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 .
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.
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 at 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 , 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.