Ever since the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) came into force in Karnataka, it has been getting complaints from homebuyers against builders almost every day
“About 80 complaints have been registered against developers across the state in the past 62 days. A majority of these complaints are against realty projects in Bengaluru,“ said Karnataka RERA chairman and housing secretary Kapil Mohan. he most common complaints are on delayed delivery of apartments houses or failure to provide promised amenities, Mohan said.
Karnataka notified the RERA Act on July 10 and launched a portal on July 24 for builders and agents to register themselves and their projects. A complaint window was also unveiled on its website to enable homebuyers to file complaints against builders.
According to the Act, a builder who fails to act even after a complaint is filed with RERA by a homebuyer, is liable to pay a penalty of 10% of the estimated cost of the real estate project. On continued violation, the builder can be punished with imprisonment up to three years.
Once the complaint details of projects are registered, officials said the Authority will take up a suo motu case and send notices to builders. “We will not straightaway levy a penalty on builders following complaints from buyers and citizens. The affected parties will be given a hearing and addressing their problems will be our aim. We want homebuyers to get justice early rather than getting them embroiled in a legal tangle, as it happens in courts,“ Mohan said.
However, some feel that RERA is not working as effectively as it should. They say it is necessary to have a permanent chairman and two members. The principal secretary of the housing department is currently the in terim chairman, but sources said he was too busy with his main charge of redressing homebuyer complaints. “The whole idea behind RERA and real estate rules was to look into grievances of homebuyers.
A tribunal under RERA is meant to assist in resolving disputes. If that doesn’t function properly , the whole purpose of having RERA gets defeated,“ said G Prasad, a homebuyer who has complained against a reputed builder with RERA.