All related paperwork and required approvals must be included in a home purchase for the process to be completed successfully. Lack of necessary clearances and documents, particularly the occupancy certificate and completion certificate, may cause problems and even result in the buyer losing their property. These two important documents are explained in depth in this article.

Documents like the Occupancy Certificate and Completion Certificate must be obtained when purchasing a home because they are necessary for the owner to obtain a mortgage or sell the property. Homebuyers are therefore advised to wait until these documents have been issued before taking possession of their apartment or other property.

The Occupancy Certificate (OC) and Completion Certificate (CC) are the two most important documents for a home buyer, according to Vikas Bhasin, CMD, Saya Group. In the absence of these required approvals, civic authorities may evict the occupants. People must therefore verify that all certificates and approvals are in place before investing in real estate.

What is an Occupancy Certificate? 

The Occupancy Certificate is one of the most important documents to obtain once you have decided on a property. It is a document provided by the civic organization in question to confirm that-

  • The building was completed in accordance with the approved plan and bylaws.
  • It complies with building regulations.
  • It includes all essential amenities.
  • There are all necessary clearances in place, including the fire No Objection Certificate (NOC).

Who issues the Occupancy Certificate?

In accordance with municipal laws, the competent authority issues the occupancy certificate after thorough review. These are typically distributed by local civic bodies such as municipal corporations. The certificate is usually issued by the local body within 30 days of the project’s completion.

Who is responsible to obtain OC?

To avoid any discrepancies in the future, it is the builder’s responsibility to obtain the OC from the issuing authorities and make it available to the property buyers. However, if the owner has already taken possession of the property, they may still apply for the document at the office of the relevant authority. 

Required documents to obtain an OC

The developer is required to submit the following paperwork to the local civic office to get the OC-

  • A copy of the approved building plan
  • NOC obtained from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and the pollution board
  • Construction commencement certificate
  • latest receipts for property tax payments

How to obtain an Occupancy Certificate?

It is the builder’s responsibility to obtain an Occupancy Certificate. The following steps are involved in obtaining a property’s Occupancy Certificate (OC):

  • Apply through a prescribed form or submit an application to the local housing board for an occupancy certificate.
  • Submit the applicable fees and supporting documentation.
  • To conduct necessary inspection visits at the project site, an officer will be assigned to it.
  • A No Objection Certificate (NOC) will be issued by the nodal officer if the property complies with the current building norms.
  • To obtain the Occupancy Certificate, the builder must submit the NOC at the authority’s office.

What is a Completion Certificate?

A Completion Certificate (CC) is a significant legal document that certifies that a building was constructed in accordance with the laid standards and city master plan. This document contains all relevant project information, including the building materials used, the building height, the building plan, and other specifics like the green belt provision.

This document certifies that there have been no violations of standards and that the building complies with all applicable building bye-laws. Homebuyers should be aware that the CC must be presented to the authorities in order to get an electricity and water connection.

Construction companies are allowed to submit an application for a provisional Completion Certificate when there are only minor works left to finish the project. Following that, authorities issue a provisional certificate valid for six months. The developer must receive a final CC following the expiration of the six-month period.

Who issues a Completion Certificate?

After a careful inspection of the property, local authorities issue the CC. The relevant authority issues the certificate if the developer follows the rules. In three to four weeks, the local body issues it following thorough review.

What documents are required to obtain a CC?

The necessary documents to obtain the CC- are listed below.

  • Filled out application form
  • a letter of completion from a licensed architect or civil engineer
  • a copy of the approved building plan
  • Certificate of structural safety from relevant departments
  • Copy of obtained NOCs for sewage, elevators, water supply, electricity connection, and fire evacuation, from relevant departments
  • Necessary declarations

How to obtain a Completion Certificate?

The steps listed below can be used to obtain the Completion Certificate (CC) for a project. –

  • To obtain a completion certificate, the developer must apply to the local municipal government or the local development organization.
  • The application must be submitted with the necessary paperwork. 
  • On a project site visit, officials from the relevant certifying body will pay particular attention to the property’s construction quality.
  • Projects may be demolished if construction and building regulations are broken.
  • The local authority will issue a signed and stamped Completion Certificate following a successful inspection.

Why is a Completion Certificate important?

Buyers should be aware that it is not advised to purchase or move into a property without a CC because doing so is a risky investment. The civic authorities have the power to impose severe fines on the developer, which could cause the project’s registration to be delayed or canceled. Residents may face eviction if the building is already occupied.

Difference between an Occupancy Certificate and a Completion Certificate

The OC certifies that a property is fit for the buyers to occupy while the CC examines and certifies a property for compliance with bye-laws, civic amenities, electricity, sanitation, and other clearances.

According to Deepak Kapoor, director of Gulshan Homz, “Completion Certificate is just a reaffirmation that the building has been constructed in accordance with the building bye-laws and the layout plan has been approved by various concerned authorities,” the two documents are not the same. The occupancy certificate indicates that no building construction standards have been broken and that the structure is safe for occupants. Buyers may overlook these documents since they are typically not needed at the time of property registration because they are not recognized as being important. However, it is recommended that purchasers of finished and unfinished properties review these documents before taking ownership for their own benefit and peace of mind. By doing this, future legal disputes or conflicts may be avoided.

Should you buy a property if the developer does not have an OC?

It is always advisable to ask both the OC and CC prior to purchasing a property. If the developer fails to provide OC or CC, the buyer-seller agreement will govern the next steps. You can even request rent for the time that the developer is delaying the release of OC/CC. Additionally, the buyer has the option of contacting the authorities and filing a complaint.

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development Act), 2016, has increased the transparency and accountability of the builders and made obtaining these documents easier, even though homebuyers are advised to proactively request these certificates from the developers. In order to ensure a smooth property transaction, it is always advisable to double-check the required approvals and essential documents before investing.

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Bhanu has a passion for writing for various verticals, including real estate and finance. He approaches bringing about change and serving society through his writings. Besides this, he loves to travel in the mountains and explore new heights. He is an eternal optimist and worships nature.