Want Someone To Voice Your Concern? Approach Real Estate Pressure Groups
Once the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, is implemented across the country in letter and spirit, home buyers will have a platform to get their grievances addressed. In the meantime, pressure groups are assisting them do so. The number of pressure groups has increased in the past across India as the sector struggled with project delays and umpteen other issues that caused much trouble to home buyers.
How do pressure groups operate?
In real estate, pressure groups are formed in order to make the developer or the development authority concerned to listen to home buyers' plea — similar to their role in the world of politics. Since they are a collective force, developers have to lend an ear to them to run their businesses smoothly. A group of homebuyers with a common cause can form these groups. They act as vigilante and work closely with authorities to ensure a smooth run.
Now, what do most pressure groups deal with?
Just the right amount of pressure
Property markets are vast, often dominated by developers. In such a market, if you are up against a major builder, it might be tough for you to get your voice heard. Therefore, it is better to keep in touch with a group that voices the same concerns as yours.
As the name implies, these groups can arm twist developers to deliver projects on time; they can get you monetary relief in case the project is delayed; they can help you bargain a fair deal with companies, etc.
Pressure groups can help you save a lot of time. Collective forces are likely to get developers' response in a time-bound and effective manner when compared to a single buyer. There is also a single source of information flows that ensure there is no confusion over issues.
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Your source of information
It is often not easy to find out the track record of sellers. At such times, one generally goes for word-of-mouth recommendations which might not always be correct. Hence, it is better to approach a well-informed group. You can be sure that their recommendations and suggestions would be formed on facts.
The concept is not new
Real estate pressure groups, as a concept, are common across the world. Worldwide, such pressure groups have successfully raised pertinent issues, fought over it and got them resolved.
Recently, a group called Fight For RERA called on the Indian government to declare 10 March as Homebuyer's Day to commemorate the efforts and protect the interest of all homebuyers, who have fought against unstructured sellers. March 10 is also the day when the law was passed in 2016, eight years after pressure groups insisted on having the authority.
Sometimes consumer bodies also act as pressure groups. For example, consumer body Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) is going strong against unregistered projects that have not complied by the rules of Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA). It has now launched a portal of its own that will help homebuyers upload information and complaints about projects that are not RERA-registered. The portal is operational only till October 10 this year.
Speaking to PTI, MGP president, Shirish Deshpande said, “The objective behind this is to create awareness among buyers as well as make the builders accountable for not registering the projects.” The intention is to collect all information about developers who have collected more than 10 per cent of the unit’s cost and yet not executed the agreement, a violation strictly prohibited by the real estate law. Under the rules, unregistered projects where a developer has already collected more than 10 per cent of the project cost will attract a penalty of up to 10 per cent of the total project cost. The consumer body says that it would take the errant developers to the RERA.