Online housing portals may soon come under the jurisdiction of the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) which is studying whether and how it can be done, following a demand for it.

The Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP), one of the leading consumer forums has written a letter to MahaRERA chairman, Gautam Chatterjee, saying such portals be compulsorily registered with the regulatory body to make them accountable for their real estate transactions. The demand has been seconded by the Confederation of Real Estate Brokers Association of India (CREBAI) which demanded that these online portals be treated like brokers.

Shirish Deshpande, chairman, MGP, said the internet has become a vital medium for real estate transactions. “Since they deal with both builders and buyers and facilitate deals, they should also be registered,” said Deshpande. His contention is that the portals should be made accountable like brokers. “Suppose some buyer purchases a property and is misled by these online brokers, the builder will shake off the blame saying it was the online portal’s fault. To fix the blame, it is necessary to register them so that even they are made accountable,” said Deshpande.

Chatterjee said he is studying the issue. “We are examining the demand,”Chatterjee told HT."

Currently, around 14,800 real estate brokers are registered with MahaRERA by paying ₹10,000 and builders have to mandatorily market their projects only through these registered brokers. However, there is no such rule for online portals."

Deshpande said according to the MahaRERA Act, “a real estate agent is a person who introduces, through any medium, prospective buyers and sellers to each other for negotiation for sale or purchase of plot, apartment or building”. In addition, rule 17 of MahaRERA Registration of Real Estate Agents Rules clearly states that the real estate agent “shall provide assistance to enable the allottee and promoter of each real estate project, to exercise their respective rights and fulfil their respective obligations at the time of marketing and selling”. Deshpande said online portals are performing exactly this function.

Newz Source : www.hindustantimes.com

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