Column: Taking the real estate bull by the horns

Mar 07 2013, 02:07 IST
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SummaryAmidst hope, arm-chair criticism and loud sighs of dismay, the government of Haryana finds itself mulling over the enforcement of the Haryana Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013, which seeks to instil accountability and transparency in the real estate sector.

Haryana Real Estate Bill seeks to instil accountability and transparency in the sector

Amidst hope, arm-chair criticism and loud sighs of dismay, the government of Haryana finds itself mulling over the enforcement of the Haryana Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2013, which seeks to instil accountability and transparency in the real estate sector. In a sector that is largely unregulated, the Bill promises reprieve for the common citizens by providing stricter enforceability norms. At the heart of the Bill lies the establishment of the Haryana Real Estate Authority. The authority acts as a sentinel and an advisor. As an advisor, the authority has been given the daunting task of advising the state government in matters concerning real estate development. While in its role as a sentinel, the authority protects the harassed citizens from the poisonous mist of insufficient disclosures.

With the enforcement of the new Bill, all builders and real estate developers would be mandated to register their real estate projects with the authority. Upon registration, the authority would publish the details of the real estate projects on its website and maintain a record of the details provided. This should ease the discomfort of consumers burdened with incomplete information on investment projects. No longer would discretion be given to builders to disclose information on a need-to-know basis.

Another key highlight of the Bill is the introduction of the term promoter. The term doesn’t have the same meaning as presented under the Companies Act, 1956, but has carved its own space. A promoter under the Bill, inter alia, is defined to mean a person constructing a building, apartment or developing a colony. It covers any development authority or other public body constructing buildings or apartments on land either owned by them or placed at their disposal by the government. The definition has been given a wide connotation to bring within its ambit state level cooperative housing societies that construct apartments or buildings for its members or allottees. The reason for defining the term promoter could be to ensure that entities or persons categorised under it receive a certification from the Real Estate Authority before booking, selling or offering to sell any immovable property. However, a certification is not required in all forms of development. Some categories have been exempt from obtaining a certification such as those where the proposed development is less than 1,000 square metres, or the number of apartments developed is

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