MahaRERA Proposes Stringent Financial Guidelines for Housing Projects

To ensure the financial stability and transparency of housing projects, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has introduced draft guidelines requiring developers to maintain three separate bank accounts. These accounts, namely the Collection Account, Separate Account, and Transaction Account, aim to promote compliance, efficiency, transparency, and accountability in the real estate sector.

The Collection Account will be used to hold revenue from allottees and other charges, excluding taxes and statutory duties. Seventy percent of the revenue collected will be transferred to the Separate Account, which will cover land and construction costs, loan interest, refunds, and compensation for buyers. The Transaction Account will contain the remaining 30% of revenue and will be used for expenditures not related to land and construction costs, such as booking cancellations and penalties.

To ensure compliance with these guidelines, banks will be required to prevent withdrawals from the Collection Account using traditional methods, instead using auto-sweep facilities. The accounts must be registered in the developer’s and project’s names, and banks must verify all parameters on the MahaRERA website before opening or operating accounts.

Upon completion of the project, developers must obtain MahaRERA’s approval to withdraw funds from the Separate Account. All transactions must cease upon project completion, unless extended by MahaRERA, with any changes to bank accounts requiring prior authorization. Banks must comply immediately with any MahaRERA orders to freeze or defreeze accounts.

The accounts must be free from all encumbrances, not be escrow accounts, and be free from lien, loans, and third-party control. Developers must disclose mortgage details and provide updated completion certificates with Unique Document Identification Numbers (UDINs) to prevent future complications.

Scheduled banks must notify MahaRERA and developers post-account opening and disburse funds from the Separate Account only upon certification from project architects, accountants, and engineers. Banks bear full liability for any breaches of these guidelines, aiming to install financial discipline, transparency, and accountability in the real estate sector, ultimately protecting the interests of homebuyers and fostering trust in housing projects.