HYDERABAD: In spite of repeated extension of the deadline to register a real estate project and enhancing the late fee to Rs 3 lakh, apart from a 10 per cent penalty, a large number of realtors in the State are yet to comply with the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016. While the Act has been implemented fully in other states, Telangana Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) remains marred with teething issues even after two years of its existence.
For instance, 4,997 projects began under the GHMC, HMDA and Director, Town Planning and Country Planning (DTCP) between January 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018. Since they were sanctioned on the basis of building permissions it became mandatory for them to be registered with RERA.
However, to this day, only 2,700-odd projects have been duly registered. Further, RERA officials found out that nearly 1,000 of these projects, including buildings that were not for sale, function halls, godowns, etc, need not register themselves.
This leaves the authority with at least 1,200 real estate ventures which are not registered with RERA till date. Show cause notices have been issued to such realtors for non-compliance, apart from announcing a penalty of up to 10 per cent of the project cost and a late fee of Rs 3 lakh, but all in vain. Despite efforts to achieve more registrations, no realtor has paid the due penalty from August 31, 2018 till date.
Agents too non-compliant
Similarly, though there are over 3,000 real estate agents or brokers operating in Greater Hyderabad limits, only about 50 per cent are actually registered with the RERA as mandated by the norms.
“In spite of awareness programmes, no one is coming forward to apply for registration as they wonder why pay Rs 1,000 fee unnecessarily,” said an official. The official also added that “until and unless the home buyers insist on RERA registration, the builder or agent will not comply with the Act.”
On top of that, between August 31, 2018 and July 27, 2019, at least 2,000 new projects were granted building permissions. And the official verifications of these buildings are still in different stages of completion.
“Banks are no longer giving loans to builders without a RERA registration. We, too, are individually tracking the projects,” the official added.
Online plaint portal delayed
Meanwhile, the RERA authority has not set up the online portal for receipt of complaints yet. The common type of complaints are from buyers of open plots stating that the builders show the land parcel in one locality but deliver the house in a different locality. “The sale of open plots soon after approval from HMDA has become a big problem for us,” said the official.
It is learnt that the ‘online complaint module’ continues to be kept on ‘test mode’, because the officers or judges required to deal with the plaints have not been appointed. Once enabled, the online complaint module could help a buyer raise a complaint against an agent and builder or vice versa.
Former national president of Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) feels that those who do not register cannot hide for long and that it is in their own interest to register themselves.
“Registering with RERA gives one mileage in marketing the project. Any sensible businessman would want to register a project. It could be due to fear or lack of awareness that some small builders fail to register,” he added.