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FAQs About Certificate of Occupancy

May 15, 2019

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When investing in retail spaces in Noida, there are a few requirements that you need to adhere to. One such prerequisite might be to get a certificate of occupancy. The objective of this certificate is to affirm that the property you are investing into is fit for human inhabitance. In this article, we are discussing the 6 basics of the certificate of occupancy that every property buyer must know.

To comprehend all the “Ws and Hs” (why, what, where, who and How) of a certificate of occupancy, we need answers to the following questions –

1) What does a certificate of occupancy mean?
2) Who is in need of a certificate of occupancy?
3) Where do investors get a certificate of occupancy?
4) How does investor obtain a certificate of occupancy?
5) What if the property does not pass the inspection?
6) What happens if you don’t get a certificate of occupancy?

TERRIFIED!! Don’t be, now, let’s start answering each of the above questions in detail, so you are relieved from your fears.

1) What does a certificate of occupancy mean?
For every investment or rental property, a certificate of occupancy is a mandatory document. This legal document serves three objectives. It tells –

a) It gives identification to the building – The certificate of occupancy describes the nature of the property. It could be a residential property (single or multi-family properties), a commercial building, a retail property, an industrial property or even it could be a mixed-use property. The purpose of the classification is to prevent the property from being utilized in a manner it was not proposed, for instance – using a retail space as a single-family residential property.

b) That the property is fit for human occupancy – A certificate of occupancy for any property ensure that it has complied with all codes and standards and is presently fit for inhabitance.

c) That the property has conformed to all the building codes.

2) Who is in need of a certificate of occupancy?
Some common reasons for this include –

a) New construction – Building that are newly constructed usually require a certificate of occupancy.

b) Property is converted – A certificate of occupancy is required in case property is converted from one use to another. For instance – a residential plot is converted into a warehouse.

c) Property changing owners – when a property, be it commercial or residential, changes owners, a certificate of occupancy is needed.

3) Where do investors get a certificate of occupancy?
A certificate of occupancy is granted by the local authorities. The developer must apply for the certificate well in advance; however, a certificate of occupancy will not be granted until the property has passed all assessment prerequisites and any dues and fines on the property have been paid.

4) How does investor obtain a certificate of occupancy?
There are a series of inspections that a property must pass to achieve a certificate of occupancy. The inspections may include – an electrical inspection, a plumbing inspection, a fire safety inspection, along with a general structure assessment. The local authorities approved to issue a certificate of occupancy assign professional inspectors for this critical work.

5) What if the property does not pass the inspection?
If the property does not pass the inspection, the officials will hand over the list of things that need rectification and doing so will make your property conform to all the building and safety codes and standards. The authorities will give sufficient time to correct the discrepancies and after that you can reapply for a certificate of occupancy, followed by a thorough inspection and final issuance of the certificate.

6) What happens if you don’t get a certificate of occupancy?
You will be heavily penalized or even sued for using a property that does not have a certificate of occupancy.

These were a few details about a certificate of occupancy, however the most important fact regarding this document is that – it is the responsibility of the developer to get a occupancy certificate from the authorities after fulfilling all the requirements and passing all the inspections, however if the same is not provided to you for the property invested with the developer, you can file a case against the developer in the consumer court and ask for a specific performance. A certificate of occupancy is allotted to the complete project and not to a single retail space or commercial unit. Hence, authorities give builders a stipulated time line to fulfill all the prerequisites and apply for the OC, failure to achieve which will make developer or builder liable to penalties and prosecution and in some cases both.

Now you know, why it is extremely important to invest in reputed retail spaces in Noida because only a good project will pass all the inspections and will earn the certificate of occupancy.

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/faqs-certificate-occupancy-sahil-gupta/

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