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Maharashtra RERA directs builder to obtain Occupancy Certificate within 3 months or pay fine

The Occupancy Certificate is proof that the building was constructed without breaking any rules and building codes. In its absence, residents have to pay double the charges for basic amenities such as water and face hurdles if the structure goes for redevelopment .

mumbai Updated: Oct 12, 2018 15:43 IST
Naresh Kamath
Naresh Kamath
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
mumbai,MahaRERA,occupancy certificate
MahaRERA, the real estate regulator of Maharashtra has asked a builder to obtain the occupancy certificate for his building within three months or pay an interest amount to the complainant who is a resident of the building. (HT File / Representative Photo )

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has asked a builder to obtain the occupancy certificate (OC) for his building within three months, or pay an interest amount to a resident of the building who filed the complaint — a significant order for a city where more than 10,000 buildings do not have the certificates.

The certificate is proof that the building was constructed without breaking any rules and building codes. In its absence, residents have to pay double the charges for basic amenities such as water and face hurdles if the structure goes for redevelopment .

MahaRERA, the state’s real estate regulator, was hearing a complaint filed by flat owner Amol Sadashiv Jadhav, against Balkrishna Constructions for not getting an OC for the building named ‘Rohini Niwas’ at Vikhroli. Jadhav said the builder had given him possession of the flat in November 23, 2012, but without the OC. Six years later, the builder is yet to obtain the certificate. Jadhav pointed out how the poor water connection, non-existent fire-fighting systems and lifts were causing him mental trauma.

The builder blamed the delay in getting the certificate on a policy change under the Development Control Regulations (DCR), but said he intenteded to obtain it within the next six months. He said he would give the reasidents a permanent water connection after that.

The MahaRERA, however, said the builder was liable to obtain an OC within a stipulated time.

“As the building has been occupied without authorisation since 2012, the respondent (builder), being a promoter of this project, is liable to obtain the OC within the stipulated period of time. Now, after the lapse of more than six years he cannot ask for more time to fulfil his commitment,” the order said, while directing the builder to obtain the certificate within three months from the date of the order.

This order, and the interest penalty if the builder fails to get the certificate on time, will only apply to the complainant, Jadhav and not all the residents of the building. But, if other residents in the buildings also approach MahaRERA, they will be entitled to similar relief. Further, residents of other buildings with a similar issue can cite this order to plead their cases.

In the past two decades, several builders have violated FSI (Floor Space Index) and other building rules, such as not making roads, keeping aside open spaces, constructing compound walls or ensuring a proper sewage disposal system. Many even defaulted in paying various dues to the government agencies. The result? The civic body denied them the their OCs According to Ramesh Prabhu, the chairman, Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MSWA), said the order is significant as lack of OC is causing lot of hardships to flat owners. “The society members for years had to bear the brunt for the violations by the builders. Such orders will make the builders accountable,” said Prabhu.

First Published: Oct 12, 2018 15:42 IST