During the times of the Covid19 Pandemic, things were very much unprecedented. Real estate was badly hit. When almost all the industries were going through a change to a digital model, creating a digital India in the true sense, the real estate industry joined in too.
The Maharashtra government decided to resume online registration and stamp duty of sale and purchase of properties, as per directives of a cabinet sub-committee headed by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar. The e-registration in Maharashtra started on 2nd October 2021. This initiative is extremely beneficial for the citizens considering the ongoing pandemic.
The e-registration of all first sale MahaRERA-registered properties will boost overall transparency. This is a major step towards future-proofing the real estate industry in times of current and future uncertainty. It will help developers become even more centred around customers. E-registration will benefit all of the real estate industry including the developers and the consumers. It will also benefit the government.
In uncertain times, physical offices might be closed or inaccessible, but with online registrations, it can easily be done. This will lead to an increase in sales. In the pandemic, visiting offices is not feasible and safe. Considering that, this is a good step taken for the benefit of the citizens.
What is E-registration in the real estate industry?
The Land Registration Act of 2002 introduced the concept of e-registration of property using verified electronic signatures.
What was the purpose of e-registration in the real estate industry?
The process of online registration has successfully eradicated loopholes and problems caused by the traditional land registration process, which was based on the Land Registration Act of 1925.
Benefits of E-Registration :
- Ease of Use:
It is extremely easy to download the form online and fill it in to submit it along with the required documents. With electronic signatures, all the work is done very quickly.
- Enhanced Transparency:
All details like the history of ownership, number of rooms, carpet area, and details of the foundation are provided. The main goal is to hide nothing from any tentative buyers about the property. This increases transparency and decreases the rate of fraudulent acts.
- Avoidable Litigations:
As registration is done online, all proofs and details are saved. It can be provided in case of any dispute.
This process is safe. A hacker does not have access to the property papers of the owner. Also, there are multiple layers of security in government servers, which are SSL encrypted. In addition, they have a personalized login system.
Why did the real estate industry bring in e-registration in Maharashtra?
In April 2020, there were 796 property registrations in Maharashtra. In that very month, the nation was locked down due to Covid19. As per official reports, there was only Rs 3 Crore revenue collection. This was considerably very low as compared to that of April 2019 when the state earned a total revenue of Rs 1563 Crores. This huge fall in revenues was a huge setback for the government.
Moreover, due to the high number of property registrations in Maharashtra, which was like a minimum of a lakh, the processing time was huge. It took a lot of time to get the work done. Additionally, the massive crowding at the sub-registrar offices brought long lines and waiting hours. Basically, the traditional way of registration of property sale deeds is highly inconvenient. People have to wait an entire day and even more to get their work done. If you wish your work to be progressed quickly by giving fees under the table, that amounts to a huge sum too with less than efficient output.
Despite all these drawbacks, the traditional way went on working until the Covid19 pandemic. In 2019, the Maharashtra government introduced online e-registration for the real estate industry. Still, it was not made mandatory. Homebuyers could easily download forms, fill them and submit them with other necessary documents. But there were technical difficulties which led to physical visitations in the offices.
The Final Call of the Maharashtra Government in Bringing in the Real Estate E-Registration :
With the increasing Covid19 cases in 2020 which led to lockdowns, the government decided to take up the challenge and work on the technical difficulties. The intention was to make e-registration of sales of real estate by developers of MahaRERA-approved projects mandatory from October 2021. The process was then field-tested in the offices of selective leading developers. Online registrations were done from their offices in coordination with the property registration department. And from October 2nd, 2021, it was reinstated in Maharashtra by the government.
Yes, there will be technical glitches. People will also opt for traditional ways as well to register for their homes. Offices will still be visited and may be crowded. But still, the e-registration of real estate will be a real game-changer – bringing in ease, transparency and less hassle for the citizens.