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Coronavirus impact | UP RERA extends real estate project timelines by six months

Last week, the Centre issued an advisory to regulatory authorities of all states and Union territories, directing them to treat COVID-19 pandemic as 'Force Majeure' or an act of God. It allowed extension of timeline to complete projects by six months

After Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra RERA authorities, UP RERA has also decided to extend the deadline for completion of real estate projects by six months in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

The deadline for RERA projects that were registered or were to be completed by or on March 25 should be extended, the Centre’s advisory issued to states earlier this month had said, giving relief to the stressed sector. The advisory came a few hours after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told media that the deadline would be extended in the face of the coronavirus outbreak.

The outbreak of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, be treated as an “act of God” and a “force majeure” event under the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act, the housing and urban affair ministry said in the advisory issued on May 13.

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The decision to extend the registration of real estate projects under force majeure provision of RERA Act 2016 was taken at the Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority (UP RERA)’s 35th meeting held on May 20.

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The meeting was chaired by chairman Rajive Kumar and attended by all the members and senior officers of UP RERA.

All registered projects for which the completion date or revised completion date or extended completion date as per registration expires on or after March 25, 2020, the registration and completion date or revised completion date or extended completion date is automatically extended by six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the authority said.

“It has been decided that by virtue of powers conferred under Section 37 read along with Section 34(f) of the RERA, the registration or extension thereto under Section 5 & 6 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 or Rules 6 and 7 of the U.P. Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Rules, 2016 thereunder, all registered projects under the jurisdiction of UP RERA for which the completion date or revised completion date or extended completion date as per registration expires on or after 25th March 2020,” a UP RERA statement said.

“The registration and completion date or revised completion date or extended completion date is automatically extended by six months due to outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic which is a calamity caused by nature and is adversely affecting regular development of real estate projects by invoking “force majeure” clause,” it said.

The six-month extension will also be provided to such projects which have already availed one-year extension as provided in the RERA Act on or after 25th March 2020.

The authority also decided that the time limit for various compliances that were due to be submitted by March 31 has been extended up to June 30 without any payment of a late fee.

“The Authority has received representations from various organisations such as NAREDCO and CREDAI along with individual representations wherein they have explained in detail the issues being faced by the sector as a result of COVID-19 pandemic… after detailed deliberation in this regard and having in view the advisory issued by Government of India, the Authority using the powers conferred on it under section 37 of the Act, issued the directions regarding the extension of registration of real estate projects for six months,” Kumar said.

The project will not require an extension if the CC/OC of the project has already been obtained. For the aforesaid extension, no fees will be charged from the promoters. The Authority will issue fresh 'Project Registration Certificates' with the revised timeline in each such registered real estate project,” secretary UP RERA Abrar Ahmed said.

In its advisory to the state RERA authorities last week, the Centre had said that the regulators could extend by another three months the date of completion if needed. They can also issue fresh “project registration certificates” with a revised timeline at the earliest.

The MahaRERA order issued on May 18 states that for further extension “beyond the aforesaid 6 months, for adversely affected projects, concerned promoters will have to apply in accordance with provisions of Section 6. MahaRERA may at its discretion waive the fee for such extension due to force majeure in accordance with rule 7 of Maharashtra Real Estate Registration Rules, 2017.”

Gujarat Real Estate Regulatory Authority has also extended by six months the completion deadline for real estate projects in the state.

“The completion date or extended completion date is hereby automatically (without application) extended by 6 months due to outbreak of COVID-19 (Corona Virus), which is a calamity caused by nature and is adversely affecting regular development of real estate projects, by invoking force majeure clause,” the Gujarat order said.

The Rajasthan Real Estate Regulatory Authority became the first authority to have issued the order extending by a year the deadline of projects registered before March 19, 2020, waiving off the fee for the extended period.

RERA was brought in to regulate the real sector in 2017, with states allowed to draw up their own rules under a broad framework laid out by the Centre.
First Published on May 21, 2020 11:56 am
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