What is a ‘temporary’ occupancy certificate?

  • Vandana Ramnani
  • Updated: May 21, 2016 16:07 IST
Some projects in Greater Noida West have been issued temporary occupancy certificates and that is a big problem. (HT)

For over 3,000 families in Greater Noida West, it’s a battle for basic necessities. Many of them had been literally forced to move into projects without completion certificates as they ran out of funds to pay for both the equated monthly installments (EMIs) and rent. Other problems faced by them included lack of Ganga water supply, public transport, hospitals and schools.

The Greater Noida Authority has recently uploaded the list of developers who have been given both completion certificates and part completion certificates online to facilitate homebuyers. Some projects have been issued temporary occupancy certificates and that is a big problem, says Indrish Gupta, co-founder of Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association (NEFOWA).

Himanshu, who has invested in two apartments in a project in Greater Noida West says that he has not yet accepted possession because of the bad quality of construction and the fact that his developer has only been given a temporary occupancy certificate.

“This is illegal. What is the guarantee that the developer will get a certificate after 18 months? If he has not been able to fulfil obligations in all these years, how can he do so in just about a few months? Also if we get registration done on the basis of the temporary occupancy certificate given to the developer, will our registration be cancelled if the builder does not get a completion certificate for the entire project?” he asks.

His builder, says Himanshu, has also been demanding exta charges for use of the gymnasium and badminton court. “It is our club and we have paid money for these facilities. How can he demand additional charges?”he ask.

Recently, Himanshu and other homebuyers had filed a complaint with the Greater Noida Authority when the builder decided to sell a part of the basement as storage space. “How can he sell common areas and that too in an all-cash transaction?” he asks. The builder had also collected 1,000 from 500 residents for formation of a residents’ welfare association. “This is almost Rs 5 lakh extra and no receipt has been issued for the same,” alleges another resident.

A temporary occupation certificate is subject to cancellation. The terminology (temporary occupancy certificate) does not exist in any rule book of any authority, says S K Pal, a Supreme Court lawyer.

Recently, the term ‘partial’ completion certificate was incorporated in the UP Apartment Act and building byelaws. Under this, a certificate is issued to the builder to facilitate tower wise completion. This comes under Section 4 (5) of the UP Apartment Act and has to be read along with Section 5 that defines the rights of the apartment owner. It states that an apartment cannot be sold in isolation and has to be handed over with basic amenities such as parking, fire safety, community centre etc.

“At the time of providing partial completion certificate, the authority has to ensure that the common facilities are completed before the developer decides to hand over the tower for possession,” he says.

“Buyers should keep in mind that the lifespan of a sanction plan is five years, which at best can be extended for two years along with some fine. The entire project has to be completed by the builder within six to seven years. A builder has to apply for a completion certificate from the authority before the validity of a sanction plan lapses,” he says. Also, the final completion certificate that a builder receives includes references to the dates of all the partial completion certificates and a declaration that the entire project is complete,” says Pal.

Manoj Gaur, president Credai NCR and managing director, Gaursons India Ltd, says that the association is working with developer members and the authority to ensure that they get the completion certificates. It is also trying to help them resolve compliance issues.

As for Metro connectivity to the area, a detailed project report (DPR) was prepared by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and approved by the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) board, but the state government has not yet cleared the budget for the expansion, say NMRC sources. “The proposal is under review by the state government. They are reviewing various techno-economic feasibility aspects of the extension project,” they say.

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