What is Occupancy Certificate? know its importance

Last Updated On: Nov. 1, 2021, 11:23 p.m.



If you intend or if you have purchased any building which is residential or commercial premises you would have heard of the terms such as " Building with OC" or "Building without OC". In this article you will undrestand what is an Occupancy Certificate. why it is very important.


What is meant by Occupancy?

Let us first understand this term very clear to understand what is Occupancy Certificate. Occupancy is defined as an individual or group occupying a particular building. In other words, taking or having possession to acquire a land or building.


What is Occupancy Certificate?

An OC which is also known as Occupancy Certificate is a certificate issued by Municipal Authorities where they permit to occupy any building which has provision for civic infrastructure such as electricity, water and sanitation.


When is the Certificate issued by the Municipal Authority?

Once the construction is completed, the promoter or developer applies for issue of Building Completion Cerifiacte and Occupancy Certificate (OC) to the Municipal Authorities. The Municipal Authorities on verification, issues a Building Completion Cerifiacte and Occupancy Certificate (OC). The Authority verifies whether the construction has been done as per applicable law and sanctioned plans. Only whne after the verification the Authority issues the Certificate.


What is the importance of an occupancy certificate?

An occupancy certificate is a proof that a property has been built in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations. The document also indicates that the concerned property is fit for anyone to live. Once a project is completed, it is the duty of a developer to get an occupancy certificate. The document is usually required when requesting for sanitation, electricity and water connections from the concerned civic body.

For homeowners, the document is essential to establish the legal status of their property. In the absence of the same, your house is an unauthorized structure against which your local municipality can initiate a legal action. Occupancy certificate is also essential when you apply for a home loan, buy a resale property or sell a property.


How to get an occupancy certificate?

Based on the state, the process and cost of the Occupancy certificate varies. The concerned individual visits the local municipality office, collects the relevant form, fills it with correct information and submits it along with the required documents.

A developer must ideally request for an occupancy certificate within a month after the construction of the concerned project is completed. Homeowners can also request for an occupancy certificate from the local municipality. If the concerned project fulfills the standards essential for approval, you will get a copy of the certificate within a month of filing the application.


What are the documents required to apply for an occupancy certificate?

Some of the documents that you will have to furnish when applying for an occupancy certificate are:

  • Commencement certificate of the project
  • Completion certificate of the project
  • No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for pollution and fire
  • Built and Section plan of the project
  • Area calculation sheet of floor signed by an authorized architect
  • Recent property tax receipts along with the tax assessment
  • A copy of the project’s sanctioned plan
  • Photographs of the project



What is Part OC?

On the request of the developer or promoter, the municipal authorities may issue Part Building Completion Certificate followed by Part OC. As the name states, Part OC is issued for part of the construction completion before completion of the entire work. 

For example, if a building of 15 floors is being constructed and 10 floors have been completed with all civil and other works, the developer or promoter may apply for Part OC for the 10 floors so that flat purchasers can take their possession and occupy their flats on those 10 floors, without having to wait till completion of civil and other works of all 15 floors.


What is the importance and significance of an OC?

Anyone intending to undertake development or redevelopment work is required to obtain permission from the municipal authorities. These applications for permission include measures proposed to be taken for hygiene, sanitation, drainage, regular electric and water supply and compliance with fire norms. After construction is completed, the municipal authorities verify whether the construction has been undertaken in accordance with sanctioned plans and whether the above measures for public health and safety have been provided for. Only after verification of the municipal authority issue an OC. An OC therefore, is a certificate from the municipal authorities that the building is fit for human occupation, all necessary civil infrastructure is in place for the health and safety of the occupants and which ensures there is no risk, damage or danger.


What is the consequence of living in a building without an OC?

The Law places an obligation on building developers and promoters,to hand over the possession to anyone who intends to buy the building or flat till the receipt of OC. In case if the developer or promoter fails to do so, there are penalties that may be imposed on such developers or promoters and the person who is intending to buy will also ahve to the face consequences. Further, living in a building without an OC may pose risk to the health and safety of the occupants. If an OC has not been issued, it would imply that certain legal compliances are pending, In the absence of an OC, electric and water supply to such building may also be severely restricted and flat purchasers may have to pay highe for such facilities or have to arrange independently for such facilities.


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