RERA-K fines project promoters for not filing quarterly updates

The Real Estate Regulatory Authority-Karnataka has imposed a penalty of ₹50,000 on promoters of over 1,300 projects who have failed to file quarterly updates on the progress of the projects.

As per the RERA Act, 2016, promoters need to file quarterly updates of the progress, which was not followed by most builders in the State. RERA-K has now decided to crack the whip – a move welcomed by homebuyers and resented by builders.

Suresh Hari, chairman, Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (CREDAI), Bengaluru, said the penalties have come at a time when the industry was already hit by the pandemic and they planned to appeal to provide more time, instead of levying penalties.

“The Act clearly stipulates filing of quarterly updates, but several builders have not been doing so. We have served them multiple notices, following which many did file their updates. Of the 3,800 odd projects, we have now levied penalty for over 1,300 projects, indicating good compliance after we served notices. Moreover, fines levied pertain to non-filing of quarterly updates for 2019 and not the pandemic-hit 2020,” said K.S. Latha Kumari, secretary, RERA-K.

Homebuyers said it was a step in the right direction. M.S. Shankar, secretary, Forum for People’s Collective Efforts, a forum of homebuyers, welcomed the move. “Quarterly updates will help the authority and homebuyers keep track of the progress of the project. But the authority needs to publish them on its website in the interest of transparency. We need to arrive at a scenario where quarterly updates are filed in a few week’s time after the end of the quarter. Today, the authority is levying penalty for non-filing of quarterly updates for 2019 in 2021, which itself is a sad comment,” he said.

Erroneous notices?

However, several builders have complained that the notices levying penalty have been served erroneously. Venkatesh, liaison officer, Millennia Ventures and Projects India Pvt. Ltd., said they had already filed the quarterly update reports for their project, but ended up being fined. “We have decided to challenge this legally,” he said. K.R. Ramesh, property consultant, SecureProp said: “Notices have been served to many who have filed their quarterly updates. Technical glitches in the RERA-K website have also stalled many from filing reports and in some cases, their reports have been deleted too,” he said.

Ms. Latha Kumari conceded that notices had been erroneously issued to a few builders who had filed their quarterly updates and they were being corrected. “Notices were initially issued to over 1,450 projects and after corrections, it is now over 1,300. If there are any genuine issues, builders can raise a complaint with the helpdesk. But, not all those who are now being pulled up, failed to file reports because of these issues,” she said.

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