NEWS UPDATES

Homebuyer Gets 5% Payment Waiver For Delay In Delivery

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has asked realty developer ShethInfraworld to waive off the balance 5% consideration to be recovered from a homebuyer against delay in delivery of an apartment. Even after paying 95% of the consideration a homebuyer is yet to receive the possession of her flat in the developer’s project Sheth Midori in Borivali, Mumbai.

Source : The Economic Times, Tuesday 6 February 2018

Seven Developers Fined For Flouting Maharera Norms

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Maha-RERA), for the first time, imposed fines on seven developers for advertising their housing projects without mentioning the MahaRERA website and registration numbers as per norms. On a complaint filed by the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, a fine of Rs 2 lakh each was imposed on – Goodtimes, Rikki Ronie, Ashar Realtors, Puraniks, Lashkaria Housing Sandeep Landge and Kabra& Associates. Kabra& Associates were fined an additional penalty of Rs 10 lakh for falsely advertising that the registration process for its Juhu Chandan project was on when the project was not registered with MahaRERA.

“Advertising unregistered real estate projects, and advertising them along with registered projects is a violation of section 3 of RERA. Similarly, not displaying MahaRERA online portal address as well as only mentioning MahaRERA registered without mentioning the registration number are both violations,” said Shirish Deshpande, president, Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) He said MGP activists monitored advertisements in newspapers, websites of promoters, and also collected promotional material displayed at property exhibitions. “Our volunteers found several unregistered projects being openly advertised, marketed and sold in brazen violation of Section 3 of RERA. We have submitted a list of 31 such ads to MahaRERA chairperson today,” he said.

Source : Mumbai Mirror, Saturday 10 February 2018

RERA Fines 1,716 Projects, Raises Rs 18 Crore In Revenue

Since its inception, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has penalised developers of 1,716 projects, with amounts ranging between Rs 50,000 and Rs 10 lakh, for delay in registering with the authority. This has helped it to earn over Rs 18 crore revenue only through fines. As per the RERA Act, it's compulsory to register ongoing projects with the authority within 90 days, failing to which it restricts the sale of ready houses.

The authority came into existence on May 1 last year and has registered over 13,000 projects across the state. There are over 10,000 brokers registered with it, as mandated by the RERA Act. The regular fee charged to developers is Rs 10 per sqm, with Rs 10 lakh being the maximum amount charged as registration fee. Brokers, on the other hand, have to shell out Rs10,000 for registering with RERA. While those delaying in registration were charged between Rs 50,000 and Rs 10 lakh as penalty, the authority can also fine developers 10% of the total project cost.

Source : Mid-Day,Wednesday 14 February 2018

Maharera Chief Helps Restart Stalled Project

One of the four squabbling promoters takes over Tanvi Eminence project in Mira Road; to offer possession by December 31, 2019.

In a landmark order , the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has succeeded in negotiating a settlement between the developer and home buyers of Tanvi Eminence housing project in Mira Road, stalled since 2013 because of a squabble between the four promoters. The project now has a completion deadline of end-2019.

This is the first time anywhere in India that a RERA regulatory authority has played an active role in putting a housing project, stalled four years before the RERA Act came into effect, back on track, giving relief to hapless home buyers.

MahaRERA chairperson Gautam Chatterjee took the initiative and personally held deliberations over the last three months to make sure that one of the four bickering promoters took up the responsibility of funding, construction and completion of Phases I and II of the project, which began in 2009, but has been stalled since 2013.

Mumbai Mirror had first reported in October 2017 that over 500 home buyers were waiting for their homes in Tanvi Eminence after differences emerged between the four project promoters, who included two diamond merchants, in Kashimira Ceramic Products LLP (KCPL).

In November, a group of 181 home buyers formed a welfare association and collectively approached MahaRERA for relief. In December, under Chatterjee’s supervision, diamond merchant Dahyabhai Sutaria agreed to take charge of the project, and the other promoters agreed to transfer 33 per cent of their share to Sutaria and exit KCPL. However, talks between the promoters broke down again. Chatterjee again returned them to the negotiating table, and hammered out asolution with the consent of all stakeholders.

According to the settlement, Sutaria will hold 99 per cent ownership of KCPL, with new partner Dhaval Darji holding 1per cent, so that the same Limited Liability Partnership firm can execute the project. They will complete five wings of the 18-storey buildings in Phase I, and three buildings of 11-storeys in Phase II, and deliver possession to 181 home buyers by December 31, 2019, with a further grace period of three months.

According to the consent terms signed between the two promoters and the 181-members of the Tanvi Eminence Owners Welfare Association, the cost of the flats allotted to home buyers will not be increased, except 4.5 per cent GST on flat cost. The promoters will charge Rs four lakh towards parking for those not allotted parking, and the allotment rights for car parking will remain exclusively with KCPL, even after a co-operative housing society is formed by the home buyers. The promoters will also execute agreements of sale with those buyers who don’t have one within 90 days.

In return, the home buyers will withdraw all complaints and FIRs filed against KCPL with the police and any other authorities. “The promoters will be entitled to purchase the Transfer of Development Rights as per their requirement to complete the project. If they get additional Floor Space Index from the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation, they will be free to construct additional floors in Phase II and sell those flats at current market prices,” said Rajesh Mhatre, secretary of the Tanvi Eminence Owners Welfare Association.

Source : Mumbai Mirror, Monday 26 February 2018

Mumbai: Prepone possession date by four years, RERA orders developer

Mumbai: A complainant who approached MahaRERA (Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority) with a complaint pertaining to unreasonable possession date, got a relief after the bench ordered the developer to prepone the possession date of the project by four years. The RERA bench ordered for preponement of the possession date of the project from 2024 to 2020, failing which the developer would be liable to pay the interest rate till the actual date of possession.

The complainant ShreeramChaurasia approached the RERA bench with the complaint against developer NHK Developers LLP. Chaurasia had purchased an apartment in the project named ‘Vastukalp Project’ situated in Bhandup (west) and signed an agreement dated August 10, 2014.

Chaurasia alleged that developer promised with the possession date of the said apartment within 2.5 years from the date of the agreement.The revised date put out by the developer was December 31, 2014 in the MahaRERA registration.The complainant demanded that the entire amount be paid to them by the developer with interest and compensation be refunded as per the provisions of section 18 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016

The representative of the respondent, Bhavesh D Vora in his defense said no date of possession was mentioned in the said agreement. Vora also said that a fixed date of possession was never promised to the complainant due to risks involved in the redevelopment project. The RERA bench explained to the complainant that no relief for delay under section 18 cannot be granted to them as no specific date of possession was mentioned in the agreement registered between the parties. Chaurasia agreed to reconsider his decision regarding continuing in the project if a reasonable possession date is ordered.

The RERA bench said that revised possession date of December 2024 put out by the developer is unreasonable time period for completion of the project as the revised date has to be commensurate with the extend of balance development. This has been mentioned in the rule 4 of Maharashtra Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Registration of Real Estate Projects, Registration of ReaI state Agents, Rates of Interest and Disclosures on Website Rules,2017.

The bench ordered that the respondent must hand over the possession date of the said apartment with Occupancy Certificate to the complainant before the period ending December 31, 2020, failing which the respondent would be liable to pay interest to the complainant from January 1, 2021 till actual date of possession. The said interest shall be at the rate as prescribed under RERA rules.

Source :The Free Press Journal ,Monday 5 March 2018

MahaRERA panel helps resolve 6 disputes in a day

For the first time ever, a conciliation panel under the state real estate authority MahaRera resolved six disputes between flat buyers and builders—before formal complaints could be filed before the authority. The warring parties are given a chance to sit across the table and resolve the issue, if possible, instead of fighting it out by hiring lawyers before the housing authority.

Four complaints in Mumbai and two other disputes in Pune were resolved out of the 16 cases heard by eight different benches of the forum in the two cities. Some of the developers involved included L&T Realty, Acme Housing, Tridhatu Group, Ekta Group and Lavasa. Most cases were complaints about delayed possession, buyers seeking cancellation and asking for a refund.

Source : The Times of India, Tuesday 13 March 2018

In a first, MahaRera gets NMMC to explain green clearance delay

Regulator’s order comes after builder blames civic body for project delays. In a first, Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), which has the powers of a civil court, summoned officials from Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) in January to depose and submit evidence to decide complaints of delayed possession in connection with Green World project at Airoli on Thane-Belapur Road.

Officials from the Town Planning department of NMMC, which is the planningauthority, were called to verify if the delay in getting environment clearanceshappened at their office.

The developer argued that the delay was due to factors beyond their control and pointed out that the primary reason was the delay by the NMMC and the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SIEAA) in granting environmental clearances.

After hearing the arguments from both sides, and documents submitted, Singh felt it necessary to summon officers of Town Planning department of NMMC. The Assistant Director of Town Planning submitted a letter on January 11 confirming that the plot owners had submitted application for No Objection Certificate for CRZ-II to BMC on August 17, 2011, and the clearances were given on June 11, 2013 after a gap of one year and eight months. On the basis of this NOC, the SEIAA granted environmental clearance on July 30, 2013.

Source : Mumbai Mirror , Monday 19 March 2018

Third Party Must Protect Home Buyers’ Interests: MahaRERA

First ruling on third-party rights and duties in transfer of mortgaged assets. In the first such ruling on third-party rights in housing projects, MahaRERA ruled that Xander Finance, a non-banking finance company (NBFC), which gave a loan to Bhagtanis of JVPD Properties Ltd against mortgaged assets of his two housing projects in Powai, will have to protect the interests of the home buyers as the third party.

The ruling came on a complaint filed by TriveshPooniwala and 20 other buyers from Bhagtani Serenity. After DiipeshBhagtani’s arrest in January,Xander Finance had secured a favourable order from the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Esplanade under the SARFAESI Act for taking possession of theassets mortgaged to the firm to recover its dues of Rs 13.50 crore. On January 15, the magistrate had appointed a Court Commissioner for takingpossession of the secured assets within a period of 60 days.

During the hearings, the home buyers contended that Section 15 of RERA and MahaRERA circular No. 11/2017 protects the interests of flat buyers whenthird party rights are created by the promoter and defines the third party as the new promoter also transferring the promoter’s obligations.

Xander had challenged the jurisdiction of MahaRERA to pass any restraining orders. After hearing the arguments of both parties, Kapadnis observed that Section 15 (1) of RERA mandates that the onus is on the promoter to seek consent oftwo-thirds of allottees and MahaRERA’s approval in case of a mortgage, and that Bhagtanis had not done so. Part 3 of the circular requires financialinstitution to do the same within seven days of the transfer. The new promoter acquiring assets will acquire the assets withall the legal liabilities of the promote.MahaRERA order protects the buyers who have parted with their life savings tobuy flats. The order clarifies that when the secured creditor will acquire the land in its name or transfers it to a third party , the newowner will have to protect the interest of existing home buyers and take all the liabilities of the old promoter.

Source : Mumbai Mirror, Monday 23 March 2018.

Builders also entitled to interest for late payment:MahaRERA

MahaRera has held that builders are also entitled to interest for delayed payment in proceedings filed by buyers seeking interest for delay in possession. RERAheld both liable to pay interest for delay in possession and payment, even though the buyer had filed the case.

The authority directed the builder, HDIL, to pay interest for delay in giving possession of a free sale Rs 1 crore flat in Kurla and the buyer for delay in making the entire payment.

Observing that the law provides that the rate of interest payable to allottee and promoter shall be equal.

B D Kapadnis, Rera member who heard a dispute between Shrikant Pandit and Sudha Pandit against Rahul Anklesaria, HDIL, over delay in possession of a flat in Kurla, dealt essentially with the legal question whether a builder is entitled to interest from a buyer in a complaint filed by the buyer who wishes to continue with the project despite delay in delivery. The buyer had fileda complaint seeking interest for delay in possession. The answer, said the Rera member, was that the builder was entitled too.

The authority directed the builder to pay pay the Pandits simple interest on Rs 51 lakh, which had been received from the buyers, from March 1, 2017, till they hand over the flat. The buyers were directed to pay the builder Rs 48 lakh as unpaid dues, with interest from August 9, 2016.

Source : The Times of India, Monday 26 March 2018.

RERA creates a Rs 10,000 crore business for cover firms

RERA has made it compulsory for developers to get title insurance for all projects, opening a new segment of over Rs 10,000 crore for insurance companies.

Insurance companies have so far not covered land transactions and they say the reason for missing cover is unreliable land records, which can be challenged.

After the implementation of RERA, it is mandatory for developers to provide written affidavit to the buyer stating that the legal title to the land contains legitimate documents of ownership. This policy covers buyers of property against loss and settlement costs, litigation funds arising from problems in the land title discovered after purchase. HDFC Ergo and SBI General are working on launching title insurance policy.

Sum assured for title insurance will be the value of the property. Large developers, financiers would like to buy title insurance.

Mostly, it will cover issues arising out of forgery and fraud or claims arising out of documents not created properly. Interestingly, if property value appreciates, the policy will increase the limit of indemnity.

Source :The Economic Times, Monday 28 March 2018.
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