA certainly does not contemplate rewriting the contract between the buyer and project developers. This has been reaffirmed by Hon’ble Supreme Court in Neel Kamal Realtor Suburban v. Union of India (2017) by making a reference to Section 88 of the RERA Act.
The rights of the allottees/homebuyers arise from the builder buyer agreement and provisions of the RERA Act. There is no direct or causal link between the rights of the homebuyer arising in reference to RERA registration. The object of enacting RERA was to ensure standardization and consumer protection. Therefore, a mere extension of registration by concerned authorities in no manner marginalizes the rights of the homebuyers.
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