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What to do when builder fails to give Occupancy Certificate?


As a homebuyer, you need to be very careful on what you should do at every stage of your purchase. Today, there are many homebuyers who despite knowing the importance of an OC, ignore it and take possession of their flats. Many developers sell the property without this document leaving flat and house owners in the lurch.

There are several documents which are required during the purchase of a property but OC is a very important document which must be taken. Buyers have the right to take a legal action if developers do not give them the same. "If the developer sends a possession letter without OC, the buyer should resist such possession and refuse to pay the principal or the so-called interest claimed. In fact, if the developer breaches timelines, buyers can take necessary recourse from the law and approach the courts for relief. In case the developer forces or threatens the buyer to take possession without OC or claim interest, the buyer can draw the attention of RERA and/or Consumer Court, as may be appropriate for taking action against such errant developers," 

Let us find out the steps you can follow to ensure your developer shows seriousness to obtain an OC.

How OC is the obtained?

To obtain an OC, the following documents need to be submitted by the developer:

1. Copy of sanction plan

2. Building Commencement Certificate

3. Copy of Completion Certificate

4. Property Tax receipts

5. NOCs from pollution board or Airport Authority (depending on applicability)

These may also vary from state to state depending on the local laws.

Buyer's remedy:

A homebuyer is not a legal owner of the property unless the occupancy certificate is given by the relevant authorities. This certifies that the building has been completed as per the sanctioned plan. In several cases consumer forum has directed builders to obtain OC within the specified period or pay penalty to consumers. "I was offered a flat by my developer without an OC. He told me that he has applied for the OC and it may take some time and I can take possession by giving him the remaining dues of my flat. I refused to take possession but some people have already occupied their flats and are living without registry and OC," 

In case your developer is also ignoring your demand for an OC and registry is getting delayed, here are some steps you can take:

1. Ask the builder to give you OC

2. File a RERA complaint

3. File RTI to know why OC has not been issued for the project

4. Issue a legal notice directing the builder to obtain an OC

5. Claim compensation in the consumer court if developer has delayed

"Developers who have given possession to buyers without OC are in breach because no possession can be given without OC," 

For ready-to-move-in projects:

In case you are living in a project which is completed and you don't have the OC then the RWAs can approach the authority. "In case it is an older project, the buyers through the flat owners association can either approach the concerned municipal authority directly for grant of OC or file a consumer action before the concerned consumer forum on the ground that non supply of OC constitutes deficiency of service," 

For Under-construction projects:

RERA has made it clear that builders have to obtain the OCs and hand over the same to the allottees and in case this rule is not complied with then buyers always have the option to approach the authority and file a complaint. "In case of under-construction or new projects, RERA mandates that the promoter has to obtain the occupancy certificate from the local municipal authority and hand over the same to the allottees or their association. In case of breach of the obligation by the promoter, RERA authority can be approached against the promoter," says Kriplani.

Full payment without OC:

Is it legal for developer's to claim 100 percent amount without an Occupancy Certificate being issued?

"In the absence of any statutory provisions to collect stage-wise payment, it would be legal for the developers to claim the entire amount without Occupation Certificate (OC). Generally, laws provide slab-wise collection from prospective buyers. In case of such slab-wise collection, then the same would also depend on the contents of the sale deed. Morally also it would be proper that the last trench of money is collected only after receiving the OC. One must keep in mind that no one can occupy the premises without OC," 

In case you are one of the buyers who have not got an OC then you have many options to ensure your occupancy is not declared illegal. RERA and other legal options ensure your rights are protected in such cases where you have paid fully but still waiting for the OC.as their builder did not give them the Occupancy Certificate (OC).


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