The Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016, came into force on 1 May 2017 after a long wait of 9 years. The ministry of housing and urban poverty alleviation had first prepared a concept paper on regulation of the real estate sector and a model law for legislation by states and Union Territories in May 2008. The Act, commonly known as RERA, requires developers to get all ongoing as well as under-construction projects that have not received completion certificate, registered with regulatory authorities within 3 months, i.e., by end of July. Projects with plot size of a minimum 500 sq.mt. or eight apartments need to be registered with regulatory authorities. Let’s read more about the completion certificate and what it means for a homebuyer.
What is it?
According to the Act, any certificate, called by whatever name, that is issued by a competent authority to certify that the real estate project has been developed according to the sanctioned plan, layout plan and specifications, as approved under the local laws, is a completion certificate. The certificate is proof that the particular housing project is complete in all aspects and ready for living.
The document is given by a relevant municipal authority after inspection of the particular project. The certificate contains all information of the project, such as details of the plot or land on which it has been constructed, its location, dimension of the building (height and covered area), adjacent building or plot, distance from the road, name of the developer or builder, whether the builder has adhered to the building plan, building by-laws, and rules and regulations set by municipal authorities.
Before an authority issues such a certificate, it is supposed to make sure the developer has clearance from other authorities such as fire department.
Why have the certificate?
Having this certificate also means that the building has not violated any rules and norms or diverted from the approved plan and layout, which were approved before starting the construction. If the authority finds any deviation in construction, they may reject the certificate application and ask the developer to make the changes or complete the remaining work, before reapplying for the document.
However, a builder can seek a provisional completion certificate from authorities at the time of offering possession to customers. A provisional certificate remains valid for 6 months from the date of issue. During this period, the builder can take care of minor construction work such as landscaping, repairing lanes, and others. After the 6-month period, the builder needs to get the final completion certificate.
As a homebuyer, you must remember that a developer can offer possession only after the completion certificate has been obtained. Once that happens, the developer can apply for various utilities such as water and electricity.
If you are buying a house or have bought one, also insist on getting a copy of the clearance certificate before you take possession.