Is the importance of the Occupation Certificate getting diluted with the state government permitting deemed conveyance for buildings without such a certificate from the local civic body?
According to experts, a majority of societies avail of this route only when they want to go in for redevelopment. For over a decade now, the rule was liberalised to allow buildings without an Occupation Certificate to obtain conveyance through a “deemed” route but rarely used by the newly formed societies.
Experts say importance of Occuptation Certificate has not been diluted
“We have been dealing with such cases for a long time now. Occupation Certificate has always been an important and mandatory document. Over 80% of the societies without an Occupation Certificate obtain conveyance only when they decide to go in for redevelopment,” said Parthasarathy Sundararajan, Vice-President, Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MahaSeWa).
If he is to be believed, there are many of the society's office bearers who aren’t even aware that conveyance is a crucial document to get the society’s name registered on the property card.
Advocate Vinod Sampat, an expert on society-related affairs, is also of the view that the importance of the document has not been diluted. He opined, “A civic body levies an additional charge for water and other facilities. There are ample instances of an urban local body getting buildings without an Occupation Certificate vacated or demolished.”
Nearly 40,000 buildings in Mumbai and MMR without OC
One of the most talked about such cases in the last decade is Campa Cola Compound at Worli, which saw battles on the ground and in the courts.
In the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), there are approximately 40,000 buildings without an Occupation Certificate. Of this, about 7,000 are in Mumbai and the balance in the rest of the MMR. Most of such illegal or unauthorised constructions are in the Mira-Bhayandar civic body’s jurisdiction.
Experts say that flat owners should not accept possession of the property without OC
Though the homebuyers take possession of the property by giving an undertaking for the need to set up furniture and fixtures, it does not absolve the owners and the developers from their responsibility. “There are a couple of High Court orders penalising both of them for occupying flats without an Occupation Certificate,” shared Parthasarathy Sundararajan.
Additionally, having a real estate regulator or RERA has also additionally made the builder responsible as a flat owner can press for a penalty in delay in delivering the project as well as for shortfall and irregularities in construction. There is also the consumer court option that can be explored by the home buyers, added Advocate Sampat, while stating that the home purchaser should refrain from taking possession of such buildings.
However, those desperate enough move in an unauthorised building. "A simple amendment in the law can curb this illegality, but it is not being done and the errant government officials and developers go scot-free,” added advocate Sampat.
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