The Builder is obliged to give the Occupation Certificate
The Occupation Certificate (OC) is an important document for those purchasing flats under the MOFA (Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act), and must be acquired before possession of property. Consumer courts will support the purchaser if the said is not done by a developer.
Recently, a Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum ordered a developer to give a purchaser OC within four months.
A recent case
As per an agreement in September 2006, the purchaser bought two flats in a locality near Powai Lake. After paying the agreed amount for the flats, a remainder of one lakh per flat was agreed to be paid on possession. The possession was promised within 12 months from the date of agreement. The promise was not fulfilled
The OC or the Completion Certificate however, was not provided as promised. The builder was notified; failure to respond prompted the purchaser to file a complaint before the Forum and also an application seeking interim relief.
The developers said that the purchaser wanted to merge both the flats into a single unit, as per the letter in September 2006. And since this was against the building’s approved plan, he was to do so at his own expense after getting an approval from the sanctioning authorities. Since the purchaser failed to set what he had planned the OC couldn’t be obtained from the authorities.
The forum maintained that the developer should have fulfilled their basic obligation of constructing the flats as per the original plan. The flat’s construction is incomplete even after three years. The modifications were at the purchaser’s behest. The developer had received a payment of almost 98 per cent of the final agreed amount, and in spite the flats were not finished.
The developers claim that the work was completed and possession handed and will appeal against this order.
Importance of Occupation Certificate (OC)
The OC, issued by the local municipality, stands for the completion of the property as per the approved plan, so as to be fit for occupation, and should be in compliance with all concerned laws.
Many get possession, though not the OC, due to which the municipality can either evict or impose penalties. Without the OC, the possession is illegal.