City-based consumer body Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) has urged MahaRera to bring property portals under its ambit to further increase transparency and accountability in the real estate sector.
In a letter to MahaRera chief Gautam Chatterjee, a copy of which is with the PTI, MGP said, "Real estate web portal companies operating in Maharashtra have to be treated as 'real estate agent' under Rera."
It has also sought registration of such portals under MahaRera in the next 60 days.
"With regard to the definition of real estate agent, we have no doubts that property portals like Magicbricks.com, Makaan.com, 99acres.com, among others, are acting as agents, facilitating buying/selling of properties. As such they are legally liable to register themselves with MahaRera," MGP chairman Shirish Deshpande told PTI.
He further said MGP has approached MahaRera and is awaiting its response.
"MGP is of the view that registration of property web portals under MahaRera will create more confidence in minds of homebuyers and will also make them accountable/ responsible to homebuyers," Deshpande added.
The Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 (Rera), which came into full effect from May 2017, mandates everyone carrying out the activities of an 'agent' as defined by the Act to register themselves under Rera.
However, if a real estate portal is a mere platform where agents and builders are displaying their advertisement than it does not need registration.