Raghu and Tina have recently purchased a flat. Doing the biggest investment of their life, they seem to be very happy about their purchase but they have no clue about what’s coming to them. This couple purchased a property but forgot to inquire about the Completion and Occupancy Certificates from the Builder as they had no knowledge about it. Even the Builder didn’t actively inform them about it.

Many home buyers specially the first time buyers neglect Completion and Occupancy Certificates while buying a house as they are unaware of the importance these documents have. Some of them don’t even know about these documents. Procuring these certificates after moving into a house can be a long process and in some cases infeasible too. Both these certificates can save you from a lot of trouble during your entire possession period of the property. These certificates even help you take legal action against your Builder/Developer in case of any dispute in the future.

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According to a TOI report, “Nearly 10,000 buildings in Bengaluru, including 50% of apartments built after the Karnataka government introduced Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) in the city in 2005, do not have Occupancy Certificates (OCs).”

Completion and Occupancy Certificate
Completion and Occupancy Certificates

In this article we will get to know –

  • What is a Completion Certificate?
  • What is an Occupancy Certificate?
  • Importance of Occupancy and Completion Certificates

What is a Completion Certificate?

Completion Certificate is more of a technical document which is issued to a Builder or a Developer. This certificate is awarded after a thorough inspection of a constructed property as done by the government officials. Before constructing a building, the Builder has to get the construction plan approved from the government. If the plan gets approved, construction can be started. After the construction work is done, government officials inspect the site to check whether the building is constructed as per the approved plan and meets all the necessary standards set by the authority or not. Many other aspects such as distance from the road, height of the building, water harvesting system are checked before issuing the Completion Certificate, also called as CC.

Now you may wonder what does a Completion Certificate look like. A Completion Certificate doesn’t have a fixed format. Here are some examples of the same –

What is an Occupancy Certificate?

Occupancy Certificate is another document issued by the municipality or the local civic body which states that the building is ready to be occupied. It indicates that the building is made as per the government security standards, local laws and has the permission to accommodate residents. The safety standards such as provisions for fire fighting, fire exit, sewage, water system of the building are checked before issuing this certificate. This certificate works like a No Objection Certificate(NOC) for the occupancy of the building.

Thus, the main difference between a Completion Certificate and an Occupancy Certificate is that the Completion Certificate assures that the construction is done as per the approved plan and government standards and the Occupancy Certificate gives the permission to occupy the building after the issuance of Completion Certificate.

Now let us see what does an Occupancy Certificate look like –

Importance of Occupancy and Completion Certificates

We have seen what these certificates are. Now let us try to understand why these certificates are important while buying a property.

  • CC/OC can be required to claim Income Tax benefits for home loans. CC/OC may be asked along with the home loan statement.
  • They are considered as the permission to occupy a building. Occupying without these certificates is considered illegal and the authority or the civic body may ask you to vacate the property in future.
  • These certificates are required to get water connection, electricity connection etc.
  • Home Loans are sanctioned only if you have these certificates
  • Selling a house without these certificates would be very difficult and can cause grave financial loss.
  • You will not receive A-Khata Certificate without CC/OC – applicable for states like Karnataka.
  • In case the building is demolished for any reason or the land is bought by the government, CC/OC will help you in getting reasonable compensation for the property. At times, you may also get multiples of ongoing market valuation in such scenarios. Without a CC/OC, you may not be eligible for any claim.
  • In case of a natural calamity striking your locality, similar compensation may be offered to your society by the govt. in case of grave damages. This will also be prioritized first for authorised legal constructions followed by any relief for unauthorised or non-CC/OC buildings.
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FAQs related to Completion & Occupancy Certificates

  • Who issues these certificates? Completion Certificate and Occupancy Certificates are issued by the respective local civic bodies.
  • Who has to apply for CC/OC? Builders have to get these certificates for their ongoing/completed projects. However, the OC can also be applied by flat owners if the building has been already occupied by them and no CC was obtained earlier at the time of taking possession.
  • A partial CC/OC can also be issued if a part of the building is completed and is ready to be occupied.
  • Documents required for OC:
    1. Copy of building sanction plan
    2. Building Commencement Certificate
    3. Copy of Building Completion Certificate
    4. Latest Property Tax receipt
    5. Copies of No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from Pollution Board, Fire Department or Airport Authority. In some cases, a clearance from National Green Tribunal(NGT) is also required. Though such clearances are ought to be obtained during the plan approval phase itself.

Now you know how important some neglected documents can prove to be. Completion Certificate and Occupancy Certificates, if not present can put you into some major trouble and can cause nightmares for your family as your housing is at stake. You may end up losing your dream home in some cases. Thus, it is better to keep yourself up to date with the required documents for property buying. And shortlist properties as per basic due diligence of these documents.

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