Occupancy Certificate

INTRODUCTION:

The objective of RERA is to protect customers especially through the period of the construction of the project. Once a project has the Occupancy certificate the risk to the consumer reduces drastically. Therefore projects which are at the end stage and are able to obtain the Occupancy certificate

SECTION 2(q) OF THE RERA ACT, 2016:

It defines the Completion Certificate to be a certificate issued by the competent authority certifying that the real estate project has been developed according to the sanctioned plan, layout plan and specifications, as approved by the competent authority under the local laws.

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SECTION 2(z)(f) OF RERA ACT, 2016:

Occupancy certificate, issued by the competent authority permitting occupation of any building, as provided under local laws, which has provision for civic infrastructure such as water, sanitation and electricity. 

Therefore in essence, an OC is a document that serves as the ‘final pass certificate’ for a building.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OC AND CC:

The main difference between Completion certificate & Occupancy Certificate is that CC shows that the building construction is done as per the plan which was approved by the concerned authorities. And after getting this, occupancy certificate will be given to all buyers so that they can take possession of their Flats / properties.

WHAT SHOULD BUYERS DO IF DEVELOPER DOESN’T GIVE OC?

It is against the law of the land to reside in buildings without OC. Therefore, the act of residing in premises without OC is an offence. And developers are obligated to obtain OC and under Section 11(4)(b) of RERA Act, 2016 wherein the section states that the promoter shall be responsible to obtain the completion certificate or the occupancy certificate, or both, as applicable, from the relevant competent authority.

Further if developer give possession to buyer without OC are in breach because no possession can be given without OC and the buyer can file case/complain against developer under RERA..

FURTHER UNDER SECTION 20(10) OF THE RERA ACT, 2016 STATES THAT:

Every allottee shall take physical possession of the apartment, plot or building as the case may be, within a period of two months of the occupancy certificate issued for the said apartment, plot or building, as the case may be.

CASE LAW:

Sultana Dalal v/s. Asia Group:

Facts:

Sultana Dalal, a complainant had approached MahaRERA, stating that, Miracle Mall, situated at Bhiwandi, was already occupied but the developers (Asia Group Akbar shaikh, AbdullhaMulla and ManharBagadia) had failed to get the occupation certificate till date. Thus, the complainant sought directions from the authority that the developers are asked to register the project.

Judgment:

In the instant case, the MahaRERA held that mere non-procurement of an OC will not trigger a registration requirement under the Act and dismissed the complaint with the following observations:

  • There was no ongoing construction activity in the project, where the Complainant resides.
  • The building where the Complainant resides had been occupied prior to the commencement of the Act and hence no registration under the Act is required.

CONCLUSION:

As per the state laws, one cannot legally move into a building unless the developer gets an occupancy certificate from the respective local administrative or civic bodies. The corporation or municipality can ask the apartment owners to leave such illegally occupied flats or impose heavy penalties in the name of ‘regularization’.