According to apartment Acts of various states, after completion of a project, it is mandatory for the builder or the owner of a stand-alone property to get a completion certificate from the local authority to ensure the supply of basic amenities. The builder then applies to the departments yet again along with a copy of the completion certificate to get water, electricity connection and other basic amenities for the project.
Sometimes builders get a provisional completion certificate to hand over the possession of apartments in a newly constructed project. In the meanwhile, the developer finishes the remaining work such as painting and landscaping. However, the provisional certificate is valid only for six months. After the expiry of this period, the builder has to apply for the final completion certificate.
Apart from ensuring that basic amenities, such as water, electricity and drainage system are provided, a completion certificate ensures that the builder/owner has constructed the building according to the approved building plan. Without obtaining the completion certificate, the builder cannot give the possession of the house to the buyer.
In simple terms, the absence of a valid Completion certificate / Occupancy certificate, means that the building may not have been built as per approved plan, and the threat of demolition of unauthorised structure looms large.
In cases where your developer has been unable to procure a completion certificate, you can directly ask the local authority to hand over the possession to you.
If the authority also fails to offer you possession, you can approach the court.
Get your Occupancy Certificate through Consumer Forum
You need to issue a notice to the builder to apply and handover Completion Certificate / Occupancy Certificate, within one month from the date of issue of your notice. If the builder does not respond, file a complaint in the consumer forum, and pray the forum to issue directions to the builder to apply and obtain the above certificates. You can also mention in the complaint that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has given a judgement in Faqir Chand Gulati vs Uppal Agencies Pvt. Ltd. & Anr on 10 July, 2008 that “Even if such a provision for providing completion certificate is not found in the agreement, the builder cannot escape the liability for securing the Completion Certificate and providing a copy thereof to the owner. The law requires the builder to obtain completion certificate of such a building.”
Builders violate with impunity the sanctioned building plans and indulge deviations much to the prejudice of the planned development of the city and at the peril of the occupants of the premises constructed or of the inhabitants of the city at large. Serious threat is posed to ecology and environment and, at the same time, the infrastructure consisting of water supply, sewerage and traffic movement facilities suffer unbearable burden and are often thrown out of gear.
Unwary purchasers in search of roof over their heads and purchasing flats/apartments from builders, find themselves having fallen prey and become victims to the design of unscrupulous builders. The builder conveniently walks away having pocketed the money leaving behind the unfortunate occupants to face the music in the event of unauthorized constructions being detected or exposed and threatened with demolition. Though the local authorities have the staff consisting of engineers and inspectors whose duty is to keep a watch on building activities and to promptly stop the illegal constructions or deviations coming up, they often fail in discharging their duty. Either they don't act or do not act promptly or do connive at such activities apparently for illegitimate considerations. If such activities are to stop, some stringent actions are required to be taken by ruthlessly demolishing the illegal constructions and non-compoundable deviations. The unwary purchasers who shall be the sufferers must be adequately compensated by the builder. The arms of the law must stretch to catch hold of such unscrupulous builders. At the same time in order to secure vigilant performance of duties, responsibility should be fixed on the officials whose duty was to prevent unauthorised construction, but who failed in doing so either by negligence or connivance.
If it is justifiably withheld or refused, necessarily the builder will have to do whatever that is required to be done to bring the building in consonance with the sanctioned plan so that the municipal authorities can inspect and issue the completion certificate and also assess the property to tax. If the builder fails to do so, he will be liable to compensate the complainant for all loss/damage.
Hope the above information answers all your questions.