Must Know Terms – IOD, CC and Society Forms for the Real Estate Business in Mumbai!

October 18, 2018

The real estate market in Mumbai is soaring these days with construction activity. Real estate developers are setting up their best housing and commercial projects in Mumbai due to the rising demand for various real estate occupations.

Amidst all these, if you’re in the realty business, you might come across completely unheard terms from time to time.

The lack of knowledge can contribute eventually lead to legal misinterpretation which sometimes invites problems for the concerned individuals. Especially after the inception of RERA in India in 2016, several new laws have been incorporated.

The Mumbai property scene has been littered with legal cases where RERA penalized builders for not adhering to the aforementioned laws. Hence, obtaining a keen understanding of these rules is inevitable for the participants of this business.  

The realty business in Mumbai is quite organized as opposed to other parts of the country and everything requires various permissions, allowances from the in-charge authority at various steps.

An overall understanding of these terms will help you keep things in check, whether you’re a buyer, builder, seller or agent.

Let’s start with the various types of property assets and the terms related to these.

Must know terms for the Real Estate Builders

Related to Construction

Loading Factor

Loading Factor is a mathematical number that describes how much extra area is available to a flat owner except the carpet area.

This number is decided by the extra area that is usually available to a flat owner in a housing society just around the flat. This area is also called the super built-up area.

The loading factor determines how much super built area will there be in the project and it is essential to calculating the net amount of space occupied by the construction. The factor comes in handy while explaining the additional common area in a given building.

Loading factor is usually described by a given number. Suppose a building has 25% super built-up (area in addition to the carpet area), then the loading factor becomes 1.25.

With the knowledge of the right loading factor, the developer can make accurate estimates of various little things that count in the development cycle.   

  • Super Built-up Area – It is the area available to the resident that is not included in the built-up area of the house. It usually includes the area covered in lobbies, elevator hallways, corridors etc.
  • Carpet Area – Carpet area is the enclosed area of a flat or construction available to a resident inside the flat. The carpet area is devoid of the thickness of the wall. Hence it’s marginally lesser than the actual area of the flat.
  • Common Area – In a real estate construction, common areas are those that are used by the occupants commonly. Such areas are shared spaces and no one owns them exclusively. Some examples of these are the parks, hallways etc.

Open Space Ratio

Open Space Ratio is the ratio of open space available in a land parcel to the total space available in a land parcel. Hence, it defines how much open space a real estate project has in it.

OSR is calculated by keeping several things in mind. Not all uncovered spaces can be treated as open spaces in the real estate terminology. Usually, parking lots, open parks and areas that can be directly used by the occupants are considered as open spaces.

It goes by saying that a healthy open space ration is somewhere above 80%.

Floor Space Index

Floor Space Index is the ratio of the total built-up area of the construction in ratio to the total area available for construction.

The ration basically tells that how much of the constructible area needs to be left open and is usually under the discretion of the local authorities of a locality.

It is also known by the name of Floor Area Ratio and is represented by a number. For instance, if the constructible land is 100 square meters, and the FSI value is 0.8, then construction is allowed on 80% of the land.

Per Square Foot Rate

It is the price of the property per square foot. The price is used as comparison measure to compare the prices of various properties. If a property has the same per square foot rate, then the area covered by the accommodation unit is measured.

The term encloses the built-up area in itself.  

Related to the Authorizations

Intimation of Disapproval (IOD)

Wondering what is IODIt is called the intimation of disapproval but here disapproval refers to an authorization or permit. Matter of fact, it is also called building permit or IOD in construction.

The IOD provides a clearance to the builder to start the construction process after several checks from local authorities are done. 

These checks are carried out during the site inspection process, where it is determined if the land parcel is fit for construction or not. Engineers at the Building Proposal Office determines the eligibility of the project before issuing the IOD.

The IOD certificate usually takes about a month to month and a half to complete as there are 40 different checks made before issuing. Several local authorities sanction permissions such as Fire Clearance, Permission from Traffic and Coordination Department, Environmental Department, Sewerage Department etc.

An IOD is an initial permission given to the builder for the developer and the actual architectural plan is separately checked.

Commencement Certificate (CC)

CC full form in construction is Commencement Certificate, which is given by the local authorities to a real estate builder as a sign of commencement of the construction.

In comparison to IOD CC is an official permission for the commencement of construction. The IOD is an approval for the buildable land, where CC is recognized as the letter of approval for the building.

It is handed out after the builder has submitted the architectural plan for the building and various checks have been made for the same.

From the perspective of the buyer, it’s important that you check the commencement certificate before investing in a building project. If the builder doesn’t have this certificate, chances are that the project is being developed illegally.

Building Layout Approval  

Building layout approval is used to determine the layout plan of the construction project which is checked for compliances to the existing layout laws. The terms that we used earlier such as FSI and FAR values are checked for the project, in order to approve it.

Usually, the Municipal Corporation is responsible for providing approval to the building layout of the project. The layout approval is the part of building approval procedure where the building plan is checked for compliances.

The building layout approval is mandatory before building anything on the given land. Even if you have IOD, you can’t start construction until you have building layout approval first with you as these both look at different aspects of the same thing.

Building layout approval affects the projects in the later stages as well. For instance, at the time of redevelopment, the Mumbai authorities have certain rules that work in this sector.

Recently, re-development in some parts of Mumbai has taken off as a business and the factors that control the redevelopment directly affect how this is compensated to the owner of the property.

Society Transfer Form

In a cooperative society real estate, if you wish to transfer the ownership of a flat to someone else, you have to obtain prior permission from the managing authority of the cooperative society.

In order to make this transfer a society transfer form set is used which defines the details of the transferer and the transferee in written.

You can find forms related to forms for transfer of flat in a cooperative housing society here.

New RERA Rules That Must be Kept in Mind For the Builders

In the wake of malpractices adopted by the developers in various parts of the country and to substantiate buyer interest in real estate again, RERA had released some important rules for the developers.

These rules are designed in the favor of the buyer and several penal actions have been taken against developers who have not been able to meet these rules. It makes it all the more important to follow these rules, hence, they’re worth mentioning in the article.

These new rules are primarily made to avoid delays in the delivery of real estate units to buyers which is an ongoing nuisance in the property scene.

Affidavit by the Promoter

It has been made compulsory to submit a written affidavit in order to promote properties. The promoter must include the date of completion of the project clearly in the affidavit or they’d be penalized for the same.

Recently, RERA fined seven real estate developers for not adhering to RERA rules in Maharashtra, which goes as a clear warning to everyone.

Strength of Possession Date

From a long time, the possession date has been tossed around like a vague term that often didn’t meet the expectation. But this is going to change now.

The agreement of sale will be made to carry the possession date clearly defined as per norms. If a project gets delayed and the possession date goes out of sync, the developer will be liable to pay the interest for the days elapsed in the delay.

Land Title should be Clear

Many a time, the land title of the project isn’t given by the promoter which hides the fact if the land is under some kind of dispute or not. Disputes often lead to delay of the project and in such a case, you’re not allowed to promote the offer. This has been done to keep the buyer in the right light.

Separate Account Needed

RERA has made it mandatory to open a separate bank account in a scheduled bank to deposit the money extracted from the buyers for the development of the project.    

Any money that is withdrawn from this bank account shall be used only for the development purposes or to cover the value for the land. Even the withdrawals made from this bank account shall be under scrutiny for the legitimacy of the progression of the project.

What if the rules are not followed?

These rules are made with strong conviction in mind. If the developers fail to follow any of these rules, there would be penalties imposed and the developers also stand the chance to lose the registration depending upon the gravity of the action.

In case a developer fails to deliver the project on “the possession date”, they’d be penalized for not completing the project on time and would also have to pay interest to the buyer for subsequent days of delay.

The buyer also has the right to withdraw the full amount of money from the builder in case they wish to.

Must know terms for the Real Estate Buyers

Real estate buyers are the biggest concern for the moment in Mumbai as all the focus in on them for all kinds of real estate activities. If you’re new the real estate business, you must come to know the basic terms that govern the market.

As a buyer, you must understand your rights and duties correctly so that you can make a safeguarded buying decision in the process. Here are a few terms that will help you do this.

Buyer’s Agent

When you go out to buy property, you will encounter two types of real estate agents. One would specialize in the sale of properties, and the other in the purchase. in your regards, you will need the buyer’s agent, a person who is typically expert at helping people buy properties.

These professionals are well rehearsed with all the legal formalities required for the purchase of property and would help you in finding the best deal for you.

The other type is called the listing agent, who specializes in the sale of properties, wherein most businesses who want to sell a property, enlist their real estate.  


Closing is basically the phase when the real estate transaction gets completed. It is also referred to as the closing date when the buyers complete all the formalities such as the signing of deals and the payment of the sum to the owner of the property.

When you’ve successfully bought a property and all the rights to the property have been transferred to you, you can say that you have made the closing.

Earnest Money Deposit

Earnest Money Deposit is a token money that is given to a prospective property owner to show that you’re interested in the deal and you’d like to book it before paying the full amount.

Earnest Money is different from down payment. Down payment is usally of the magnitude of 10-20% of the property but Earnest money is somewhere between 5-10% or as deemed appropriate by the property seller.

Real Estate Realtor

Realtors are fundamentally real estate brokers who facilitate real estate deals and make the necessary formalities for you in order to close a deal but not every real estate agent can be referred to as realtor.

Realtors are usually members of a real estate association that recognizes them under the national status. For instance, Spacio Realtors are ISO 9001 certified.

Certificate of Occupancy

Certificate of occupancy is obtained by the real estate developer which signifies that the property is fit for occupancy. It is issued by the MC of a locality after making several checks on the property for the developer.

As a buyer, you must seek for CO in order to ensure that the property you’re buying, especially a flat, is fit for living. The CO is given as a sign that the hygienic factors associated with the property are well amended to.

Allotment Letter

Allotment letter is provided by the real estate developer to the buyer issuing that the property has been allocated to the buyer by the developer. The property may or may not be complete at the time of allocation but the letter must be there.

It is often done after the deal has been closed between the two parties.

Encumbrance Certificate

It is a certificate that verifies any encumbrances held by the property at the time of property buying. It basically clears the property of any encumbrances that may hinder the deal or cause a delay. It is usually issued by the registrar in order to ensure the smooth flow of the deal.

If you want to protect your interest in the deal, you can obtain this encumbrance certificate so as to be sure of the deal from your end.

Joint Ownership Agreement

If you’re going to buy the property in partnership with someone else, you can sign a joint ownership agreement which will help you clearly define the rights of the other person over the property.

Joint ownership are necessary in order to safeguard your end of the deal whenever a dual arrangement is made.


The real estate market is full of terms that are not self-explanatory and can lead to consequences if not explained correctly. With this article, you’d be able to inform yourself of the various terms that relate to the developer and the buyer alike.

For detailed property advice and how to initiate a deal, you can contact Spacio Realtors.

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