In a letter to MahaRERA chief Gautam Chatterjee, consumer body Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) has said that real estate web portal companies operating in Maharashtra, have to be treated as ‘real estate agents’ under the RERA and brought under the authority’s ambit. It 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 said.
He further said the 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 the minds of home buyers and will also make them accountable/ responsible to home buyers,” Deshpande added. The Real Estate (Regulation and 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, then, it does not need registration.