How India's real estate law let down home buyers
- Execution delays despite favourable orders by the regulator have left people in the lurch
- The Act has many gaps. District magistrates, for instance, don’t have an easy mechanism to recover the money from defaulting developers. They also lack manpower.
Shama Kochhar, a director in a manufacturing firm, booked an apartment in Panvel, Mumbai, in 2013. Her developer agreed for a handover by December 2018. However, things rarely go as planned in the world of residential real estate, especially in India where big builders, often, exert a disproportionate amount of influence over the middle-class homebuyer. In early 2019, Kochhar’s developer revised the possession date to December 2022, only to extend it further to June 2023, citing the pandemic as a cause. Kochhar, who has already paid over 90% of the total cost, wants to be compensated for the delay. She registered a complaint under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, popularly known as RERA, in July 2020. Despite multiple follow-ups, she is yet to hear back on the complaint. “I am perplexed as to what I should do. I haven’t got a response from Maharasthra RERA. Should I go to the consumer court or wait further? And for how long?" she asked.