Ready to buy a home?

Congratulations, on reaching this milestone of your life as buying a house in this super expensive lifestyle is indeed an achievement and I’m sure you agree with me!! You might be under pressure in finding the most suitable house for you and your family. Well, that’s not it, the home buying process is quite lengthy as well as complicated. And the most worrisome thing during the entire process is to safeguard oneself from the scams surrounding a home buyer.

With hundreds and thousands of scams surrounding an individual, the “REAL ESTATE SCAM” is the deadliest one. There might be situations where you might end up paying lakhs and crores of rupees for absolutely nothing which eventually means that you might not receive your dream house even after making the entire payment just because you fell into the trap of a real estate agent or a contract or whomsoever.

I’m writing this article to not scare you to awaken you. You will have to be on high alert during the entire home buying process and until and unless you do not acquire all the legal documents from the government authorities.

Besides keeping a close watch on the people involved in the home buying process, you are not alone in this journey of yours. There have been tons of innocent people like you, who although being alert were fooled by the con artists and so, to stop this from happening again and again, the government of India finally launched a reliable policy for home buyers named Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) Act working for providing transparency in the real estate industry. However, with each state following different norms, the Government decided to come up with a RERA Act for each state individually.

Planning to buy a house in Maharashtra?

The MAHARASHTRA RERA ACT, commonly known as the MahaRERA Act will be responsible for you to safely get your hands on your dream house while ensuring that your hard-earned money is in the right hands.

Each state under the RERA Act has a different set of rules listed for the home buyers and as you are planning to buy a house in Maharashtra, I have listed the rights, that you, as a home buyer will have under MahaRERA

Registration

You agreed on buying the 15th-floor apartment in a building and are super curious about moving into the house for enjoying the top view of the city from the balcony but you ended up receiving the 5th-floor apartment in the same building, wouldn’t that be a huge disappointment to you? And so to avoid this from happening, the MahaRERA law has made it mandatory for every builder to register his project with the housing regulatory body. The developer will be found to submit the details and approvals regarding the house to intend to buy.

Disclosure

Would you feel comfortable moving in a partially completed house even though all the payment from your end has been cleared? No, right?!! Therefore, to maintain transparency to the home buyers, MahaRERA restricts the builder to advertise his/her project without getting approval from the supervisor.

Payment

You loved a dress at a shopping mall but couldn’t find your wallet at the right time due to which you end up seeing that dress being bought by somebody else, a heart-breaking moment? Well, the grief would be higher when it comes to loving a house for yourself, but you failed to make the payment on the date mentioned by the builder and lost the house already? Don’t panic, this is something that cannot happen to you under the MahaRERA Law.

Earlier, paying off the booking amount was one of the most stressful tasks to do due to limited time constraints and also because of arranging 20% of the amount in one shot. But with MahaRERA laws now, you will be supposed to pay 10% of the amount only, and that too after registering the agreement for sale with the builder. Also, you will be having enough time to arrange the funding as the agreement of sale between you and the buyer can be terminated only if you default the payment thrice and that too after giving a 15-day notice period.

Delayed Possession

You have sent house-warming party invites to all your friends and family for the same day for which the developer promised you to hand over the house keys to you and a week before your party, you get a call from a developer saying it would take another 2 weeks of times for him to hand over the keys of your flat? It would be embarrassing for you to cancel the party just because you trusted the builder who couldn’t stick to his/her words. MahaRERA won’t let it slide, if the builder delays to hand over the possession, the onus of paying the EMIs will fall on his/her shoulders, also, the builder will have to pay you a fine, under which possession gets delivered to you.

Quality of Construction

It’s not even been six months since you moved to your new house and you witness cracks on the wall, what to do in a situation like this? Already started planning on using your savings to fix the wall? Stop right now!! MahaRERA will resolve the issue for you free of cost as the law states that the builder will be responsible for paying for any quality defects witnessed for the first five years after delivery of the possession. The builder will have rectified the defects within 30 days of the complaint filed.

No discrimination

You get attracted towards something and are ready to buy the thing at the stated price that got your attention but the seller refuses to sell it just because you are from a Christian family background, does that make sense? You might wonder does discrimination still exists, well, not under MahaRERA at least as it doesn’t support discrimination, homebuyers can’t be denied flats based on religion, caste, and gender.

Overview of rights for homebuyers under RERA Act in Maharashtra

Right Against Registration

Homebuyers won’t be cheated by fraudsters, who make false promises

Right Against Disclosure

Homebuyer will get easy access to information.

Right Against Payment

Homebuyers will get more time to arrange for funds.

Right Against Delay of Possession

Developers will be more accountable. Also, homebuyers won’t have to suffer owing to the delay caused by the builder.

Right Against Quality of Construction

Better service for homebuyers guaranteed

Right Against Discrimination

The practice of building homes for a particular group or restricting others from buying homes in a project, which has become routine in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, comes to an end, thanks to MahaRERA

Now that you know about the rights that you have as a home buyer under MahaRERA Act, there are also a couple of other important things for you to learn about. Let’s begin with-

How to win disputes against agents and builders in the future?

Since agents and builders are the ones having complete knowledge regarding the development of your house, there might be a situation when they come to you claiming that it’s their house or saying that you have not made the full payment even though you have. In times like this, your only evidence would be the legal documents that will help you win against such fraudsters.

As a home buyer, below mentioned are the must-haves legal document that you need to collect beforehand

Purchase Agreement

The purchase agreement contains essential project details such as specifications, payment conditions, project completion deadlines, form and amount of penalty, and any repercussions if any party fails to do so. The purchasing agreement confirms that the terms and conditions have been accepted by all parties.

Occupancy Certificate/Completion Certificate

Once the construction of your house ends, an occupancy certificate will be issued by the municipal corporation or planning authority confirming that the property has met the sanctioned plan and is ready and safe for you to occupy

Title Deed

The title deed means that you own a right or possess the ownership of the house and are allowed to use it with complete freedom. And because you own the building, you can modify it, renovate it as you wish. It also allows you to transfer the portion to someone you own.

Home Inspection Report

Once the house that you are purchasing is completed, it must be inspected. An inspector visits the house and looks for all the specifications and legalities before producing a report that gives detailed notes on the condition of the house and mentions problems, if any. Also, the report will suggest all the necessary repairs to make which you earlier were clueless about

Mother Deed

The Mother Deed serves as evidence that a property is owned, primarily for further sale. It sets out ownership proof and is a significant document during the property transaction.

Khata Certificate

A Khata certificate contains property information, such as size, location, area on which it has been constructed, etc. to pay property taxes. It is also required to apply for electricity and water supply

Allotment Letter

Planning to buy a home that is currently under construction? Acquiring an allotment letter is a must as it will contain details regarding the payment of the flat and any extra fees that you may pay for additional facilities.

Prevention is better than cure and so, if you are in the process of finalizing your house, I suggest you verify the projects and agent’s compliance with MahaRERA before you sign the deal.

How to check Maharashtra Registered Projects on MahaRERA?

Step 1: Visit the MahaRERA https://maharera.mahaonline.gov.in/ website

Step 2: Click on the Registration tab and choose the Registered Projects option

Step 3: Enter the project name, promoter name, and the other details stated under the Search Project Details tab and click on the search

Step 4: Click on the viewscreen, the project details will have appeared

You will get information about the project’s locality details, its types, date of possession, etc

How to check Registered Agents on MahaRERA?

Step 1: Visit the MahaRERA https://maharera.mahaonline.gov.in/ website

Step 2: Click on the Registration tab and choose Registered Real Estate Agents

Step 3: Click on the search option displayed, the search results will display details of the registered agents

Step 4: Under Search Project Details, select Registered Agents

Real Estate Scams to be aware off

Cash Spam

Fraudsters use malicious software to track emails of somebody who is involved in a real estate deal, for example, a real estate agent or a lawyer. They then send an email, which appears to be from the agent or lawyer to the buyer. The buyer shall send the money before the closing date for a down payment. While the buyer thinks that money goes to the seller, it goes to the scammer.

What to do: To ensure if the request is legal, call your known phone numbers for the person named in the email.

A Misleading Location

It benefits to research carefully the district in which you want to buy your house. You may find out that, shortly after you move into a building, construction starts on a major road or city dump just outside your home.

What to do: study your neighborhood carefully before you buy a home – particularly in a new town. Search online for immediate area details, speak to as many neighbors as you can to find out if there are plans that you need to know about.

The Rush Job

When you show interest in a home, you will be constantly advised to act immediately to buy it. You’ll feel pressured to commit, sign papers, and pay money immediately. Later, you’ll find out that the seller doesn’t own the title but has your money or that the home has big, expensive problems.

What to do: Don’t let yourself feel pressured, even if you think you’ve found your dream home at a good price. Real estate transactions are conducted in a step-by-step way, so if you’re feeling rushed and pressured, you should walk away. 

Tips to avoid being a victim to real estate scams

  • Always use your common sense and believe in your instincts. If you come across a property deal that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Fraudsters will use your desire to believe against you
  • Read and understand all the property-related documents before you sign them. Fraudsters often change the paperwork or hide certain documents in huge stacks of paperwork and then rush you through the signing process, so you will have no time to read and understand the documents. As an added precaution, seek your attorney’s help to review the documents thoroughly
  • Never buy a property that you haven’t seen physically seen with your eyes. Buying a home out of state when you cannot visit the property yourself is a bad idea
  • Always be transparent about your income or the value of your assets on a loan application. Fill out the loan application yourself with accurate information, and write N/A on any spaces that do not apply to you before signing the application. Never sign a form that has blanks – someone else might decide to fill in those blanks later.

Filing A Complaint on MahaRERA

Irrespective of how many precautions you take and how alert you are, what to do if you still fall for a real estate scam? Don’t panic, the MahaRERA will help you resolve the issues. All that you are supposed to do is file a complaint

You can take the following steps to complain to a builder/agent as a concerned homebuyer because of non-compliance with RERA Act:

Step 1: Visit the MahaRERA https://maharera.mahaonline.gov.in/ website and click on the New Registration tab

Step 2: Under Select User Type, click on the Complaint option

Step 3: Enter all the details against whom the complaint is filed like complaint type, personal details, respondent details etc

Step 4: Submit the required documents like Facts of the Case, Relief sought because of the facts mentioned, and interim order

Step 5: Sign the Declaration Form

Step 6: Pay an online fee of ₹ 5,000/- to register the complaint

Choosing the best lawyers in Maharashtra to settle the disputes

The home buying process itself must have exhausted most of your saving and this makes you come up with seconds thoughts of whether or not you should hire a real estate lawyer, well, it indeed is essential for you to hire a lawyer as only the real estate attorney can help you to negotiate the chaos associated with legal complications, providing useful insight into the home buying process

Listed below are the most trusted property lawyers of Maharashtra-

Pooja Gupta Associates07947175742Mumbai
Jidnyesh M Joshi07947182612Mumbai
Aditya Bhatt Mumbai07947404914Mumbai
Kamlesh D Sadaphal07947209625Pune

 MahaRERA Contact Details

Address: Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority, 3rd Floor, A-Wing, Slum Rehabilitation Authority, Administrative Building, Anant Kanekar Marg, Bandra (East), Mumbai 400051

Phone no: 02226590036

Timing: Monday to Friday, 100:00 am to 6:00 pm