What is Occupancy Certificate in Bangalore?
The Occupancy Certificate in Bangalore is issued by a statutory authority e.g. BBMP or BDA in Bangalore allowing permission to “occupy” any property. It is required for commercial buildings and for residential buildings that have more than five units. Obtaining an OC is a requirement under the Karnataka Apartment Ownership Act, 1972.
Why is Occupancy Certificate so crucial in Bangalore?
The certificate of occupancy in Bangalore is one of the most crucial documents a homeowner must possess. Once a developer completes a project, it is issued an occupancy certificate by the local town planning authority. In the case of apartments, the OC is issued for every tower which is completed. The certificate is not only a proof of the project’s completion but, it also implies that the development has been done as per the approved plan. It also implies the projects meets the safety standards that make it habitable for human beings. Akin to a degree certificate a student receives upon completion, a project is said to have been ‘passed’ by the local authorities once a project receives the occupancy certificate.
The occupancy certificate in Bangalore is pre-requisite when applying for Khata (a revenue document for the payment of property tax). Properties which do not have OC will never qualify for A-Kahata! If you ever plan to sell your house and the occupancy certificate is unavailable, then the resale value will be far below the market rate! Most nationalized banks do not approve loans to such resale properties which do not have occupancy certificate. Moving into a house without the occupancy certificate is illegal, and beware if your developer insists upon providing you with this critical legal document later! This document is also absolutely necessary when applying for water, sanitation and electricity connection.
Procedure for availing Occupancy Certificate in Bangalore for apartments
A developer needs to submit the following documents to avail a Certificate of Occupancy:
- Filing application through online and submitting hard copy consisting of Schedule – VIII, As-built drawings & Photographs and CFO from KSPCB (Wherever applicable)
- Inspection of the Site by Engineer
- Verification of as built with Sanctioned Drawing
- Approval / Rejection by the competent authority
- Issue of Demand Note to the party for payment of Compounding Fee
- Receipt of Compounding Fee
Who are eligible to get this service?
Any developer of the property in the jurisdiction of BBMP area who has obtained Plan Sanction is eligible for this service.
Documents to be enclosed with the request
- Latest BBMP Khata certificate, Khata Extract, and Tax paid receipt
- CFO from KSPCB and Fire Clearance (Wherever applicable)
- As Built Drawings
As per Section 5.6 of the Bangalore Municipal Building Bye-laws 2003
“The Authority shall decide after due physical inspection of the building (including whether the owner had obtained commencement certificate as per section 300 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976 and compliance regarding production of all required documents including clearance from the Fire Service Department in the case of high-rise buildings at the time of submitting application) and intimate the applicant within thirty days of receipt of the intimation whether the application for occupancy certificate is accepted or rejected. In case, the application is accepted, the occupancy certificate shall be issued in the form given in Schedule IX provided the building is in accordance with the sanctioned plan.”
Eligibility for availing occupancy certificate in Bangalore from BBMP
As per the BBMP Building Bye-laws, the following criteria are assessed as a part of physical inspection for determining if the property is eligible for Occupancy Certificate-
- if the setback (note-a) is deviated from what is permitted around the building in excess of 5 %
- if the plot coverage area is in excess of 5 % from that mentioned in the approved plan
- floor area ratio(note-b) is in excess of 5 % from that mentioned in the approved plan
- the overall height of the building is in excess of 5 % from that mentioned in the approved plan
(note - a) Setbacks are spaces at the front, sides, and back of the building that should be kept open where no construction is permitted.
(note - b) FAR is the measurement of a building's floor area in relation to the size of the lot/parcel that the building is located on. FAR is expressed as a decimal number, and is derived by dividing the total area of the building by the total area of the parcel (building area ÷ lot area).
If these deviations are minor they may be regularised by the BBMP authorities after sanctioning the modified plan and after levying a fine. Depending upon the deviations the fines can add up to a few tens of lakhs. The developer will also forfeit the security deposit in such cases.
Zippserv’s interesting insights on OC status of various projects in Bangalore
Zippserv has done hundreds of occupancy certificate eligibility checks on properties over the past couple of years and here are some interesting observations –
- We have found over 50% of the properties in Bangalore have deviations greater than 30% making them ineligible for availing OC and many of these projects are pre-approved by nationalized banks.
- We have found a couple of properties having deviations of over 400% from the approved plan.
- Deviating setback rules and building extra floors are most common violations developers commit.
- We have seen the approvals for the number of floors/number of units from Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) not matching the approvals from BBMP. These can stall the project from getting OC.
A few years ago in a bid to attract buyers, several developers have procured fake OCs in Bangalore in collusion with the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials and the news was carried in The Hindu. Such fake OCs have not been entered into the BBMP registry and have no legal standing. So, do watch out and don’t trust the OCs given by the developers blindly! BBMP has made available online all the latest OC that have been issued. Click here. If your project claims to have OC, then you should use the information provided here to cross-verify the same.
Sample Occupancy Certificate
Condition Subsequent to OC
The developers/HOA should ensure all conditions mentioned in the occupancy certificate are complied with. The Occupancy Certificates in Bangalore can be withdrawn without any notice in case there are violations of the conditions mentioned in the OC. Some of these common conditions mentioned in OC are
- The applicants/owners shall not add or alter materially, the structure or a part of the structure there off without specific permission of BBMP. In the event of the applicant violating, the BBMP has the right to demolish the deviated altered added portion without any prior notice.
- Basement floors area reserved for parking should be used for parking purpose only as per approved plan.
- Footpath in front of the building should be maintained in good condition.
- Rainwater harvesting structure shall be maintained in good condition for storage of water for non-potable purpose or recharge of ground water at all times as per Building Bye-laws-2003 clause No. 32.
- The HOA of high-rise building shall obtain a clearance certificate from Fire Force Department every two years with due inspection by the Department regarding working condition of Fire Safety Measures installed.
- The HOA of high-rise building shall obtain a clearance certificate from the Electrical Inspectorate every five years with due inspection by the Department regarding working condition of Electrical installations and Lifts.
Zippserv advice to apartment buyers in Bangalore
For ready to move in properties and for properties where the outer structure is complete, a qualified civil engineer can access if there are any deviations as mentioned above from the approved plan. It is also advisable that you have your sale agreement reviewed by an experienced property lawyer who can assist you in adding clauses in the sale agreement to hold the developer accountable for delivering the apartment with OC. This is absolutely vital especially if you are investing in projects during the pre-launch phase. If you sense any hesitation from the developer to comply with these clauses, it is safe to walk away from such projects.
Even in cases where the developer declares that the project is non-compliant and OC will not be provided, it is critical for the buyer to know the extent of deviations committed in the project. You should not end up buying an apartment on a floor that has not been approved! After all, it is your hard-earned money and you ought to take an informed decision! In such cases, legal verification of property documents is a must.
Better to be safe than to feel sorry!