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Consumer forums caution home buyers about discounts on realty projects


Developers are offering customers various discounts on realty projects ahead of registering with the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) by July 31, complained consumer forums in Mumbai and Pune.

The forums have asked consumers to not invest in projects till they are registered with RERA.

However, developer's bodies have said they can advertise and even register during the 90-day window period, which ends on July 31, while urging developers to register with RERA at the earliest.

With radio jingles offering discounts many for projects, consumer forums have said developers are pushing for the projects as they will get time to use the registration amount for other purposes.

After July 31, developers have to put 70% of the amount given for registration in a separate account according to RERA.

Satish Magar, National President elect of Credai, said that any builder can sell and advertise their project during this period and they can offer discounts. "However, we urge all Credai members to register as soon as possible," Magar said.

He added that developers could utilize the customer’s money for the project and once they register with RERA, they can open a separate account.

Mumbai Grahak Panchayat's Chairman Shirish Deshpande said that this is an aspect that one needs to understand properly. He added that they are conducting awareness programmes, where they are asking people to only register with developers who have registered with RERA. "It is a question of only two months, and even if the sops offered by developers are thrilling, they need to hold their horses and make a wise investment on developers who have registered with RERA," he said.

Consumers are wooed easily as many developers have offered even discounts in rates on some ongoing projects. "I am tempted to invest in an ongoing project as the rates have dipped for a big project near my place. I am being offered a two bedroom flat for just Rs 50 lakh. The developer has said that I could register with them, and as they are an established developer they will register with RERA soon," a consumer, who has almost decided to invest before the RERA registration, said.

Maharashtra Credai President Shantilal Kataria said members will not just woo clients for utilising the amount after registration. "I feel that the last six months have been challenging for developers and sales have plummeted. So, they want to push their ongoing projects in this period as after registration with RERA, new project launches are bound to take time," he said.

Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat Pune President Vijay Sagar said that besides the advertising and sops being offered, they also came across some misguided advertisements stating that with GST, there is a possibility of increase in stamp and registration fee. "There are many misguiding advertisements on flats and land prices. More will come up soon. We are trying to tell consumers that they should not register till a project is registered with RERA," he said.

RERA Chairman Gautam Chatterjee on June 10 said that all consumers should verify the project by checking the RERA registration number and only then invest in projects. "Beware of such advertisements as the consumer first needs to ensure that the developer is registered with RERA before investment. There will be no extension for registration of project," he added.


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