Consumers will be allowed to file complaints against unregistered real estate projects on the MahaRERA website after paying Rs 5,000 from August 16.

The move follows the July 31 order of the Bombay High Court, which made it mandatory for the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) to hear complaints of consumers, irrespective of the registration status of the project concerned.

In other words, the authority cannot refuse to hear consumer grievance filed under Section 3 of the RERA Act if the realty project — under-construction or completed — is not registered with the authority.

MahaRERA Secretary Vasant Prabhu told TOI that they have already uploaded a form under the “source information” category and would enable the payment facility for those desiring a hearing for their complaints from August 16.

“Earlier, consumers could file complaints without having to provide the details about the project under the source information category. However, it was done in a haphazard manner. To overcome this, we have changed the format of the form, making it easier for the authority to initiate action. Now, with the HC order, all projects that are not registered with MahaRERA will also be treated as source complaints and can be given a hearing provided all the details and payment are made by the complainant,” Prabhu said.

MahaRERA is treating this as a win-win situation for both the authority and the consumers as the complaints filed under Section 3 of the RERA Act can ensure that more “unregistered projects” come under the ambit of MahaRERA. Presently, there are 17,353 projects registered with the authority in the state.

Prabhu said Section 3 of the RERA Act mandates that no developer can advertise, market or sell unless he/she registers the project with MahaRERA. In fact, all developers were expected to register with the authority within three months of commencement of the Act, which came into effect in May 2107.

Consumers said the HC order gives more teeth to MahaRERA. “The high court order will ensure that all developers register their projects. And once all the projects are registered, all the sections of the RERA Act will be automatically applicable on them,” Vijay Sagar, President of the Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat, Pune, said.

He said there were a number of developers who had not completed and registered their projects and had even built floors beyond the legal sanction. “Due to the HC order, MahaRERA will now have to entertain complaints from consumers, thus, bringing down the number of unregistered projects and illegalities involved,” Sagar said.

Nisha Nambiar, Economic Times, Pune

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