What if builder does not have occupation certificate for the project?


In the recent past, we have seen such no. of cases, wherein the Occupation Certificate has not been obtained by the Builder and yet they are offering the possession to the Home-buyers; even knowing the fact that this is an illegal act the home-buyers eventually end up taking the possession.

Why Home-buyers opt for the possession even if the Builder doesn’t have OC?

The Builders apply for the OC when the project is about to get completed and subsequently they send a letter of the possession to the home-buyers by showing that we have applied for the OC and soon we are going to get it. If the home-buyers does not comply, the builder starts charging interest on the due amount along with the holding charges; a middle-class man facing such financial obligations led them to accept the possession of the property for which the OC has not been received yet.

Importance of Occupation Certificate for the Home-buyers

First, we should understand why Occupation Certificate (OC) is so important for taking or accepting the possession:

  • Taking over the possession without OC is an offence.
  • The authorities can ask the home-buyers to vacate the property and even penalise them with the hefty amounts.
  • The local authorities (MCD) usually do not give water and electricity connections without OC.
  • Although in property registration OC is not necessary but when home-buyer applies for Khata (which gives the ownership title) the OC is mandatory.

Now the questions arise what should a home-buyer do in such circumstances where the builder is pressurising them to take the possession and OC is not in existence, below-mentioned are the points which need to be taken care of:

  • Any offer of possession should not be accepted without OC.
  • Final Demand should not be paid until there is a surety of Occupation certificate of the project.
  • If there is any doubt about the OC of the project, then an RTI can also be filed with the department to find out that OC has been taken or not.
  • A legal notice can also be sent to the Builder for obtaining the Occupation Certificate.
  • As per the RERA provisions, a Builder has to take the OC before providing possession and if there is a breach then a complaint shall be filed before RERA Authority.
  • If at any time the home-buyer finds out that the builder has given the possession without having OC then as per RERA such home-buyer should appropriately be compensated by the Builder.

At last, we can infer that the OC is the most important document to look for before taking over the possession of the property as such ignorance might get some fatal circumstances.

Disclaimer – Please note that the above articles is based on the interpretation of related laws and judicial pronouncement which may differ from person to person. The reader are expected to take the expert opinion on the matter.

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