know about possession and occupancy certificates

Buying a home is a dream. But legal documentation, and wrapping our head around all the nitty-gritties that surround the legal aspects of home buying can make it a nightmare – from legal opinion on the property, link documents, encumbrance certificates to paying the stamp duty and GST on registration.

It is natural for us to leave all of these to the builder, or broker facilitating the purchase. Or depend on a third party like the bank to tell us that everything about the intended purchase is clear. Maybe if the banker is patient with your queries or the builder has a dedicated team for legal, like Golden gate Properties Ltd, your doubts will be clarified.

Two such documents are possession certificate and occupancy certificate. Now we need not understand the details of how these are drafted and issued, but a fair idea of how these are important and why we must pay attention to them will give us a right context.

What is a possession certificate?

Simply put, a possession certificate is something that certifies your possession. It is between the first home owner, in most cases the developer to the buyer indicating the date of possession. It is a sort of legitimization of the sale after the sale deed. Which essentially says, the sale deed is done, and now the buyer has possession of the home from so and so date.

Who issues the possession certificate?

A possession certificate is issued by a government authority that varies depending on the area classification – in rural areas by the corresponding tahsildar or equivalent, and the Divisional revenue officer in case of urban areas. The issuing officer is a gazetted officer, and is authorized to issue the possession certificate.

What does the possession certificate contain?

The possession certificate has details of who is the builder, the buyer and when the payments have been made.

Applying for a possession certificate

The prescribed authority for issuance of the possession certificate will ask for the following documents before issuing it. If found in order, you should receive a possession certificate from the authorized signatory within a time frame of 7 to 10 working days.

  • Copy of approved plan from permitting authority – of the layout or venture.
  • Property tax receipt
  • Project commencement and completion certificates

Once the above documents are submitted, there will be a physical inspection from the issuing office’s end to inspect if the construction actually tallies with the approved plan in terms of boundaries, setbacks and permissible layout design. This means there should be no violations of the approved plan. There cannot be a room where originally a terrace garden or balcony was proposed.

Can I buy a property without a possession certificate?

In case of ready made dwelling units, a possession certificate is something that certifies the legitimacy of your claim over possession rights. It is a very important document that you cannot do away with.

Also remember that banks insist on possession certificates while processing for loans, so in case you do not have one, strictly speaking in legal terms the sale might have been made but it is under the legal possession of the builder.

Occupancy certificate:

If the possession certificate signifies your possession, and occupancy certificate ratifies that claim. This is issued by the local authority saying the building is constructed according to plan, has all the necessary fire safety, sewage, electricity and water connections, everything is in order. and is fit for occupancy. The focus of the occupancy certificate, like the name suggests is from the occupancy angle, and it details if civic amenities are in order.

Who issues the occupancy certificate and how?

This depends on the state. For instance if you purchase an apartment at Golden Panorama Bangalore, BBMP or Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagar Palike or the BDA – Bangalore Development Authority.

Can I have any one of  possession certificate or occupancy certificate?

No. The possession certificate indicates the timeline of payments and date of possession while the occupancy certificate certifies the building is fit enough to be occupied.

The documents required for occupancy certificate include:

  • Building and sanction plan
  • Tax assessment and bill
  • Completion certificate indicating date of completion, and commencement certificate
  • Building photographs

How are customers protected in case of dispute in occupancy or possession certificate:

The builder-developer is largely dependent on submission of documents from the builder. In case the builder fails to assist or provide you with the occupancy and possession certificate. You must know that you can raise a dispute with RERA. You also have the legal right to take it to consumer court.

Golden Gate Properties is a reputed, five star rated end-to-end, real estate developer. We are committed to maintain the best in class standards. And state of the art technology making our projects stand apart. In our journey of over 2 decades, we have developed a cumulative space of 7 million sq ft. Our projects span across Bangalore and Hyderabad.

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