HIRA- A great initiative taken by the Govt. of West Bengal for regulating the Real Estate industry.
HIRA-stands for Housing Industry Regulation Act. HIRA was enacted by the Government of West Bengal in 2017. This act is more specifically known as WBHIRA or West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act 2017.
⇒How HIRA came into existence?
This Act was passed in the Assembly in 2017 and came into force w.e.f 01.06.2018. As per section 20 of the HIRA Act 2017, the Housing Industry Regulatory Authority of West Bengal was established. Therefore, section 20 is a governing act in terms of the real estate market and this authority is an appointing body for looking into all relevant activities in relation to buying and selling of real estate properties in the state of West Bengal.
⇒What was the need to frame HIRA?
The real estate sector has been growing leaps and bounds for last decade or so but has really been unregulated. There was no such provision for ensuring the interest of the consumers. Enactment of HIRA would bring forth the optimal growth of this industry along with bestowing professionalism, standardization, and uniformity. Thus, HIRA has emerged as a preventive act for safeguarding the interest of all the stakeholders of this industry.
⇒What are the main objectives & reasons to frame HIRA?
This act was promulgated with a view to ensuring the sole interest of the customers dealing in real estate properties. The main objective of this act is to regulate and promote the housing sector and to ensure sale of plot, apartment or building, as the case may be, or sale of real estate project, in an efficient and transparent manner and to protect the interest of consumers in the real estate sector and to establish a mechanism for speedy dispute redressal and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
This main objectives of Housing Industry Regulation Act 2017 can be summarised as follows:-
- To promote and regulate the housing sector in West Bengal;
- Ensuring sale of plots, buildings or apartments in an efficient and transparent manner;
- To bring forth optimal growth for the industry and for the economy as well;
- Bringing standardization and uniformity in the entire process across the states;
- Protection of the interests of consumers in the real estate sector;
- Providing with prompt redressal of disputes arising therewith;
- Framing rules and policies for Real estate in West Bengal for compliance and implementation of penalties for non-compliance if any;
- Creation of a website containing all the relevant information of the registered projects thereof including the list of defaulters if any;
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⇒Is registration of project under HIRA compulsory?
- As per section 3 of the West Bengal Housing Industry Act,2017 registration of Real Estate Project with the Housing Industry Regulatory Authority is compulsory;
- Also, this act does not allow any promoter or a developer to advertise, market, sell or offer for sale or invite any persons or by any other means to purchase any plot, building or apartment as the case may be without registering the real estate project with the Housing Industry Regulatory Authority;
- Also, the ongoing projects are to be registered with this authority as mentioned above within 3 months from the commencement of this act.
⇒When registration of project under HIRA is not required?
- Those projects for which completion certificate has already been issued before the commencement of this act, are not required to register under this act;
- A project is also not required to be registered if the area of the proposed land to be developed does not exceed 500 sq meters or the number of apartments does not exceed 8 including all phases;
- For the purpose of renovation or development of any property, which does not require advertising or marketing, is not required to be registered under this act.
⇒How a promoter can apply for registration of projects under HIRA?
A promoter shall apply for registration of his property with the following documents and the related information thereof. The provisions for registration under the Housing Industry Regulation Act 2017 are as follows:
- Personal details of his entity like his address, his registered business place, types of enterprise, details of registration and names and photographs of the promoter;
- A brief details of the projects launched by him in the last 5 years whether already completed or ongoing and its present status;
- The sanctioned plan, layout plan and specifications of the proposed project sanctioned by the sanctioning authority;
- the plan of development works to be executed in the proposed project and the proposed facilities to be provided thereof including fire fighting facilities, drinking water facilities, emergency evacuation services, use of renewable energy;
- the location details of the project, with clear demarcation of land dedicated for the project along with its boundaries including the latitude and longitude of the end points of the project;
- proforma of the allotment letter, agreement for sale and the conveyance deed proposed to be signed with the allottees;
- the number, type and the carpet area of apartments for sale in the project along with the area of the exclusive balcony or verandah areas and the exclusive open terrace areas apartment with the apartment, if any,
- the number and areas of the garage for sale in the project;
- the names and addresses of his real estate agents, if any, for the proposed project;
- the names and addresses of the contractors, architect, structural engineer, if any, and other persons concerned with the development of the proposed project;
- a declaration, supported by an affidavit, which shall be signed by the promoter or any person authorised by the promoter, stating that (a) he has a legal title to the land on which the development is proposed along with legally valid documents with authentication of such title, if such land is owned by another person; (b)that the land is free from all encumbrances, or as the case may be, details of the encumbrances on such land including any rights, title, interest or name of any party in or over such land along with details;
- the time period within which he undertakes to complete the project or phase thereof, as the case may be;
- that seventy percent, of the amounts realised for the real estate project from the allottees, from time to time, shall be deposited in a separate account to be maintained in a scheduled Bank to cover the cost of construction and the land cost and shall be used only for that purpose:
- Provided that the promoter shall withdraw the amounts from the separate account, to cover the cost of the project, in proportion to the percentage of completion of the project;
- Provided further that the amounts from the separate account shall be withdrawn by the promoter after it is certified by an engineer, an
⇒Is there any difference between HIRA and RERA?
Yes, there are some principle differences between the two. RERA 2016 was enacted by Government of India to regulate the real estate industry across all the States, Union Territories but except Jammu and Kashmir.
On the other hand, this is needless to say that WB HIRA was enacted by the Government of West Bengal in line with the RERA. But The West Bengal Govt. did not follow the RERA act in totality but framed a separate policy with some minor changes for all stakeholders functioning in real estate projects.T he spirit was same i.e. to promote and regulate the real estate industry in an effective manner and also to safeguard the interest of the customers but this is a separate state act. There are indeed some differences on the following points:-
- Force majeure events;
- Planning area;
- Power of the regulatory authority;
- Courts which may try offences;
- Compounding of offences;
- Factors for adjudging quantum of compensation or interest;
- Power of government to supersede the authority ;
- Construction materials to be used;
- Definition of the garage;
Conclusion on WB HIRA
The main objective of this act is to ensure consumers interest for real estate projects, transparency in transactions, with ease transactions and compliance with the act. Real Estate in West Bengal has already begun the enlistment of projects through Housing Industry Regulatory Authority website. In their website, you can find the properties or projects in Kolkata and other districts across the state that are listed with this authority. Also, this website is hosting the defaulting projects that are not free to buy or sell. This has really brought some sort of relief to the real estate buyers or sellers.
So, if you are planning to buy an apartment or flat anywhere in West Bengal you must visit the HIRA website i.e. hira.wb.gov.in for getting information on the promoter’s credential and accountability and related information regarding the project that you are planning to buy. If there is any adverse report regarding that project you would also get that information under the defaulter section. Indeed this is a great initiative by WB Govt. for the interest of the real estate customers.
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