February 2018 | Back to all Real Estate Articles
As one knows, home buying in India involves a lot of documentation and paperwork. However, majority of home buyers, especially the first timers, are either unaware or overlook some of the most important documents, one of them being the Occupancy Certificate (OC).
This is exactly what Rohit, a first time home buyer went through:
It was Rohit’s first and most valuable purchase. He was finally about to move in to his new home after 4 years of wait. Life seemed to be settled for him and his family. Little did he know what was to come.
The project in which he invested his hard earned money was actually unauthorized as the builder did not obtain the Occupancy Certificate. The project did not comply with the approved plans. His world came crashing…
So, let’s make sure that you do not fall in the same trap.
1. Occupation certificate in layman terms is a certificate issued generally by local municipal authorities once it is ready from the builder’s end. A building without an OC is technically and legally unfit for habitation.
2. For knowledge of our readers, it must be noted that OC is different from CC (Completion certificate). CC is to do with structural aspects of the building. Simply put, CC ensures the healthy body whereas OC ensures a healthy mind. A body can hardly be healthy if mind is at unrest.
3. In absence of OC, local municipal bodies have all the power to even demolish your house. Not only this, an OC means that local bodies would provide basic amenities like water, electricity and sanitary connection etc. Resale value of an OC issued property will always be better than one not having it, in fact it can be a make or break for a potential buyer.
4. Many flyby the night builder refuse to provide an OC, You can issue a notice against the builder asking him to apply and hand over the copy of the OC. Make sure what a builder hand over to ypu isn’t just a copy of OC application but the real OC which states that your house is fit for habitation. You can also approach consumer forums and file a petition demanding the OC.
5. With RERA coming in, builders would be asked to share quarterly update of their construction status on respective state RERA websites. Possession is not complete without builder obtaining proper OC from the authorities.
Though many families today are living in complexes which haven’t received OC, it is advised that they must not. No builder can force its customers to occupy their flats till OC is obtained and a copy is shared with the owners.
Many a times, payment plans are also linked to possession, it must be noted that customers have all the rights to not pay the final installments till the builder receives the OC if the payment plan is linked to possession.
Please note that interim possession as often it’s called is not the final possession offer by the builder and must not be confused with final possession which can be offered only after OC is received.
One can also not register his flat in his/her own name till OC is not obtained.