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The real estate sector has grown in the recent years but has largely been unregulated from the perspective of consumer protection. Though, consumer protection laws are available, the recourse available therein is only curative, but not preventive. Government of India has enacted the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016 and all the sections of the Act have come into force with effect from May 1, 2017.
The key components of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 are as follows:

Real Estate Regulatory Authority and Appellate Tribunal
Under this Act, appropriate government shall establish Real Estate Regulatory Authority for regulation and promotion of the real estate sector in the State / UTs. The Authority shall strive to facilitate the growth and promotion of a healthy, transparent, efficient and competitive real estate sector while protecting the interest of allottees, promoters and real estate agents. The authority shall also establish an adjudicating mechanism for speedy dispute redressal regarding registered real estate projects. The key responsibilities of the Authority shall be as follows:
  1. Ensuring Disclosures of Real Estate Projects by Promoters
  2. Real Estate Projects Registration
  3. Real Estate Agents Registration
  4. Complaints Redressal
  5. Provide recommendations to appropriate Government on in matters relating to the development & promotion of real estate sector;
The appropriate Government shall also establish Appellate Tribunal to hear appeals from the decisions, directions or orders of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority. Any person aggrieved by any direction or decision or order made by the Authority or by an adjudicating officer may file an appeal before the Appellate Tribunal and the appeal shall be dealt with by it as expeditiously as possible and endeavour shall be made by it to dispose of the appeal within a period of sixty days.

Real Estate Projects Registration
All commercial and residential real estate projects will have to register except in projects where
  • area of land proposed to be developed does not exceed five hundred square meters
  • number of apartments proposed to be developed does not exceed eight inclusive of all phases
  • promoter has received occupancy certificate for a real estate project prior to commencement of this Act
  • for the purpose of renovation or repair or re-development which does not involve marketing, advertising selling or new allotment of any apartment, plot or building, as the case may be, under the real estate project
No promoter shall advertise, market, book, sell or offer for sale, or invite persons to purchase in any manner any plot, apartment or building, as the case may be, in any real estate project or part of it, in any planning area within Maharashtra, without registering the real estate project with the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority(MahaRERA). Promoter of ongoing real estate projects, in which all buildings as per sanctioned plan have not received occupancy Certificate, shall also be required to be registered for such phase of the project which consists of buildings not having occupation or completion certificate.

Real Estate Agents Registration
All Real Estate Agents should register under this Act. No real estate agent shall facilitate the sale or purchase of or act on behalf of any person to facilitate the sale or purchase of any plot, apartment or building, as the case may be, in a real estate project or part of it, without obtaining registration under this section.

If any real estate agent fails to register, he shall be liable to a penalty of ten thousand rupees for every day during which such default continues, which may cumulatively extend up to five per cent of the cost of plot, apartment or buildings, as the case may be, of the real estate project, for which the sale or purchase has been facilitated.