Today, success is measured in many ways and owning a house is one of the most relevant proofs. A house is more than just a personal space; it's also a necessity and an important form of investment. This life step can mean everything to people who move into their own place after filling someone else's pockets with rent money each month.
The Occupancy Certificate protects your dream home and ensures your savings don't contribute to an illegal building project. The possession certificate itself doesn't legalise the occupancy of the house. Often, people get evicted from their newly purchased apartments because the builder never received the Occupancy Certificate. This matter usually ends up as a legal dispute which results in the loss of time and hard-earned money. To avoid such problems, make sure you have the Occupancy Certificate in your hands before moving in.
What is an Occupancy Certificate?
The Occupancy Certificate (OC) is a crucial document that certifies that a property is fit for habitation and has been built following the approved plan and applicable building codes and bylaws. Local civic bodies like municipal corporations issue it after the project is complete. Both real estate developers and homeowners can request for the Occupancy Certificate. However, it's the responsibility of the developer/builder to get the Occupancy Certificate and provide it to the property buyers.
Why is the Occupancy Certificate Important?
Firstly, Occupancy Certificate authorises the safety of a building and eliminates the risk of lawful eviction and demolition. Without an OC, the municipal corporation doesn't supply the house with electricity, water, and sanitation connections.
The OC is also required when applying for loans from banks or other financial institutions. Most importantly, without the occupancy certificate, it's impossible to resell the property at a reasonable price.
Therefore, before you can legally claim ownership of a property, you must first obtain the Occupancy Certificate.
How Can You Obtain the Occupancy Certificate?
Ideally, a developer should apply for an OC within 30 days of completing a project. However, a property owner can also apply for an OC from the municipality or local corporation. If the project meets all the required criteria, you should receive a copy of the OC within 30 days of the application. Here are the following documents you need to submit as part of your application:
Project commencement certificate.
Project completion certificate.
NOCs for fire and pollution.
Latest property tax receipt.
Copy of the building's sanctioned plan.
How does Occupancy Certificate Protect Homebuyers?
A home buyer should obtain the OC certificate from the developer to confirm the property's suitability for possession and secure the ownership right.
The buyer can also file a complaint in the consumer forum if a builder refuses to provide the occupancy certificate. A notice will be issued against the builder, asking him to hand over the certificate within a month.
RERA is another option to file a complaint regarding the occupancy certificate. For RERA-registered projects, they can file their complaints on the state's official RERA website.
What is a Temporary Occupancy Certificate?
A temporary occupancy certificate is issued when the development of a project happens in multiple stages. Authorities can issue a temporary occupancy certificate only after one phase has been completed and is safe for homeowners to occupy.
Temporary Occupancy Certificates are subject to cancellation and must be replaced by Occupancy Certificates within the active time period of sanctioned plans. Temporary occupancy certificate was introduced to address delays in large construction projects and to provide evidence to buyers who couldn't obtain the occupancy certificate. However, a buyer won't be able to sell the property further with a temporary occupancy certificate.
What is the Difference Between Completion Certificate and Occupancy Certificate?
A Completion Certificate (CC) is issued by the local government authority after the construction of the building is completed. It certifies that the construction is done as per the approved plan and complies with all the rules and regulations, including building codes, safety norms, and zoning laws. The Completion Certificate is issued to ensure that the building is complete in all respects, including water and sewage connections, electrical fittings, and other amenities.
On the contrary, an Occupancy Certificate is issued by the local government authority after conducting a thorough inspection of the building to ensure that it is safe and suitable for occupation. The OC certifies that the building has adequate fire safety measures, ventilation, sanitation, and other amenities required for a comfortable living. It ensures that the occupants of the building are not exposed to any kind of risks or hazards.
How to Check the Status of an Occupancy Certificate Online?
If the building project is registered under the RERA Act 2016, the status of the OC can be monitored on the web portal of the relevant state's RERA. RERA requires builders to update the status of their construction projects regularly. If such information is not available on the web portal, the buyer may contact the local civic authorities.
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