The Indian government has announced plans to form a committee that will draft a model builder-buyer agreement to protect homebuyers from potential abuses and streamline the homebuying process.

The committee will comprise members from judges, national and state consumer commissions, various consumer bodies, lawyers, and the Ministry of Consumer Affairs. It is expected to be in place within the next three months, according to Consumer Affairs Ministry Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh.

The move aims to resolve disputes between homebuyers and developers by standardizing and bringing uniformity to contracts between the two parties. Singh emphasized the importance of creating a unique document that can be applied nationwide. The model agreement will be developed in consultation with all stakeholders and submitted to the Supreme Court and all states.

Over 5.5 lakh cases are pending across various consumer courts in India, with over 54,000 cases specific to the housing sector alone. The backlog highlights the importance of providing speedy justice and streamlining the process for homebuyers. Key problems for homebuyers include delays in possession of property, biased and unfair builder-buyer agreements, and misleading advertisements by developers and influencers to lure buyers.

During a roundtable conference on the effective redress of grievances pertaining to the real estate sector, hosted by the Department of Consumer Affairs in association with the Government of Maharashtra, the consumer affairs department suggested key measures to address these problems. These measures include sending the draft agreement to buyers before execution, clearly mentioning permissions and sanctions obtained from competent authorities on the first page of the agreement, and prohibiting builders from launching projects before obtaining all necessary permissions and sanctions.

In addition, the department has called a meeting with the top 50 influencers in Mumbai to discuss the issue of misleading advertisements. The government’s initiative to create a model builder-buyer agreement and other measures to protect homebuyers will help restore confidence in the real estate sector and boost the country’s economic growth.

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