Assam real estate

Guwahati: The Assam Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (REAT) has called for plugging lacunae in the Guwahati Building Construction (Regulation) Byelaws, 2014 to protect the interests of home buyers.

The tribunal, while delivering its judgement on two appeals filed by Arunudoi Apartments Private Limited and two others against the decisions of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Assam on Thursday, pointed out that the Guwahati building bye-laws of 2014 are silent about the role of the competent authority in certifying the completion report, which must be submitted by builders in prescribed formats.

“Without such certification by the authority which had accorded the building permission, deviations from the sanctioned plans and layout plans, if any, by promoter/builder will go unnoticed. This, in turn, may cause prejudice to home buyers and may have far-reaching adverse consequences in so far as home buyers are concerned,” the tribunal noted.

The tribunal further observed that in the Guwahati building by-laws, there is no format prescribed for issuing occupancy certificates by the authority concerned. “This also needs to be addressed by the appropriate authority,” it said.

In the same judgement, the Assam REAT also asked the RERA Assam to remove difficulties faced by builders in registering their ongoing projects.

According to the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, the projects that were ongoing on the date of commencement of the Act and for which completion certificates had not been issued, are required to be registered with RERA.

As per the Act, while applying for registration of a project, the builder has to declare that 70 per cent of the amounts realised for the real estate project from the allottees, from time to time, shall be deposited in a separate account to be maintained in a scheduled bank to cover the cost of construction and the land cost and shall be used only for that purpose.

It was argued before the tribunal that making such a declaration is not feasible in respect of the projects launched before the commencement of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 in which the amounts realised from the allottees had already been spent.

The tribunal expressed the view that RERA Assam, being the sole and exclusive authority to grant registration of real estate projects, must devise a way and procedure to make even belated registration process of projects, falling into the category of ‘ongoing projects, workable.

“This is required for effective regulation and promotion of the real estate sector and to ease the process of registration sought by desirous and bonafide promoters of projects falling into the category of ‘ongoing projects,” it stated.

The Assam REAT dismissed the appeals filed by Arunudoi Apartments Private Limited and two others against the decisions of the Assam RERA, imposing a penalty of Rs 2 lakh for non-registration of their real estate project, Gunjanan Baruah Complex, Guwahati, and of Rs 50,000 for non-registration of their project, Ushalata Enclave, Guwahati.

The order was passed on Thursday by Justice (retired) Manojit Bhuyan, chairperson of the Assam REAT and Onkar Kedia, member, Assam REAT.

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