You’ve spent years saving up for this and finally you’ve managed to buy your own home. You are relieved, excited, thrilled and ready to move in. Suddenly you get news that your new home is illegal. What? How? You had done your research on the developer and scrutinized all the paper-work yourself. So what happened? Chances are you are missing one tiny yet crucial document – the Occupation Certificate. Here are a few things you should about this certificate.

What is the Occupation/Occupancy Certificate?
As the name suggests, the occupancy certificate is a document that clears a building for occupancy. i.e. – It is proof that the project has been built as per local government regulations and is suitable for people to live in. It is issued by the local municipal authorities to buildings that have more than five units. To receive an Occupancy Certificate a building must get clearances from the fire department, municipality, electricity department and Central Pollution Control Board (for rain water harvesting) etc. If the building is close to the airport it would need clearances from the Airport Authority of India as well.

What Happens when You Don’t Have the Occupation Certificate?
A lot can happen. To begin with, the building is considered an unauthorized structure. It is unfit for habitation. This means that it cannot receive any local facilities including water, sanitation and electricity. Lack of this certificate also means that the municipality can take legal action against the developers. They could also demolish the building, if the developer fails to comply.

It also means that the building might not be safe to reside in. Maybe the quality of construction is weak or safety measures are not in place. This means that if you were to stay in the building without the Occupancy Certificate and any accident was to occur; you cannot claim insurance or hold anyone liable.

Why Should a Home Owner be Concerned About This?
Apart from the lack of facilities and living in fear of the authorities cracking down on the developers, the occupancy certificate also directly affects the individual home owner. It affects ones chances of getting a home loan or a mortgage. It also affects you if and when you decide to sell your home or when you purchase a resale property yourself.

Where Can a Home Owner Get an Occupancy Certificate?
Ideally your possession certificate should have an occupancy certificate number. You can use this number to find the certificate online. If for some reason you do not see this number, contact your developer immediately. The developer has to give you the certificate. If they fail to do so, you can approach the municipality yourself for the certificate. You also have the option of suing the developer in consumer court.

How Soon Can Someone Get an Occupancy Certificate?
A developer must apply for an Occupancy Certificate within 30days of completion of the project. If an individual applies for a copy of the certificate, you can expect to receive it within 30days.

As you can see, the Occupation Certificate is a crucial document to obtain especially for apartment owners. Often what happens is that developers are allowed to register their properties even without the Occupation Certificate. During construction developers start getting water, electricity and sanitation connections. Sometimes the authorities don’t bother to severe these connections even if the occupancy certificate is not obtained.
Consumers need to know that if their payment plan is linked to possession, they have the right to not pay if the developer does not share the occupancy certificate.

We at Scapers, pride ourselves in our transparency of process and the systematic way in which we follow all regulations. We want our customers to be aware and reassured when purchasing a flat from us.

Occupation Certificate: Things You Should Know