The introduction of the Maharashtra Housing (Regulation and Promotion of Construction, Sale, Management and Transfer) Act can potentially have a very positive impact. It is certainly a concept whose time has come.
The biggest advantage that it offers to buyers as industry stakeholders is that there will be an arbitrating body available to attend to their grievances and redressals. There has to be accountability at all levels of the approval process, and it needs to include all stakeholders involved with real estate – including the architect, the contractor and the developer. The housing regulator can potentially benefit buyers as well as all other stakeholders.
As of today, the real estate industry faces issues in terms of insufficient transparency over cost and timeframes and also lacks sufficient depth when it comes to credible developers. Hopefully, the state-level housing regulator will implement systems which will mitigate risks and increase accountability. It can potentially boost transparency by standardizing practices, streamlining procedure systems and attending to consumer grievances in a decisive and timely manner. It will therefore help in bringing about a greater level of trust between buyers, sellers, developers and financial institutions that fund the real estate sector. It can also help curb speculative activity in the sector and contribute towards keeping prices in check.
If the correct processes are followed as outlined, developers will benefit as much as buyers. As things stand today, developers have to go through very tedious, time-consuming and indefinite approval procedures.
While it is not certain whether the Act will provide single-window clearance of projects, it would be ideal if such a system were also introduced.
(The writer is Chairman & Country Head, Jones Lang LaSalle India)