IOD,OC,BCC, CC: Essential not Optional

In India, a builder or developer must procure several authorizations to begin, continue and complete construction. These include certifications, NOCs, clearances, approvals, etc. and are issued by different departments within the state government. The procedure followed to obtain these authorizations differ from state to state. Without the prescribed authorizations, the legal status of any residential project remains questionable and subject to scrutiny. Therefore, as a home buyer it is necessary to be aware of the process as a whole and be cognizant of the basic approvals needed to ensure your property has a sound legal standing. For the sake of brevity, in this blog we will discuss the construction approvals and procedures followed by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) a.k.a., Brhanmumbai Mahanagarpalika (BMC) for Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburban.

Pre-Construction

The builder begins by establishing his right to develop the plot of land by proving the same through official documents such as a Property Card. Once his development rights have been established, the project layout plans are submitted to the BMC office for approval. An inspector visits the site and checks if the submitted plans are complicit with the FSI (Floor Space Index) issued for the area. An Intimation of Disapproval (IOD) certificate is released to the builder post the site inspection along with a list of NOCs that must be procured to begin construction. These include NA (non-agricultural) permission issued by the state ministry of Urban Development, zonal clearances issued by the CRZ and Forest Department, NOC from the Pollution Control Board, NOC from Tree Authority and more. Once a builder has procured all the necessary NOCs, he is given a Commencement Certificate (CC) to begin construction. The CC is issued in two parts; the first CC is issued up to the plinth level and the second CC is issued for the construction of the super structure. The CC is an important document as it satisfies all the construction prerequisites. In Maharashtra, the MahaRERA has made the CC an essential document needed to procure a RERA registration number. Without a RERA registration number a builder cannot freely advertise or begin marketing and sales activities for a project.

To Complete Construction

Once construction is complete, all necessary provisions have been made for civic infrastructure such as water, sanitation, electricity, and all external development work has been completed such as internal roads, storm water drains, electrical substations, solid waste management, etc. a builder can apply for an Occupation Certificate (OC). An OC certifies that the building is now in a condition to be inhabited by buyers. In the case of large residential or mixed development projects, a builder can apply for a Partial Occupation Certificate (POC) for a particular tower. Obtaining a POC does not necessarily guarantee that the developer will be able to procure an OC for the entire project. A Completion Certificate (CC) is given to a project when it has been developed according to the sanctioned plans and has met all other building standards such as height of the building, materials used, distance from the road, etc. To procure a CC the builder’s architect must submit a formal letter stating that the construction has been completed according to the standards set forth in the IOD and CC. A completion certificate (CC) can be procured for a particular building (BCC) or for the entire project (CC). Currently the MCGM website provides for a joint application of a BCC and OC through its online ‘Common Completion Request Form’.

Construction approvals are essential and not optional documents. Many people undermine the importance of such clearances and suffer dire consequences. If you purchase a property in a project that has not procured the necessary approvals local authorities have the right to question the legality of your occupation. You risk eviction, razing, hefty fines, or worse. Further, it can be extremely difficult to get a loan or resell a flat in a building that does not have certifications like an OC. As a buyer you can request the builder or current owner of an apartment to provide you with documents like the legal title report to determine his claim of ownership and request for copies of the IOD, CC and OC certificates to ensure the above-mentioned clearances are in place. For RERA registered residential projects you can views all the relevant documents on the RERA website.

When evaluating real estate products most home buyers often begin with price. While it is important to determine the fair market price for your product, the process of evaluation cannot begin with establishing commercial value. If the legal standing of an apartment is questionable, no price will ever be fair.

“Views expressed are the personal views of the author. Any action taken based on the views will be the responsibility of the user alone.”

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