Did you know that real estate law was a practice area?
Or did you think it was confined to the land law journals you dreaded to study back in law academy?
I emphatically did think that there could be nothing more boring than learning about the mutation of belongings and land records. Never ever even thought that one could make a career of it. More so, one would make a career in this field?
Real estate law practice is a niche area of law practice, that most law students aren’t even aware of. Yes, that is true.
A few days back we compiled a roll of real estate lawyers in Mumbai that might have given you a basic understanding of the practice. If you missed read it, check it out here .
How many real estate lawyers do you know of?
Do you know that most real estate developers such as Unitech, Assotech, Lodha Group and the likes have major in-house crews resolved with their miseries?
Do you know there were firms like Hariani& Co. that actually have a legacy of over 30 years of real estate practice? A full-fledged team of lawyers that deal with litigation as well as transaction and property due diligence?
Real estate is actually one of the most rewarding yet overlooked areas to practice law, let’s talk about what real estate lawyers actually do.
We did a lot of research, spoke to real estate lawyers from reputed law firms and companies and came up with a comprehensive take on it.
Here is what we learned:
Real estate lawyers do everything from title investigation of a belonging to dispute resolution. They have to conduct the due diligence for the property to know if the title is clear for growth or sale. Then they have to stimulate title research reports or name search credentials as per their client’s requirements.
They also are searching for pending mortgages and litigation on the belonging, to find a reasonable and amicable solution for their clients. They advise their clients on various property-related matters. They draft MOUs, lease term, leave and license agreements, etc. They also handle land or belonging associated disputes.
Their patrons range from individuals investing in a flat to developers or promoters. So, if you’re a developer trying to get the land to develop a property, you have to get in touch with a real estate lawyer.
What laws and regulations do they need to know?
While the scope of laws applicable to real estate laws is extensive statutes, like The Real Estate( Regulation and Development) Act, Transfer of Property Act, Contracts Act, state laws and regulations like Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, Development Control Rules, etc. are what real estate lawyers deal with on a daily basis.
#1 The Real Estate( Regulation and Development) Act
Recently, with the Real Estate( Regulation and Development) Act, 2016[ RERDA ], Real Estate Regulatory Authority( RERA) has entered into home. This constitution was introduced to protect home-buyers as well as help boost investing in the real estate industry.
The Act establishes the Real Estate Regulatory Authority( RERA) in each state for regulation of the real estate sector and also acts as an adjudicating body for speedy spat redressal. Under RERDA, all makes and developers have a duty to register their brand-new and ongoing jobs with the Regulatory Authority in case they are planning to sell the property.
Under the law, RERA has to dispose off a complaint within 60 days of filing. With RERA in place in a state, one cannot file lawsuits in civil tribunals or high courts.
#2 Transfer of Property Act
The Transfer of Property Act regulates the transfer of property in India and it categorizes property into immovable and movable properties. The delivery of property may be to an individual, company or association or body of individuals. A real estate lawyer needs to be thorough in their knowledge of this act as it governs and regulates the transfer of properties between parties.
#3 Contract Act
The knowledge of contract law is essential for all solicitors, more importantly the practical experience in the field. Even real estate lawyers have to know how to draft contracts and agreements. They regularly is working with patrons who need them to draft the necessary agreements like MoU, lease agreement, leave and license agreement, sale agreement, broker agreement, etc. Therefore, they need to be adept at these subjects.
#4 Consumer Protection Act
Prior to RERA, even in commonwealths where RERA has not been established post-RERA, typically the lawyers approached the consumer courts whenever handover of a developing property was delayed, or if there was a dispute between the marketer and purchaser of a belonging. The real estate lawyers need to know the procedural aspects of the law, how to file a consumer complaint, etc.
#5 State Rules and Regulations
The rules and regulations for countries differ from one another in terms of procedure, stamp duty, registration, etc.
So, for instance in Maharashtra, a real estate lawyer needs to know the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, Standardized Building Bye-laws, Development Control Rules, etc. along with the other laws.
In West Bengal, RERA was met with pushback from the government government’s legislation West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act( WBHIRA) which looks like an attempt to diluted RERA.
There are two major irregularities in the WBHIRA from RERA. It adds “…or any other circumstances as may be prescribed”, under the provision of unforeseen circumstances that avoid a builder from fulfilling his contract, ” which stirs it ambiguous.
Also, a garage is described as any parking space sanctioned by the government authority, that is different from the RERA’s definition of garage expecting a roof and walls on three backs. The real estate lawyers need to know and be able to apply the government constitutions, rules, regulations, bye-laws, etc. related to real estate.
What are the skills required for real estate lawyers?
So, one of the questions I posed to the real estate lawyers was what kind of skill sets are required for a successful career in real estate law. A few questions was what do potential employers look for in a candidate while hiring.
In the case of the employers, they look for candidates with experience in the real estate laws. This includes the number of bargains the candidate may have closed, the nature and quality of said deals, the number of transactions closed, transaction-based admonition, dispute resolution, etc.
#1 Knowledge of real estate laws
A real estate lawyer “re going to have to” possess a thorough knowledge of the various statutes, regulations, regulations, bye-laws involved in real estate. These lawyers need to be able to provide point to end service a potential client.
A client may come to them for a simple title search certificate or a leave and license agreement. Or a developer may come for understanding his contractual obligations to the client or whether the defer can be justified as unforeseen circumstances.
The thorough knowledge of relevant laws like RERDA, Transfer of Property Act, government rules and regulations like Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, Standardized Building Bye-laws, Development Control Rules, West Bengal Housing Industry Regulation Act( WBHIRA ), etc. is essential for real estate lawyers.
#2 Contract Drafting
Every lawyer must know how to draft contracts, real estate lawyers are no exception. They need to know the laws as well as how to draft the contracts needed by their clients. For instance, a developer or promoter developing his property enters into an MoU with the potential party before entering the developer’s agreement.
Similarly, a mansion owned incorporated into a leave and license agreement with licensees, party leasing the property from another, all need a real estate lawyer to support their efforts draft the necessary agreements and admonish them.
#3 Dispute Resolution
The disputes arising from immovable property have to go to the right court. Prior to RERA, parties had the option of going to civil courts, high court or buyer forums depending on the type of such disputes. The real estate lawyers need to know the dispute resolution mechanism, the procedures of each forum, etc.
For instance, if the developer has failed to grant possession of the property for more than a year, a complaint can be filed against the defaulting party, i.e ., private developers with RERA. The copies of relevant agreement like MoU, developers agreement, etc. has to be submitted along with the applicable costs. Thereafter within 60 days of filing, the matter is to be disposed off by RERA.
With such constitutions in place, a real estate lawyer got to find an amicable resolution of the dispute for his patron. This requires a thorough knowledge of the laws involved, analysis of agreements involved, procedural knowledge, etc.
A real estate lawyer must be able to clearly advise his clients on potential issues cropping up and safeguard them against the same to the best of their abilities.
Real estate law is lucrative, as well as an interesting field of constitution as it gives the opportunity for solicitors to develop skills and expertise in a varied assortment of laws. With the changes in the legislation and regulations, it keeps the lawyers on their toes and helps them stay on top of their game.
You can check out our Certificate Course in Real Estate Laws, a 3-months credential track with published study material at your disposal, 1 online live class/ week( 12 weeks ), 2 practical or drafting workouts per week and a lot more.
You will be able to guide and advise the makes and developers in their programme requirements for registration with RERA. You will also learn about filing appeal procedures with the Real Estate Appellate Tribunal. There is a massive roster of opportunities in this field. Go through the course page to improve understanding.
The market of real estate is always on the rise for real estate lawyers, as the need for legal advice and disputes with respect to property scarcely seems to slow down! Making a vocation in this field will be highly rewarding. The enrolments for the course intents on January 30 th!
Here are other tracks that might interest you 😛 TAGEND
EXECUTIVE CERTIFICATE COURSE
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