Status as on- 23/10/2021
In the hue and cry of the market with so many developers and delay in process of construction and long process at the authority offices the builders are insisting the buyers to take the possession without the occupancy certificate.
Most of the home buyers tend to overlook or ignore collecting the document from their previous owners or builders of the apartment. Many buyers don’t realise the importance of Occupancy Certificates and proceed without it. There are thousands of unit which are occupied without the Occupancy Certificate.
What is the Occupancy Certificate?
It is an important certificate that every builder needs to obtain before handing out the possession to the buyers. The Occupancy Certificate signifies that the particular building or establishment is built according to the required plan and is fit to live in.
The OC is issued by local municipal authorities or building proposal department that provides no objection to occupy the building under reference for its specified use. Moving in the unit without obtaining OC is illegal. The buyers would face problems afterwards, the authority may order to evacuate building or stop basic utilities. These actions are taken on the basis that the building was not made according to the approved plan and might not be suitable to live in.
Section 11 (4) (b) of RERA Act states that the builders are to be responsible to obtain the completion certificate or the occupancy certificate, or both, as applicable, from the relevant competent authority as per local laws or other laws for the time being in force and to make it available to the allottees individually or to the association of allottees.
Owners right in such situation
If the buyers have not received the OC from the builder, buyers may ask it from the builder. If the builder after several reminders and notice also fail to deliver the certificate the buyers may take legal action towards builder and address the concern in certain places.
- RERA Act- under section 11 (40) (b) it is mandatory for the builder to get the Occupancy certificate before giving the possession to the buyers. Offering of possession without OC amounts to breach of trust and its illegal. The authority can be approached to get relief in such situation.
- Lodging an FIR- an FIR can be lodged against the builder under section 405 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and arrest warrant will be issue for the builder.
There are circumstances when the police denies to lodge an FIR against the builder, in such situation the buyer can seek relief from court under section 156 (3) of CrPC (The Code of Criminal Procedure).
Legally, a homebuyer cannot move into the property without the document. The certificate is also important in scenarios when a buyer applies for Khata or when purchasing a re-sale flat. The sale of the apartment would not fetch a good price, without the OC.
How can one obtain OC?
A developer needs to get the Occupancy Certificate within 30 days of completion of the project. If not the builder the buyer can also apply for the OC from the local authority.
To obtain the Occupancy Certificate, the following documents need to be submitted:
- Copy of building sanction plan
- Building Commencement Certificate
- Copy of building Completion Certificate
- Latest property tax receipt
- Copies of no-objection certificates (NOCs) from pollution board or Airport Authority.
Occupancy certificate is a very important document, it’s a signal that the building has been made in step with all standards and is prepared to manoeuvre in and every one the essential utilities are often granted to the building like, water, electricity, sewage etc. A customer should remember of taking each document from the builder. The occupancy certificate should be taken before creating the ultimate possession payment to the builder to avoid any downside in future.
Disclaimer- The above article is based on the personal interpretation of the related orders and laws. The readers are expected to take expert opinion before relying upon the article. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org