The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 defines occupancy certificate as a “certificate issued by the competent authority permitting occupation of any building, as provided under local laws, which has provision for civic infrastructure such as water, sanitation and electricity”.
In other words, an Occupancy Certificate (OC) is a document that is issued by the local municipal authority of a State certifying that a building is in compliance with the local laws and the building standards. Such a certificate implies that the building is suitable for possession. A valid OC is crucial for the occupant of the building, without which the occupancy is deemed to be illegal. Additionally, an OC is a required document to apply for home loans and even for basic necessities like water and electricity connection.
The Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority is in charge of issuing an Occupancy Certificate in the city of Gurgaon and the Haryana Building Code, 2017 prescribes the rules and procedure that are to be followed by a developer or the authorized person in order to gain an OC for a building. With the world becoming technologically entrenched, one can now apply for OC online in Gurgaon. Upon the completion of construction of all phases, the builder/ developer, who is responsible for the issuance of an OC, can apply for the OC wherein the applicant will be asked for relevant details of the building and documents like the No Objection Certificate for fire and pollution, the Completion Certificate, the sketch of the building and several other documents as mentioned in the Rules. Upon the receipt of such application, the relevant authority shall grant or refuse to issue the OC within eighteen days of such an application.
An important thing to note is that a Completion certificate or a possession letter is not enough for a homebuyer to possess the property or the competent authorities can seek eviction. A valid OC is necessary to move into a building. The last step for the application procedure to obtain an OC is paying a small fee (which the concerned authority shall update). Lastly, the OC is available for download to the builder/ developer through the official portal.
Written by Darshni Gala, Rizvi law College, Mumbai