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Sep 20, 2013, 02.37 PM IST | Source: Jones Lang LaSalle

Dissecting the role of real estate regulator in India

The aim of the bill is to create a Real Estate Regulatory Authority and an Appellate Tribunal that will act as a watchdog for the housing sector, primarily towards protecting consumer interests while creating an alternative redress mechanism for any disputes that may arise.

The Central Government Cabinet approved the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Bill on 5 June 2013. The aim of the bill is to create a Real Estate Regulatory Authority and an Appellate Tribunal that will act as a watchdog for the housing sector, primarily towards protecting consumer interests while creating an alternative redress mechanism for any disputes that may arise. The bill demands greater disclosure from the developer community and a higher level of project accountability to remove the information asymmetries from the housing market.

Like the US, where local city laws hold primacy over county and national laws in matters relating to real estate, land and urban planning, including housing, is a state subject in India. In a quasi-federal state like India, states act as independent, autonomous agents in respect of subjects that are under their purview.

While the US does not have a single window regulator, this bill seeks to remove this obstacle by letting the states set up their respective Regulatory Authority. Another major positive step is the compulsory registration of real estate agents, which is likely to provide another level of protection to buyers while also preventing concerns regarding money laundering by the non-organised broker community. A major bill provision is the standardisation of area measurement, with carpet area to be the measure when this bill is enacted.

Effective legislation, judicial activism and regulatory mechanism together lead to a vibrant industry with greater emphasis on protecting consumer interests. With a literally exploding housing demand, there was a definite need to bring in greater disclosure norms. Developers would need to provide the status of all approvals as well as sanctioned plans to buyers and will not be able to sell their project without obtaining the required approvals.

The bill has also sought to ensure that the buyer’s payment is utilised for the development of the particular project by necessitating the creation of an escrow account where the customer advances paid will be used only for that project’s completion. This limit has been revised from 70% earlier to 70% or less as decided by the respective states. The bill also seeks to make the developer responsible for adhering to the timelines and specifications committed to for project completion.

However, there is a need to analyse if certain inherent challenges facing the housing sector have been given a miss in this draft. At first glance, the Government is yet to streamline the approval process, which significantly slows down the project launch date and adds to the cost burden of the developer.

There is no clarity on which law will have precedence in the case of a dispute between the Central Government and state policies. The idea of fostering greater transparency may come at the cost of housing projects becoming more expensive if the approval process adds to the holding cost of the developer. That the regulator will be effective and that this is a positive step is not debatable. However, the extent of effectiveness and the implementation at the state level are possible hindrances going forward.

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Aajiwali
3000 - 5000
Ambernath
3000 - 5000
Badlapur
1000 - 3000
Bhandup (West)
11000 - 13000
Chembur (East)
15000 - 17000
Chembur (West)
11000 - 14000
Dombivali (East)
4000 - 6000
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13000 - 15000
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25000 - 30000
Hiranandani Gardens Estate - Powai
25000 - 30000
Kalyan (East)
2000 - 4000
Kalyan( West)
3000 - 5000
Karjat
1000 - 3000
Khandala
8000 - 10000
Kharegaon
5000 - 7000
King Circle
17000 - 28000
LBS Marg
12000 - 15000
Lonavala
3000 - 5000
Mulund (East)
11000 - 14000
Mulund (West)
11000 - 14000
Mumbai Nasik Highway
3000 - 6000
Powai
15000 - 17000
Senapati Bhagath Singh Road
3000 - 5000
Sion (East)
18000 - 21000
Sion (West)
17000 - 22000
Tilak Nagar
12000 - 22000
Ulhasnagar
3000 - 5000
Vikhroli
11000 - 14000
4 Bunglows
17000 - 28000
7 Bunglows
13000 - 23000
Chandivali
10000 - 15000
Malad (East)
12000 - 14000
Versova
21000 - 24000
Airoli
4000 - 8000
Belapur
6000 - 9000
Ghansoli
6000 - 8000
Kalamboli
4000 - 9000
Kamothe
4000 - 6000
Nerul
7000 - 10000
Palm Beach Road
12000 - 15000
Panvel
3000 - 6000
Sanpada
8000 - 10000
Sea Woods
8000 - 10000
Ulwe
3000 - 6000
Uran
3000 - 6000
Vashi
9000 - 12000
Altamount Road
62000 - 72000
Breach Candy
62000 - 74000
Chowpathy
48000 - 58000
Colaba
42000 - 46000
Cuffe Parade
67000 - 69000
Dadar(East)
32000 - 34000
Dadar(West)
29000 - 32000
Lower Parel
32000 - 34000
Mahalaxmi
38000 - 40000
Malabar Hills
68000 - 75000
Mumbai Central
23000 - 34000
Napean Sea Road
66000 - 74000
Parel
26000 - 34000
Prabhadevi
37000 - 39000
Tardeo
41000 - 49000
Worli
36000 - 41000
Andheri (West)
18000 - 20000
Andheri(East)
15000 - 17000
Bevarly Park
5000 - 7000
Bhayander (East)
5000 - 6000
Bhayander (West)
3000 - 5000
Boisar
1000 - 3000
Borivali (East)
11000 - 13000
Borivali (West)
10000 - 14000
Dahisar
4000 - 8000
Goregaon (East)
13000 - 17000
Goregaon (West)
12000 - 14000
Kandivali (East)
12000 - 14000
Kandiwali (West)
11000 - 12000
Malad(West)
9000 - 14000
Mira Road
5000 - 7000
Naigaon
1000 - 4000
Nala Sopara (Eastt)
3000 - 5000
Nalasopara (West)
3000 - 5000
Poonam Nagar
6000 - 8000
Shanti Nagar
7000 - 9000
Shrishti
6000 - 9000
Vasai Road
1200 - 4000
Virar
1000 - 3000
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