With a Will, there’s a way

A will is the last gift you’ll leave your family and loved ones with. It makes the management of your assets, especially property, clear and simple. However, don’t let the idea of making a will fill you with dread. We show you how… “In the event of death, a will can be challenged by the related parties of the deceased person by filing a complaint with the reason of default in the will in the court of law,” adds Nagesh Sharma, founder, Mera Loan Doctor. The most common dispute arises with regard to drafting of a will. He explains, “The delay in getting the probate, which has to be done six-nine months after the death of the person, is also another area of dispute. Once probate is granted by the court, the chances of disputes are very less; it is granted after due-diligence by the court wherein it calls all related-parties to come forward for any disputes or issues in the contents of the will.” Other causes of disputes include a person writing the will being compelled to do so or was done forcefully; if the details of the property are not mentioned clearly, and, lack of clarity on custody of original property papers.

Source: Times Property, Saturday 17 August 2019

Investment in real estate tripled between 2014-18: CII-JLL report

Institutional investment in the country’s real estate market has tripled in the last five years, a study report on Indian real estate market, released by the CII-JLL Wednesday at a real estate conclave organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry has revealed. According to the report, investments in Indian real estate more than tripled to Rs 1,40,000 crore between 2014 and 2018, as compared to Rs 46,500 crore between 2009 and 2013. A major portion of this investment was reported in metro cities like NCR-Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, which accounted for 74% of the total institutional investments during 2009-18.

As per the report, riding on a high demand for office spaces, investments in commercial office space rose six folds to Rs 62,200 crore between 2014 and 2018, from Rs 10,500 crore between 2009 and 2013. “Modern technology across construction, planning and development and policy reforms like the concept of shared economy giving rise to new asset classes, such as co-living, co-working spaces, and technology-driven businesses, have together made it more feasible for occupiers and investors,” the report stated.

Source: The Indian Express, Thursday 22 August 2019

Tread cautiously when dealing with subvention schemes

 The National Housing Bank (NHB) in July asked housing finances companies to stop offering interest subvention schemes through developers. Now, some developers have come up with their own offers. Typically these involve the buyer making a small upfront payment and rest at possession. There are also builders who are offering to pay you ‘rent’ for booking flats in their under-construction projects. Some banks continue to finance such schemes as they are not bound by the NHB circular. As a new customer, if you opt for a builder’s scheme that involves paying 9-20% up front, with the balance being funded by your independent loan at the time of possession, you don’t risk any violation. If a lender is involved at inception, you need to be cautious.

“After the NHB ban, some builders are offering to reimburse the interest to the customers instead of the lender,” says a senior official of a large HFC. Borrowers should look at agreements carefully. “Since developers are independent entities, they are free to create schemes within the allowable legal framework. The borrower should take legal and tax advice before signing up,” says Patel. Though the RBI has not issued a circular on the lines of the NHB in the recent past, it had red-flagged the 20:80 or 5:95 schemes in 2013. After this, banks switched to construction-linked disbursal for such loans. Given the discomfort of regulators with such products, the concept remains a grey area.

Source: The Economic Times-Wealth, Monday 26 August 2019

 MahaRERA is making housing a safer bet, restoring confidence

The real estate regulator for the state has taken several tough decisions against errant project developers. According to MahaRERA, it resolves eight complaints daily. In the 796 days of its existence — MahaRERA started functioning on May 1, 2017 — 8,331 complaints have been registered. It has resolved 5,247 of them — with order both in favor and against home buyers — while another 3,084 complaints are still pending. Not surprising then that MahaRERA has been a big boon for the helpless home buyers. Earlier, the Maharashtra government regulated the real estate industry, under the Maharashtra Ownership Flats (Regulation of the Promotion of Construction, Sale, Management and Transfer) Act 1963.

Why MahaRERA is a role model for the rest: In a very short period, MahaRERA has shown it to be an effective regulator. It has greatly empowered the home buyers by its orders. For instance, It is the only RERA in the country to have GIS mapping, allowing home buyers to see the exact location of a project and its surroundings. It also allows for home buyers to get together and change the developer of a project. Apart from the regulatory role, it also has a reconciliation unit, which sorts out a large number of disputes.

Source: The Indian Express, Monday 26 August 2019

Maharashtra state set to be first to map out vertical property rules

If the Maharashtra government has its way, flat owners will soon be able to avail an independent property card establishing their ownership. To map the vertical growth in cities and rural belts, the state government has decided to develop and maintain an independent record of rights and register for individual apartments and units. The state Cabinet gave the ambitious project a go-ahead and sanctioned the draft rules in this regard. Following the Cabinet nod, the state’s Revenue Department will now put the draft rules – the Maharashtra Land Revenue Record of Rights and Registers for Apartments and Building Rules (2019) – in public domain for suggestions and objections.

“Maharashtra will become India’s first state to formulate vertical property rules”, said state’s Settlement Commissioner S Chockalingam. At present, there is no firm register establishing the ownership right of vertical properties like flats, residential or commercial buildings. While the state Revenue Department maintains a record of land rights, it does not capture firm records of ownership of apartments or units that stand on it. “The proof of ownership has to be established through a chain of documents establishing how the ownership has changed hands,” added Chockalingam.

Source: The Indian Express, Thursday 29 August 2019

A nod to development

In a bid to bolster the real estate industry, the state government reduced premiums on fungible FSI for residential projects (from 50% to 35%) and the same for commercial projects (from 60% to 40%). Additionally, the premiums on additional built-up area for MHADA have also been slashed by 50 percent for projects meant for the economically weaker sections and low-income groups and by 25 percent for middle and high income groups. The government has also waived off the development cess on built-up area for the next two years.

“This move can further sensitise the affordable housing segment as these charges come into play at an early stage of development of a project; any reduction in these costs results in reducing the developers’ financial burden, which in turn can bring down the cost of the apartment when it is completed, thereby benefiting the buyers,” says Gulam Zia, executive director – valuation and advisory, retail and hospitality, Knight Frank India. According to reports, the reduction in premium rates is likely to result in a loss of revenue of nearly Rs 800 crore a year to the BMC.

Source: Times Property, Saturday 31 August 2019

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