In a step that would finally bring smiles on prospective home buyers, the Rajya Sabha on Thursday unanimously passed the Real Estate Regulator (Regulation and Development) Bill with important amendments that make builders and developers accountable for what they promise and finally sell.This effectively means developers/promoters cannot lure and cheat you by showing glamorous advertisements of swimming pools, gardens, club houses etc and deliver you a pond, a small patch of green and a small room good enough only to play carom.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Once the Bill becomes an Act, the developer will have to quote prices based on carpet area and not super built-up area that is used to fudge and inflate figures. The Bill also prevents builders from changing the building layout plans without mandatory consent from 66% buyers.Introduced in Parliament almost a decade ago by the Congress-led UPA government, the real estate Bill failed to make it because of logjams and alleged lobbying by the builders’ lobby. After being passed in the Upper House, the amended Bill now requires the assent of the Lok Sabha to become an Act.Applicable to both residential and commercial real estate transactions, the Bill establishes the State Real Estate Regulatory Authority for each particular state as the government body to be approached for redressal of grievances. But it will take place only when the the states ratify this Act and establishes a state authority on the lines provided in the central bill.It makes it mandatory for the developer to deposit 70% of the project cost in a dedicated bank account ensuring that the money is not invested by the developer in innumerous projects by using booking money for one project.This would also check black money in real-estate business, said urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu.Bowing to pressure from some Congress members, Naidu agreed to bring the anti-discrimination aspect in the rules of the Bill. This will allow no discrimination on the basis of region, religion, food habits and caste etc.The amended Bill makes developers/builders liable for structural defects for five years instead of two. The regulatory body will ensure quicker dispute resolution in 60 days, lays down the bill.Speaking to dna, national convenor of Pan India Movement for Real Estate Regulations, Abhay Upadhyay, described it as a historical occasion for real democratic movement when all parties came forward to pass the Bill.”This was our seventh push for the Bill and finally we the consumers succeeded,”said Upadhayay.Hailing it as a big win for consumers, Ajay Mehta of Campa Cola Compound Residents’Association, Mumbai, said: “I hope the day Parliament enacts it, Maharashtra will take a lead in implementing it.”What is in storeAll projects, brokers should be registered with the real estate regulatorThe Bill will apply to new and ongoing projectsDevelopers won’t now be able to divert funds raised for one project to anotherDevelopers should put aside 70% money collected from buyers during pre-saleThat money should be solely used for funding project constructionThe Bill proposes that consumers and developers pay the same interest rate for any delays on their partIt also allows for developers to be arrested and jailed for up to three years for any violations

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Rajya Sabha passes real-estate Bill