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Builders must issue occupation certificate

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  • The construction permission, namely commencement certificate, lays down the terms and conditions to be complied with, over and above the various laws
  • To verify that the project is not in violation of any provisions of law, one can obtain the permissions granted through an RTI

We bought a flat in a housing society in Bengaluru in 2011, which is lying unoccupied ever since. The society has about 1,000 flats and most of them are occupied. The builder gave the possession and an association was formed in 2006. However, there is no occupation certificate (OC) yet because of which we never paid any maintenance charges. Are we justified in not paying the charges? Can we occupy the flat now and pay the pending maintenance charges? What happens if the municipality objects to some violations or orders demolition?Also, the builder had promised to give us a parking space in the sale agreement, but it is not shown in the final sale deed. We have filed a case in a consumer forum against this, but the case has been pending for over four years, which is also why we haven’t occupied or rented out the flat yet.

—Name withheld on request

During the construction cycle of a real estate project, a developer has to obtain various construction permissions in terms of the approved plans passed by the competent authority. The construction permission, namely commencement certificate, lays down the terms and conditions to be complied with, over and above the various laws which regulate the construction activity. The terms of the permission have to be adhered to by the developer so that the project is not constructed in violation of any legal provisions and, more particularly, the permissions obtained.

In your case, if the developer has constructed the real estate project by complying with and adhering to all permissions which may have been granted, there should be no reason for the relevant authorities to order demolition of any part of the project. To verify that the project is not in violation of any provisions of law, you may obtain the permissions granted (including permissions applied for, like OC) through an RTI application. However, in all probability, the developer is in violation of certain permissions as the OC is not issued by the competent authority and you are, therefore, right in being anxious about occupying a place when OC has not come forth.

It is advisable to put forward all your grievances and claims before the state commission for satisfactory redressal.

Aradhana Bhansali is partner, Rajani Associates. Queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com

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