These days, buying a home of your dreams is a culmination of years of hard work, savings and constant research and you certainly wouldn’t want to go wrong in the process! Sometimes people wait for years for the construction of their brand new 2 BHK or 3 BHK apartment or villa to be complete and finally when it gets to the stage of registering the property and possession, it is disheartening to know that your home is unauthorized.
This could even lead to you being evicted by the concerned authorities. This isn’t as impossible as it sounds! One of the many real estate traps you could be caught in is missing a crucial link in the documents during the property sale process, like the Occupation Certificate (OC). When many 2 BHK apartments and even luxurious homes in India are acquired by young, first-time home buyers without the Occupancy certificate, this mistake can result in being a costly one, impacting the legal status of your new home and even your ownership rights.
What is an Occupancy Certificate?
An OC certificate is issued by the local municipal authority or the building proposal department once the building – a 3BHK or 2 BHK apartment or villa has been completed and is ready to be occupied. It simply certifies that the construction of the building complies with the approved plans. In simple words, a building that fails to produce an OC certificate has not been given a ‘pass certificate’.
Some of the most important things you must know about the OC certificate are as follows:
- In most cases, people confuse the OC certificate with the CC (Completion certificate) which is a certificate issued with regard to the structural aspects of the building. OC certificate is related to the status and the existence of the
building as a whole.
- In the absence of Occupancy Certificate, local municipal bodies have all the right to demolish your house whether it’s a brand new villa or a luxurious apartment.
- The Occupancy certificate comes with a long list of pros and this includes having the local bodies to provide all basic amenities like water, electricity and sanitary connection etc. to the apartment or villa where you’ve bought a new home.
- The resale value of an OC issued property whether it is a small 2BHK apartment or a luxurious water front apartment, will always be higher than a house that does not have it. This can be a significant criterion considered by all potential buyers.
- If the builder who you associate with while buying a new apartment or villa refuses to provide you with an OC, you can issue a notice against the builder asking him to apply and hand over the OC. Make sure the builder hands over not just a copy of the OC application but the real OC which states that your house is fit for possession. You can also approach the consumer court and file a petition demanding the OC.
- It is always important to note that, RERA demands builders to share a quarterly update of their construction status and possession of your new apartment or home will not be complete unless the builder obtains a proper OC from the respective authorities.
- If the payment plan associated with you builder is linked to possession, customers have all the rights to not pay the final installment till the builder attains the Occupancy Certificate. It is also important to note that one can also not register the new flat or villa in his/her own name till Occupancy Certificate is obtained.
How to obtain the Occupancy Certificate?
The OC application form needs to be submitted to the local municipal bodies along with the following documents:
- Commencement Certificate
- Completion Certificate
- Built and Section plan
- NOC for fire and pollution
- Area calculation sheet of floor signed by an authorized architect
- Photographs of the completed project/building
- Tax assessment with tax paid receipt
- Photographs of rain harvesting and solar panels
- Copy of the sanctioned plan
Once the forms are submitted, the designated authorities inspect the building and confirm that it has adhered to the approved plan before issuing an OC. Legally and ideally, a builder should submit an application with the municipal commissioner for the OC within 30 days of completion of the property.
If you own a flat or an independent house, you can apply for an OC by approaching the local corporation or municipality, and if all approvals are in place, an OC is issued within 30 days of application. You will have to submit the same documents as the builder to procure an OC.
It is extremely easy to be conned by some builders into buying a 2BHK /3 BHK apartment or villa by presenting the receipt of the OC instead of the original one. But it is important that you associate with a trusted builder like Kalyan Developers so that they will take care of all the necessary approvals before handing over the property to their most valued customers. Nevertheless, always ensure that your OC is in place to enjoy a smooth journey while you set out to buy a new home.