An occupancy certificate (OC) issued by local authorities certifies that a building is fit for occupation and was built in accordance with the approved plan and local laws.
What is the importance of an occupancy certificate?
An occupancy certification shall be given by a local government agency or planning authority upon the completion of a new project’s construction. The certificate proves that the project took place in accordance with the applicable building codes, regulations, and laws. Once the project concludes, it is the developer’s responsibility to obtain an occupancy certificate. But Certificates certify that a building has the necessary requirements for occupancy. When applying for water, sanitation, or electricity connections, an OC is require.
An OC is require for home owners to secure the legal status of the property they own. In the absence of a valid OC for a property, the local municipal body has the authority to initiate legal action, because a project constitutes an unauthorized structure in the absence of an OC. When applying for a home loan or purchasing a resale property, you will need an OC. When you want to sell your property, you’ll also need a valid OC.
How can you obtain an occupancy certificate?
Ideally, a developer should apply for an OC within 30 days of the project’s completion. You can also apply for an OC from the local corporation or municipality as a property owner. However, If the project meets all of the criteria for approval, you should receive a copy of the OC within 30 days of submitting the application. The following document is require 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.
Difference between occupancy, completion and possession certificate
After ensuring that all requirements for habitability are fulfill, the authorities issue a completion certificate (CC) to a housing project. Only after a CC is issue to a project it is ready for home buyers to take possession. An OC, on the other hand, is a certificate that states that the project was built in accordance with all construction standards, building codes, and so on. However, Only after a project has received an OC can the builder apply for various utilities. Moreover, The developer issues a possession certificate to the buyer as proof of ownership transfer. But It specifies the date on which the new buyer will take possession of the property.
|Occupancy certificate||Completion certificate||Possession certificate|
|Issued by the authorities, stating that the project follows all construction norms and building bye-laws.||Issued to a housing project, after ensuring that it has all requirements in place to be habitable.||Issued by the developer indicating the change in ownership.|
|Builder applies for utilities (electricity, power, water supply, etc.) after receiving the OC.||Possession is offered once the CC is issued||A possession certificate is issued within 30 days, if the building has been constructed in compliance with accepted plans.|
Your rights as a property owner
If the developer refuses to provide an OC, or if he hasn’t obtained one even after the project ends, you can sue him. You can issue a legal notice requesting that he provide the OC, and you can even take the case to a consumer court. Legislation such as the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) is expected to significantly reduce instances of developer negligence or fraud. However, as a property owner, you must be vigilant and ensure that important documents, such as the OC, are in place to protect your rights to your property.
What is ‘Temporary Occupancy Certificate’?
A temporary occupation certificate may become invalid. The term “temporary occupancy certificate” does not appear in any authority’s rule book. There is, however, the term “partial completion certificate,” which certifies that the builder can facilitate tower-wise completion. But Buyers should keep in mind that a sanction plan has a five-year lifespan that only extends for two years with a fine. Once a buyer has taken possession on a temporary OC, he must promptly request a permanent OC upon completion from the builder.
ALSO READ: The completion certificate: What are they?
How to check the status of Occupancy Certificate?
If a project has been register under the Act, the status of the project is available via the web portal of the concerned state’s RERA. The RERA requires all builders to keep the project’s developments on the portal up to date on a regular basis. If the information is not up to date or available on web portals, it is available from local authorities or civic bodies.