What do you need to know about the HIRA Act
What is HIRA?
The West Bengal government has adopted its own real estate regulation Act, known as the West Bengal Housing Industry Regulatory Act (HIRA).
The Act was passed in the State Assembly in October 2017. The Act has been introduced for regulating real-estate and housing sector and to bring transparency to sell, buy, etc. in the real estate sector and to protect buyer interest.
The Act aims to benefit the real estate market in West Bengal in the following ways:
- To provide proper guidelines in order to regulate and to promote the housing sector or the real estate sector in West Bengal.
- To ensure sale of plot or apartment or building or sale of real estate project, in an efficient and transparent manner.
- To protect the interest of consumers in the real estate sector.
- To establish a mechanism which can quickly solve various disputes related to real estate.
- To form proper rules and regulations in order to ensure compliance, to conduct investigations and to impose penalties against any kind of violations related to real estate.
- To create a website containing relevant information related to real estate projects including records of registered real estate projects as well as the list of defaulters.
The government of West Bengal finally notified the HIRA Act on June 1, 2018. As a consequence, the Housing Industry Regulatory Authority (HIRA) was established under section 20 of West Bengal Housing Industry Regulatory Act, 2017.
Under the HIRA Act, all housing projects above 500 square meters or eight apartments need to be registered with the Regulatory Authority. For ongoing projects, for which the completion certificate has not been issued, the promoter shall make an application to HIRA. Registration of Real Estate Project with the Housing Industry Regulatory Authority is compulsory under section 3 of the West Bengal Housing Industry Act, 2017.
With the strict implementation of HIRA, government aims to bring in more transparency in various real estate projects and developments. For example, promoters will have to be very clear and mention the carpet area of apartments instead of quoting the super built area only. A grievance system will also be in place for buyers to express their dissatisfaction. Real estate developers will also not be able to carry out illegal transfer of money from one project to another project.
The Indian Parliament passed the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (RERA) to protect the interests of home buyers and also boost investments in the real estate sector. The Act was passed in March 2016, and all its provisions came into effect from May 1, 2017.
Under the RERA Act, every state and Union Territory must establish its own Regulatory Authority. Real estate developers will not be able to market their ongoing or upcoming projects, till they register with either the permanent or interim regulator in states.
West Bengal is the only state to have come up with its own real estate regulation Act.
With these regulations coming in place, the real estate sector is experiencing a paradigm shift. The market has become buyer-friendly. The Act has made real estate transactions much more transparent than before.
As of September 2018, a total number of 30 developers were registered with Housing Industry Regulatory Authority (HIRA). Projects that are registered are supposed to publish a building plan, along with facilities and amenities on offer, and the names and details about architects among others on the website. By making this information public, buyers can make informed choices.
For people who are looking at apartments to buy, choose a project that is registered with HIRA. Potential buyers can check the details on official HIRA website, and ensure that all the requirements and legal procedures are met.