Fit out Possession –Gimmick by builders to delay project & avoid penalties?

Stuti's picBy Stuti Galiya, Solicitor & Advocate

It has been common for builders to allow purchasers to occupy flats without obtaining occupation certificate (“OC”), which is mandatorily required for occupying flats. In such cases, to protect themselves from any liabilities, builders offer possession for fit outs. The flat owners who have already waited long enough for their flats and in their hurry to move into the apartments become easy prey of these tactics of the builder.


A letter of fit-out is an offer from the developer which allow flat owners to carry out fit-out/furnishing, whilst they are not allowed to occupy the flats. The developers do not procure OC and give out fit out possession, which causes lot of practical difficulties for the home buyers. In such cases, there are high chances that the OC is not granted on account ofpossiblegross violations/deviations from the approved building lay out plan on the part of the builder.

However, in such cases, it is typical for builders to provide an excuse that because of the fit out/interior work carried out by the flat owners, the OC for the project has not been obtained. The builder then puts the entire blame/onus on the flat owners for not having received the OC. All this gives the builder full opportunity to wash off hands and abandon the project without remedying the violations/deficiencies on his part. The flat owners after paying all their hard-earned money are left with the risk of staying in an unsafe building and alsobear the brunt of the regulatory authorities, who may possibly take action for having illegally occupied premises without OC.

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