Majority of realtors operate in Dhaka sans Rajuk registration

Dhaka,  Mon,  05 December 2016
Published : 14 Oct 2016, 23:57:15

Majority of realtors operate in Dhaka sans Rajuk registration

Industry insiders fear rise of apartment-related frauds
Jubair Hasan


More than 86 per cent of the real estate companies are operating in the capital without having mandatory registration from the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk).

Non-compliance of the regulations concerned coupled with violation of the building code by these realtors pose a threat to safety of their structures and increase the risk for their clients being duped, industry insiders said.

They said getting registered with Rajuk to operate in the capital has been made mandatory, but most of the operators avoid registration and continuously violate the national building code.

Such irregularities also feared to have put the process of planned urbanisation initiative at stake.

Urban planners and industry insiders blamed a sort of deceiving mentality of some realtors, harassment by a section of Rajuk officials and poor enforcement of laws for the violations.

According to an estimate, at least 2,639 companies are in operations in the capital. Of them, 1,139 members of Real Estate & Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB).

Only 360 of them have got registration so far, according to Rajuk, showing that even the REHAB members were not complying with the regulations.

The government had approved a draft Real Estate Management Ordinance in 2008 for taking action against the unregistered real estate companies.

Later for a specific land use plan in Dhaka, the government formulated Detailed Area Plan (DAP) and finally passed the Real Estate Management Law in 2009 and Real Estate Development and Management Act in 2010. Later, the Real Estate Development and Management Regulations were formulated in 2011.

According to section 5 (1) of the Real Estate Development and Management Act of 2010, the real estate companies need to get the approval from the government before their commencement.

The government assigned Rajuk to deal with the approval, according to the Rajuk officials and REHAB office bearers.

Rajuk has issued notices at different times this year to the unregistered companies to complete their registration according to Real Estate Development and Management Act 2010 and Real Estate Development and Management Regulations 2011.

"But we did not receive satisfactory level of response from them (unapproved realtors)," Rajuk member (development control) Md. Asmaul Hossain said.

He said through media advertisement, they also requested the city dwellers to cross check whether the companies have Rajuk approval before buying any flat or plot.

"Of course, the possibility of frauds is quite high in the projects built by the unauthorised builders as there is no accountability. That's why we're trying to motivate the people," he said.

Seeking anonymity, a Rajuk official said the realtors, in fact, are too powerful to follow the instructions of the development authority. "You'll not get too many examples of punishment by Rajuk for breaching the laws."

He said the acts provide for punishment -- financial penalty or even two years imprisonment -- to unauthorised developers for wrongdoings and hurting the interests of apartment buyers and landowners.

When contacted, REHAB President Alamgir Shamsul Alamin (Kajal) said they have recently taken a decision in principle of sending letters to their members to secure approval from Rajuk within three months.

"If they fail, their membership will be cancelled," he said, informing that there are many companies having low paid-up capital are running business worth millions of taka.

He said the association received a good number of complains of fraudulence acts by some so-called realtors and on investigation it was found that the wrongdoers have no approval -- be it from REHAB or Rajuk.

Some realtors, however, complained that a large number of such firms are not trying to get registration only to avoid the harassment by the Rajuk's corrupt officials and employees.

Talking to the FE, the managing director of an unapproved real estate company said the approval procedure could cause extra burden in the form of unnecessary harassment by Rajuk officials and killing of time, etc.

"To avoid harassment and obtain registration easily, we engage with agents to facilitate transaction of a lot of money," he said.  

He added that they submitted design of projects to Rajuk and secured its green signal before implementation. "We are not illegal. If Rajuk wants to enforce the legal provision, they can easily do this by cancelling the projects."

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