An occupancy certificate is a certification that is provided by the local government for the completion of a construction project. The certificate is issued after making the necessary inspections. Thus it can also be stated that the occupancy certificate is proof that the construction works have been carried out following the building codes, regulations, and laws.
It also acts as proof that the construction works are carried out following the sanctioned building plan. It is often the responsibility of the builder to ensure that the occupancy certificate has been issued within 30 days from the date of completion of the project. The occupancy certificate indicates that the building is ready for occupancy. The certificate is also a necessity while making an application for water, sanitation, and electricity connections.
The occupancy certificate is a necessity for the home buyers to strengthen their claim on the property legally. This is because the municipality can take action against you do not possess an OC as the building can be declared as an unauthorized construction and can be demolished.
Thus in the interest of the buyer, it is recommended that the buyer should not take over the possession of the property without the occupancy certificate. They should ask the builder to get the occupancy certificate issued in the name of the buyer. Apart from the builder of the property, the owner of the property can also apply for the occupancy certificate.
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What rights are conferred by the Occupancy Certificate (OC)?
The buyer is vested with the complete legal right over the property under the occupancy certificate. Taking over possession of the property and occupying the same is the most fruitful step in a property purchase. The buyer mustn’t rush and take over the possession of the property without the OC. The buyer has the right to demand the builder to provide the occupancy certificate.
On his failure or refusal to do so, you may send a legal notice notifying him to apply for the occupancy certificate and to provide you with a copy of the occupancy certificate within one month. The buyer also has the right to approach the consumer forum on the failure of the builder to provide the occupancy certificate. The builder can be penalized for the delay as well.
The buyer must know his rights when he is purchasing a property. In case of any default in the property or if there is a difference in the quality promised in the sales deed, then an action can be effectively enforced only if there is no default on the part of the buyer. Some of the builders provide the receipt of the occupancy certificate and then do not provide the certificate.
In such circumstances, the buyer should exercise due diligence and ensure that he gets the occupancy certificate issued by the builder or the developer as the receipt does not hold much evidentiary value according to the law. Thus integral documents such as the OC mustn’t be ignored.
When should I get my Occupancy Certificate?
The builder or the owner of the property may obtain the occupancy certificate by making an application to the local authority on the completion of the project. The law requires the OC to be made within 30 days from the date of completion of the project. Then an inspection is carried out on the property to ensure that the various activities carried out on the property are following the sanctioned plan and laws regulating the construction process.
The builder or the owner of the property can also apply for a part or partial occupancy certificate in cases of large projects on part completion of the project. You may also be required to complete the construction process within 7 years of issuance of the partial occupancy certificate and apply for the OC. Just because you have already been issued the partial occupancy certificate, it is no guarantee that you will get the OC. For that, your property will be re-inspected and cross-checked to ensure that the construction works are carried following the construction laws.
Thus the answer to this question is that in case of completion of the project, you are required to make an application for the OC within 30 days of completion and in case of partial competition you may apply for a partial occupancy certificate and it is required by the law that the construction process is completed within 7 years. The landmark legislation Real Estate Regulatory Act (RERA) has been enacted to regulate the real estate sector and also to ensure that the customer or buyers are not exploited. It aims at bringing in transparency and accountability.
However, the buyer must know his rights and responsibilities towards the property. OC is one most important documents that needs to be obtained by the buyer of the property from the builder or the previous owner of the property. If the buyer is not provided the OC, he can claim to approach the consumer court for getting the OC issued.
The occupancy certificate confers the buyer with the complete legal rights of the property. You are also required to get your OC issued within 30 days from the completion of the project. In case you had already got a partial occupancy certificate issued you must get the construction works completed in a maximum period of 7 years from the date of the issuing the partial occupancy and get the OC issued.
The issuance of the OC is made only after inspecting the property. Thus it is highly recommended that the buyer of the property obtains a legally valid occupancy certificate issued by the authorized authority to avoid any complications in the future.