Check for Occupation Certificate from Builder before Moving in


Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association  

What is Occupation Certificate (OC) or Completion Certificate ? It is proof that a building has been constructed as per approved plans. The OC from the planning authority is essential for any construction as per the law. Why is OC important? It is mandatory for every residential or commercial complex to obtain OC. However, it is not required for flat registration. Because of this, many buyers tend to overlook OC, which also plays a significant role in getting a home loan. It is illegal to occupy a flat if the building doesn’t have the OC. Such buyers can be prosecuted by the municipal corporation.

 Citing that over 10,000 residential buildings in Mumbai, which do not have an occupation certificate, Ramesh Prabhu, founder chairman of Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MahaSEWA) urges the chief minister to bring out an amnesty scheme. In 2004-05, an OC amnesty scheme was initiated which was not successful for various reasons. The builders often do not fulfil a host of obligations like handing over recreation or playground to the planning authority, getting NOC from the Collector and Tree Authority and payment of taxes and premiums to BMC that are essential to getting an OC. There may be an encroachment of common area or closing of the balcony or excess use of FSI than permitted. 

There may be many violations done by the developer or the residents. Now, having permitted the purchasers to occupy the flats, providing water on humanitarian ground, conveyance permitted without OC etc., obtaining OC has remained as only a paper requirement. Therefore, it is time for the government to bring an amnesty scheme to regularise all lapses and provide OC. However, for all dues, FSI violations, penalty, premium, etc., the developer or the builder should be booked and the charges should be recovered from him. The same may be reported to MahaRERA and the planning authority that if any partner of such a builder approaches the BMC for new permissions, or for new RERA registration, the same should not be granted till the old dues of the planning authority are cleared. Nothing should be charged to the Society.

Advocate Godfrey Pimenta, a trustee of Watchdog Foundation, differed: Such an amnesty scheme is nothing but a scheme to protect the interests of builders’ lobby. Why should the flat purchasers or housing societies be made to run from pillar to post to gather documents to obtain the OC?  He is strongly of the view that a mere amendment in the Maharashtra Ownership Flats (Regulation of the promotion of Construction, Sale, Management and Transfer) Act, 1964, is required which casts an obligation on the builder to obtain the OC in a time-bound manner failing which the offence should be made non-bailable attracting jail term of 5 years or penalty of minimum R1 crore or both.  

Advocate Vinod Sampat, founder president of Co-operative Societies Residents Association, said the situation is the fallout of collusion between builders and BMC officials. Glaring instances of violation is Tilak Nagar where BMC has not given OC to almost all buildings that have gone for redevelopment in the complex except for about 4 buildings. While the government has told the Assembly that about 50 per cent of the files of the building proposal department for the western suburbs are not traceable, hardly any steps have been taken by the BMC. Many leading builders provide double walls where the same can be broken and have an area of about 400-500 sq.ft. can be encroached at a later date. Citing the Friends Colony case in the Supreme Court, he said even the court said that builders would know the law better. “Our Association supports granting OC to innocent purchasers, but the Government should take action on such unscrupulous builders.”

30,000 co-operative housing societies across Maharashtra await elections to plan redevelopment: /85469829 .cms

Accordingly, a study group-2 has been formed by MahaSewa to study and to represent before Govt.:(1) Ar. Samir Hingoo, President of Practising Architects, Engineers, Town Planners Association of India,PEATA. (2) Ar. Manoj Daisaria, former President of PEATA(3) Er. Tarun Motta, former President of PEATA (4) Ar. Sandeep Kangutkar (5) Ar. Ashish Solanki.                               Convenor, CA. RameshPrabhu, Chairman MahaSewa. 9820106768. https://chat /L9xtBEAYRBE5r6rgRY4rsP


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