The Real Estate Regulatory Authority Act or the RERA Act was notified with the intention of safeguarding the interests of home-buyers, and regulating the real estate market. While some states such as Maharashtra and Haryana are proactively implementing RERA, states like Andhra Pradesh do not even have an appellate tribunal, nor conciliation and adjudication, to help resolve consumer grievances.
According to a reply received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Andhra Pradesh RERA did not have an appellate tribunal and it has not received any adjudication request as on 5 July 2019.
The RTI reply also shows that there is not a single conciliation request registered as on 5 July 2019, despite the Andhra Pradesh RERA establishing a conciliation forum under Section 32 (g) of the RERA Act.
This means that either the Andhra Pradesh RERA is so efficient that they are able to resolve complaints without hurting the interest of the developer and buyers, or that the 'transparency' that the Act has sought to instil in the real estate sector, is missing.
Here is what we had asked the AP RERA under RTI and its response…
1. Total number of adjudication requests received, total number of adjudication cases resolved, pending, and adjudication requests out of the jurisdiction of the RERA.
AP RERA: No adjudicating request received, addressing the adjudicating officer till date.
2. Total number of appeals filed in RERA appellate tribunal, process of hearing appeals which are pending, and appeals for which an order has been passed.
AP RERA: Appellate tribunal was not constituted.
3. Total number of conciliation requests received, promoters’ consent received, cases settled successfully, cases failed, cases where RERA has no jurisdiction, and cases which are pending.
AP RERA: No conciliation requests are received by this authority till date.
AV Shenoy, a consumer activist from Mumbai, says, “Such a situation should not exist; but if it does, then the only recourse for the buyer or developer is the High Court, or the consumer court. If there is no appellate authority, you can always approach the district consumer forum, or the state consumer commission.”
The Andhra Pradesh RERA has listed over 431 registered projects, and 56 registered agents. This is a great improvement from the two projects that it initially allowed to be registered under the ambit of RERA. However, there are no orders of any kind visible on its website, since no applications were made, to the adjudication officer, the appellate tribunal or the conciliation forum.
Such a situation is so dire, that an image of the adjudicating officer and the conciliator of Andhra Pradesh RERA sitting and swatting flies can be imagined. All the stakeholders in the real estate sector in Andhra Pradesh must keep this in mind while buying or selling property.
Almost 28 states (including Union Territories) have notified RERA, of which 22 already have a fully functional website. The exception to the RERA Act, however, is the state of West Bengal, which has created its own West Bengal Housing and Regulation Act, which was notified in 2017.
Every state that had notified the RERA Act in their state would have to, under Section 43 of the RERA Act, establish an appellate tribunal within one year of notification, in addition to the establishment of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority in that state, which, as is evident, is not seen in Andhra Pradesh.
With the establishment of the new government in Andhra Pradesh, under Jaganmohan Reddy, it is expected that with the pattas being given to 2.5 million Ugadi, a change in this attitude to real estate regulation would also take place, to show how serious this government is in safeguarding the interests of stakeholders in this sector which is set to become worth $1 trillion by 2030.
Here is the RTI reply received from Andhra Pradesh RERA…