Flats in Kerala – 13 Must Verify documents before purchasing


Builders in Kerala have an obligation to perform due diligence prior to starting developing residential apartments. At times, you find apartments for sale where a builder has failed to perform the necessary legal processes required, the property purchaser may end up bearing the brunt. Imagine you buying the best flats in kochi, only to later find indefinites delays due to litigation. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Land Title

1. Sale Deed /Conveyance Deed
Sale Deed forms the major legal property document that marks the evidence of sale and as shows the transfer of ownership of property. The Area of the Land, Undivided share (if applicable), Survey Numbers, Village, Taluk, Value of the land are the important aspects covered in the Sale Deed. A sale deed will refer to a prior deed and one needs to trace out the ownership for the last 15 years in order to have a clear and marketable title.
If you intend to buy a flat in trivandrum, make sure that the title document is verified by an expert. The best builders in kerala are very diligent when it comes to legal scrutiny of land title.
2. Location sketch & Possession Certificate
From the concerned Village office one can obtain these. 1. Building Permit & Approved Plans– This is the permit issued by the Corporation, Municipality / Panchayat giving a green signal to the proposed construction. It normally has a validity for 3 years and can be extended twice. These will have details such as number of flats, proposed built up area, FAR (Floor Area Ratio), number of car parks, recreation area, floor plans of all floors etc.
3. Encumbrance Certificate
If there is any liability or charge on the property the EC will reflect it. For a sale transaction to happen, the property has to be encumbrance free. If the land has any existing liabilities, when you buy property, you are adding a liability into your portfolio without knowing it.
4. Land Tax Receipt
Land Tax Receipt reflects the extent of the property, its survey/re-survey number and in whose name the land tax is being paid.  Land tax is usually paid every year. Before buying a house, make sure the seller has tax receipts in his name after his purchase date.
5. Joint Development (JD) Agreement
In many cases the Builder might have entered into a JD agreement with a Land Owner for the construction of the flats or apartments. This document contains the details of the transaction and authority granted to the builder on the said property.

Building Approvals

Now that you have verified that the land title is valid, you need to verify whether the builder has secured necessary approvals for construction. Suppose you purchased an apartment in kerala without proper approvals, the authorities may even raze down the apartment after entire construction is completed.
6. Other Clearances Required
In order to obtain the building permit, the builders and developers in kerala must also obtain the approvals from the following agencies as applicable.
I. Fire NOC – The Fire and Rescue Department must issue a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the proposed building to start the construction activities and the requirements vary with the proposed height of the building.
II. Pollution Control Board (Consent to Operate) – Though the PCB approval is not mentioned in the KMBR (Kerala Municipal Building Rules), the Corporation requires builders to take this approval.
III. Aviation Department Clearance (Civil or Defense) – The aviation department height clearance is required to obtain the building permit and to ensure that the building height does not pose a hazard to air crafts. In Cochin City this approval is Issued by the Southern Naval Command. Cochin builders have to get approval from them.
IV. MOEF (Ministry of Environment and Forest) Clearance – If the proposed built up area of the building is exceeding 20,000 square meters, then this is required.
V. CRZ (Coastal Regulatory Zone) Clearance – Any site abutting or in close proximity to water bodies as indicated in the CRZ map would require this clearance. Kerala being a coastal state rich in water bodies, this is clearance very often becomes a problem for builders in kerala. If you are purchasing a water front apartment in Cochin, make sure this clearance is obtained. Many luxury apartments in kerala are located close to water bodies, who wouldn’t love to own a home near the pristine rivers of god’s own country?

Occupancy Documents

7. Occupancy Certificate (OC)
Once the proposed construction is completed there would be inspection by the authorities (Corporation or Municipality) to check if the building has been constructed as per the approved plan or not. Once the inspection is completed Occupancy Certificate will be issued and the builder will proceed obtain the door numbers for every apartment.
8. Other Completion Certificates
In order to get the OC, the builder must produce the final verification documents of the Fire Force and Pollution Control Board.
9. Sale Deed and Possession Certificate
Once the OC is obtained and the apartment buyer has cleared all dues, the builder will proceed registering the sale deed of the respective apartment and corresponding Undivided Share (UDS) in favor of the buyer. Once registered the buyer can apply for a possession certificate.
10. Building Tax
Once the sale deed is registered and door number is obtained, the buyer can pay building tax with regard to his/her apartment under their name.
11. KSEB (Kerala State Electricity Board)
The Builder will obtain the electricity connection in the name of the buyer or will get it transferred if builder has obtained it under their name.

Maintenance and Association Formation

12. Association Formation
Once the Sale Deeds are registered the builder will aid / enable the owners to form an Association under the 12 th TCACT 1955.
13. Vendor List & Contacts, Warranty Documents – The builder will provide the warranty documents of items used (e.g. Sanitary Fixtures, Taps, Swimming Pool, Sewage Treatment Plant etc.), A vendor list will also be provided for the buyers / association to contact the respective vendors post maintenance period of builder. These documents are necessary for the homebuyers to maintain their homes without difficulty.