A buyer can move into his/her new apartment only once the occupancy certificate (OC) has been received. This occupancy certificate is generally obtained from the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) / Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) and it is mandatory for every residential complex, which is larger than five units, to obtain the occupancy certificate. It is illegal to move into a flat or house without receiving the occupancy certificate.
The occupancy certificate is processed once the Palike gets information from the owner or the buyer highlighting that the construction has been completed. The builder needs to fill an occupancy certificate application form for the issue of the certificate. The builder will also need to submit a few other documents Click Here to know. The BBMP authorities will inspect the complex and confirm whether it has been completed according to the approved plan and then, issue the certificate. However, in case the deviations are upto five percent from the plan, then a fine will be charged based on the extent of deviation made. Once the fee is paid, the occupancy certificate will be issued.
When do we get occupancy certificate?
Normally, the builder of the flat issues occupancy certificate once the construction is completed. Legally, every builder/owner should send an application to the commissioner for the OC within 30 days of completion of the building. The commissioner, in turn, informs the applicant within a 30 day period whether the application has been accepted or rejected. The buyer should definitely get the occupancy certificate before moving into the flat or signing the agreement. However, sometimes builders don’t obtain occupancy certificate from BBMP as once the OC is obtained, these builders would be required to pay property tax. The builder might not have sold all the flats in the complex. In such a situation, the builder is often reluctant to obtain occupancy certificate. If the builder has not constructed the complex based on the approved plan, then there is a chance that the builder might not be able to obtain orrucpancy certificate.
What are some of the conditions needed to be fulfilled to get the Occupancy certificate?
In order to get the occupancy certificate, clearances from the fire department has to be obtained. Some of the conditions to provide the occupancy certificate are listed below.
- The car parking in the basement shall have enough safety measures. The car park is supposed to be built at the complete risk of the owner and BBMP does not take any liability for any loss, damage, risk, etc.
- The owner/builder is not supposed to add/alter the structure in any way without permission from the BBMP. If the structure is changed in any way, BBMP has the right to damage or demolish the structure.
- Basement floor and ground floor should be used for parking purposes only.
- Footpath in front of the buildings should be maintained in good condition.
- Rainwater harvesting should be implemented and maintained in good working condition for storage of water or for recharging ground water.
- The security deposit made by the builder will be forfeited in case there is a deviation from the approved plan.
- The owner shall segregate the waste and make appropriate arrangements to dispose the organic and inorganic waste. These arrangements should be made in consultation with BBMP Zonal Health office.
If any of the information provided by the builder/owner is false, then BBMP has the right to cancel the Occupancy certificate.
Is Occupancy certificate important?
Generally, Occupancy certificate(OC) is needed by a purchaser when he/she is legally moving into a flat. It is illegal to move into a flat without the occupancy certificate. The owner of the flat can be forced to evict the flat in case he/she does not have occupancy certificate.
Occupancy certificate is also required when the buyer applies for Khata. However, note that the occupancy certificate is not needed for registration of the property during purchase. This often leads buyers to believe that the occupancy certificate is not important. However, when such a buyer tries to apply for Khata, he/she will face problems obtaining it. Note that this Khata will definitely be requires in case the owner plans to sell the flat sometime in future.
There is also a chance that the electricity and the water connection could be cut to the flat if the owner does not have the occupancy certificate.
OC is also needed when one plans to get loans to purchase a resale flat. In case of a new under construction flat, banks will provide loans when the flat is being constructed. As OC is not available during construction phase, OC need not be submitted. However, the bank might instead demand for CC (Commencement certificate). Once the house is purchased, used and then resold at some later date, the new buyer shall demand OC. The new buyer might also intend to buy the flat on loan. In such circumstances, unless you have an OC for your flat, there is a high chance that the new prospective buyer might not be able to get a loan and consequently, be unable to buy the property. In such a case, you will need to search for someone who will be able to buy the flat without availing a loan which can sometimes be difficult and time intensive.
On a larger note, yes, it is always better to have the Occupancy certificate in order to ensure that the buyer is on the right side of the law. It also makes resale of flat an easier task.
What can buyers do to avoid getting cheated?
- Obtain commencement certificate and occupancy certificate.
- Ask for copies of land registration, joint venture, Encumbrance certificate, tax paid receipts, etc.
- Check whether there are any pre-existing owners.
- Confirm whether the area is approved by BMMP,BDA or BMRDA
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