No Occupancy Certificate, No Resale!

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Shashidhar bought his apartment in 2005 in Koramangala, a posh locality in Bangalore. It was a BBMP approved project with a sanctioned plan. He registered his property and lived with his wife and son until 2015. In 2015, as his son was now attending engineering college, which was almost 20 kms from Koramangala, he decided to relocate to a bigger apartment near his son’s college. As Koramangala was a most sought after location, several parties were interested in buying the apartment. He finally decided to sell his apartment to a young IT professional Vijay, who had decided to avail a loan from a bank to buy the apartment. However, to Shashidhar’s dismay, he was unable to sell the apartment, as he did not possess a valid Occupancy Certificate!  In this case, although it was an approved project, the OC was not issued as the finished project deviated more than 5% from the approved plan.

An Occupancy Certificate (OC) is a document issued by a statutory body like a municipality to certify that the building complies with the rules and regulations of that area and meets the required health and safety standards. It is the builder’s responsibility to apply for OC upon completion of the project.  In many cases, however, the builder fails to obtain OC and hands over possession to the buyer.

As a potential buyer, it is important to carry due diligence of the property prior to purchasing it. One should ascertain that the construction of the apartment complies with the approved BBMP plan. Without the OC, the owner cannot occupy the premises. The process involved to obtain an OC in such a scenario is long drawn out and cumbersome and sometimes requires the buyer to resort to legal action!

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