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Real Estate Laws and Regulations in India 2023-24


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Real estate laws in India are state-specific i.e. they vary from state to state. The Real Estate Regulation and Development Act, 2016 contains some vital laws that govern this industry in the country. According to Article 246 of real estate act, 'land' is a subject on List 2 or the State List of the Seventh Schedule, which contains subjects over which only the states can legislate. 

'Transfer of property other than agricultural land, registration of documents and deeds' and 'Contracts other than for agricultural land', on the other hand, fall under List 3 or the Concurrent List of the Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution, which are subjects over which both the Centre and the State can legislate.
Different real estate dynamics have been the subject of a number of court decisions and legal precedents over the years. Depending on the court or forum issuing the ruling, these verdicts have either increased the sector's dependability or made it more binding. These laws are very important to know before investing in a real estate property 

The Real Estate Laws in India

When opting for real estate investment in India, there are certain rules and regulations laid down by the Indian Constitution we ought to follow. Let’s take a brief dive into these laws! 

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Real Estate Act, 2016, RERA

The Real Estate Act of 2016 examines the development, marketing, and sale of real estate ventures in order to protect the investment interests of consumers. The act also instituted a dispute resolution system involving the Real Estate Regulatory Authority and the Appellate Tribunal for the prompt resolution of disputes. RERA protects the interests of homebuyers and assure timely project delivery. So, even though RERA is a central law, its implementation will depend on state administrations. 

The Registration Act, 1908

The Registration Act of 1908 was enacted to ensure the registration of documents and the inclusion of all pertinent information regarding transactions involving land or other immovable property. The registration of a document can increase its credibility. 

Objectives of the 1908 Registration Act

  • The registration of a document ensures its preservation and record-keeping.
  • Required documents serve as admissible evidence in court.
  • Documents that are registered help prevent fraud.
  • The Registration Act provides information regarding legal rights and responsibilities deriving from or affecting a specific property.

Transfer of Property Act, 1882

Transfer of property in real estate laws
The Indian legal system divides property into two distinct categories: movable and immovable. The Transfer of Property Act (ToPA), 1882 that came into play on July 1, 1882, governs property transfers between two parties or entities. The Transfer of Property Act is one of the earliest laws in the Indian legal system. It is an extension of the law of contracts and runs parallel to the succession laws. For those who wish to transfer their immovable property must be familiar with the Transfer of real estate property Act is crucial. 

Indian Contract Act, 1872

The Indian Contract Act of 1872 governs contract law in India and is the primary statute governing Indian contract law. The Act is based on the principles of the English Common Law. It is pertinent to all Indian states. It determines the conditions under which promises made by contracting parties are legally binding. The Indian Contract Act recognises a contract as legally enforceable agreement. The act permits a third party to provide 'Consideration' for an agreement. However, a third-party stranger to consideration differs from a contract stranger. The law prohibits a stranger from filing a lawsuit regarding the contract. This privilege is exclusive to contract parties and is referred to as the Doctrine of Contract Privilege.  

The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill, 2013:

The bill includes provisions for land acquisition, as well as for rehabilitation and resettlement.  It also replaces the 1894 Land Acquisition Act.The process of acquiring land includes a Social Impact Assessment survey, a preliminary notification stating the intent for acquisition, a declaration of acquisition, and compensation to be paid by a certain date.  All acquisitions are mandatorily subjected to the provision of rehabilitation and resettlement services to those affected by the acquisition.In rural areas, the compensation shall be four times the land's market value. Contrarily, in urban areas, the compensation shall be two times the land's market value. 

Land Revenue Codes

land revenue in India 
Various Indian states have enacted their own land revenue codes. These regulate laws pertaining to agricultural land ownership, land revenue, types of tenancy, and related matters.  These codes outline the division and classification of immovable property within a state, restrictions on its transfer, the powers and responsibilities of revenue officers, rules and regulations, and the penalties for violating these codes. 

The Foreign Direct Investment Policy  and the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999

FEMA and its regulations govern the acquisition and sale of immovable property in India by foreign entities and non-Indian residents. These foreign investments are governed by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) of the Government of India. In addition to the aforementioned, the real estate industry in India is governed by a variety of State/local/municipal laws and policies, and customs. These include nuances regarding urban development, slum rehabilitation/improvement, apartment ownership, building codes/by-laws, property tax, and others.  

Wrapping Up

The real estate sector in India is subject to many rules and regulations. And these real estate laws and acts ensure the industry is functioning smoothly. Similarly, it aids in its gradual growth and development. Thus, the laws mentioned above are some of the most prominent ones that are prevalent in the industry. Land is a major property and therefore, there has to be certain rules and regulations that govern its sale and purchase. 
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Real Estate,Laws and Regulations

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