It can be a matter of confusion for many - how to file an online complaint in RERA. What are the advantages and what are the disadvantages?
In this article, we will discuss all the queries in detail so that you can understand them very quickly.
LEGAL DUE DILIGENCE
If your builder is registered with the RERA portal, you will get all your project documents from there. These documents include -
- Commencement Certificate - starting date of the construction.
- Completion certificate
- Occupation certificate
- Approved layout
- Advocate Title report
- Project status documents
- Approvals from other authorities
These things are important as you can make a prudent decision after reviewing these documents.
When you can file a complaint in RERA?
If you have purchased a flat in some RERA registered project and are not getting possession, interest on delayed possession, rent & compensation, the builder has done some illegal alterations inside the flats without the consent of the allottee you can file a complaint before the RERA.
RERA Case Filing Procedure:
You have to sign up on the RERA portal and create your profile by filling in all the necessary details and after getting the login credentials you can go ahead and file your complaint online by paying the necessary court fees which are Rs.5,000/- in Maharashtra and may vary from state to state, along with uploading all the necessary documents. The Complaint should be point blank and discuss the problem statement and the reliefs that you are seeking explaining on the basis of the facts and legal provisions. After the complaint is filed you will get a notification email from the RERA official website. After that, once your case is listed for hearing you may get another email notification about the date & time of the hearing. Both the parties are notified about the hearing and the builder may also choose to file his reply supported by necessary documents supporting his contentions. The online hearing is conducted in the presence of litigants, advocates, and RERA adjudicating authority & moderator. The complainant must present his case through his Advocate before the authority precisely and request to grant the reliefs asked for. The authority may either permit the builder to file his reply and any additional documents if not done till the date of hearing or may go ahead and pass the final order itself. Within two days normally the order passed by the authority is uploaded to the website.
Documents to be uploaded along with the Complaint:
- Registered agreement with the builder
- Follow-up emails, WhatsApp messages.
- Legal Notice sent by your Advocate and Reply Notice if any received from Builder’s Advocate
- Postal Receipts
- Token Amount receipt
Note: Check for Document File Size that is allowed in the state where the RERA complaint is filed and if the documents are of large size then either compress it or spilt and upload in the portal.
Reliefs Purchasers can expect from RERA:
- You are entitled to get possession of the flat that you have purchased by executing a registered agreement with the builder.
- If you live in a rented property, you can claim the rent amount for that extended period from when you were promised possession by the builder. Normally RERA awards rent if the purchaser is exiting the project.
- You can ask for interest & compensation for delayed possession. Normally RERA awards interest from the date of delayed possession till the date of OC if the purchaser is willing to stay in the project.
- If you are exiting the project you can expect a refund of the amount paid along with rent, interest & compensation. However, if you are exiting the project you have to execute a registered cancellation deed with the builder. Make sure that the timeline of cancellation deed, builder cooperation for tax refund everything is mentioned in the final order passed by the authority so that tomorrow if the builder doesn’t act, you can execute the order with more conviction.
- If the builder has made any alteration in the property without the consent of the required number of allottees, you can either ask for restoring the previous position or claim costs of renovation that you may have to incur later.
- You may request for Car Parking although it’s the prerogative of the Society in which you are residing. Therefore the RERA may not grant the purchaser Car Parking since its not legal to buy a car parking from the builder because car parking comes under common areas and only the Society has to make a policy to regulate car parking in the general body meeting.
Decision Of RERA:
After making a complaint, you can expect the decision within sixty to ninety days. However recently it has been observed that its taking as long as 11-12 months to get the first hearing because of huge pendency. Therefore refer to the circulars regarding hearing that may be uploaded on the RERA website from time to time.
Disadvantages Of RERA:
Now do not think that this is the end of everything. If the decision comes in your favor, then your builder can go to the appellate tribunal of RERA as well. The builder will need to deposit 30 percent of the decreed amount of the first court of RERA. Only then he can file an appeal in the RERA Appellate tribunal. If the builder is not satisfied with the order of the RERA Appellate Tribunal, he can further appeal to the High court and even the Supreme court.
So you need to understand that if the case goes to High Court or Supreme court, it costs you a lot of time and money. The registration fee for the complaint in RERA is only Rs. 5000. However, the exorbitant professional fees at every forum starting from the original tribunal to higher courts are always a matter of concern.
Again the execution of the RERA court is also problematic. You can easily have the decree in your favor if all the pieces of evidence support your claim. However, the execution of the orders can be time-consuming.
Once the order comes the builder has to comply with it in 45 days. If he does not comply, you can file an execution application to RERA online on the same online portal after 60 days. Remember the tab for the execution of the order opens only after the stipulated time frame is over. During the execution proceedings, if you apply for an attachment of the property of the builder or demand an arrest due to non-compliance with the original order, however, in this case, the matter is transferred to Civil Court for execution proceedings. Eventually, it will become time-consuming.
The builder is anyways better placed in terms of time & money to take advantage of this appeal mechanism & other technical nitty-gritty and avoid giving the complainant his deliverables. Therefore one has to keep all these things in mind while making a strategy for a RERA litigation.
What is the Solution?
If the matter is stuck in the RERA or Civil Court and becomes time-consuming then in this case you have the option of making an application to the District Collector and apprising him about the situation and the consequences of delay that is affecting your financials and ask for directions to the executing authority to complete the execution proceedings in a time-bound manner.
If this does not work for you, you can file a writ petition of mandamus for directions in the High court and ask for directions to the executing court to provide you with a proper decision and relief within a specific time.
Other than RERA, the purchaser has a good remedy before the Consumer Forum because of its comparatively strong execution mechanism and also NCLT for getting the recovery of dues from the builder company. You can also register an FIR to the police station of your jurisdiction for fast redressal. If maximum people facing a similar type of problem approaching different authorities simultaneously then you can put your builder under pressure. In this case, your builder may ask you to settle the matter through negotiation which might be a win-win situation for all.