Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum orders Dharia Developers to immediately act on obtaining Occupation Certificate for a property owner who bought his flat in 2006.Obtaining Occupation Certificate (OC) should be a must-have document for those purchasing flats, before taking possession of their property. If you are denied the same, then the consumer court can come to your rescue.
Distressed flat-purchasers have a precedent in their fight with builders, as the Bandra Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, last week, ordered Dharia Developers to give a purchaser OC within four months, noting that the OC is an essential requirement for a flat-buyer.

As per an agreement dated September 26, 2006, textile businessman Mehul Thakkar bought two flats on the sixth floor (601 and 602) of ‘The View’ facing the serene Powai Lake . Paying Rs 40.25 lakh for each of the flats, the remaining one lakh per flat was agreed to be paid on possession.

Thakkar’s lawyer Uday Wavikar argued that the builder, Dharia Developers, had promised to give the possession of the flats within 12 months from the date of agreement. However, Thakkar is yet to obtain the OC or the Completion Certificate for these flats. Hence, Thakkar sent a notice to the builder demanding the same. When the builder didn’t respond, Thakkar filed a complaint before the Forum and also an application seeking interim relief.

In their defence, Dharia Developers argued that Thakkar wanted to merge both the flats into a single unit, as per his letter in September 2006. The builder claimed that though this was against the building’s approved plan, they permitted Thakkar to do so at his own expense after getting an approval from the sanctioning authorities.

The builder stated that since Thakkar couldn’t complete the work in time, the OC couldn’t be obtained from the authorities. Hence, they are not responsible for the delay in handing over the possession and the OC to Thakkar.

In their interim order, which is common for both of Thakkar’s flats, the Bandra Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has held the builder as having committed deficiency of service.

The forum observed, “These explanations are hardly satisfactory, because it was an obligation incurred by Thakkar. If Thakkar had not carried out the modifications that he had suggested, the builder could have completed the construction disregarding Thakkar’s suggestions.” The forum noted that though Thakkar had given the letter informing of the modifications to the builder in September 2006, the flat’s construction is incomplete even after three years. “The builder should have completed the constructions, internal as well as external, as per the original plan, since the modifications were at Thakkar’s instance.

The builder was not required to wait till the modifications were completed. This shows that the builder has put forward a lame excuse for not completing the construction and for not obtaining the OC. The builder received almost the entire consideration of the flat, more than Rs 40 lakh in 2006. He has retained the amount and utilised the same, but has not collected the OC.”

The Forum held, “Obtaining OC is an essential requirement under the MOFA (Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act) and the flat purchased cannot legally occupy the same, unless the OC is obtained by the builder. The builder has not produced a single piece of paper to show that he has taken effective steps with the competent authority for obtaining OC.” Thakkar said, “After I got married in June, I decided to move in here from my Juhu home, where I lived with my parents. However, I was dejected, when the builder handed over my flat in a total mess, without having done the interiors or giving me the OC, even when I paid him almost the entire amount. I am very satisfied with the order. A flat-buyer should fight for his rights, and shouldn’t fear the builder.”

Devidas Balani, Proprietor, Dharia Developers said, “Their complaint itself is wrong. We had completed our work, and handed them the possession long back. They damaged the walls, for which they were supposed to complete their repairs, which they haven’t since the last three years. We will appeal against this order.”

Importance of Occupation Certificate (OC)

The OC, issued by the local municipality, stands for the completion of the property as per the approved plan, so as to be fit for occupation, and should be in compliance with all concerned laws.

Lawyer Wavikar said, “This is a trendsetting order, especially with the consumer foras, passing it at an interim stage. Several flat-buyers, who shell out their lifetime’s hard-earned money, will be benefitted by this order.

Many get possession, though not the OC, due to which the municipality can ask for eviction of their flat or have penalties levied on them. Besides, if they don’t have OC, the possession is illegal. Even the water supply would be charged at double or triple the usual rate and the same goes for electricity.”

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  1. Merwyn viegas says:

    I have read most questions my answer is as follows those building given pocession which are under rera ,can complain to rera that oc is not being there for their building ,but once complain to rera u can’t lodge a complaint with consumers court ,others can go to consumers court ,it is obligatory on builder to give pocession with oc , secondly oc certificate lost you can apply to building prospal to issue u authentic oc certificate but it is trouble some ,You can under Right to information get OC certificate.

    1. Merwyn viegas says:

      You are right ,but for duplicate OC you have to visit serval time ,so it better to take duplicate under RTI which cost is less and fast

  2. MUTTUKUMAR says:

    Dear Sir,

    I have purchased a flat in Navi Mumbai , the builder has given the flat for occupation without the occupation certificate.

    My query is
    a) whose responsibility is to get the OC
    b) Who is liable to pay the property Tax before getting the OC

    1. Merwyn viegas says:

      It is the response bilty of the Builder to get OC, if without OC he gives posession it is illegal stay . The BMC proposal department A E of respective area can give building a written notice under 350 a for eviction ,and building can be evicted.
      As about staying in building without OC , since you have taken posession you have to pay maintaince money

    2. Merwyn viegas says:

      The BMC proposal department A E of respective area can give building a written notice under 350 a for eviction ,and building can be evicted.
      As about staying in building without OC , since you have taken posession you have to pay maintaince money

  3. Parag Patel says:

    Respected Sir,

    Could you please provide the sample scan copy of following documents issued by AUDA?

    (1) Occupancy Certificate
    (2) Building Use Permission
    (3) Completion certificate

    Waiting for your reply in time.

  4. C J Kumar says:

    i had purchased a 1 bhk flat in bhandup east way back in 1996. at the time of purchase the builder had obtain part oc for ‘A’ wing of the bldg. he claimed that he had already applied for OC for ‘B’ wing, where my flat is located and has given possession of the flat with the commitment that OC for the full bldg. would be obtained within 2 months. after having paid him the full cost of the flat, i had no other alternative but to move into the new flat before the builder obtained the oc. now, despite my repeated meetings with the builder he did not obtain the oc. now the builder has expired and his legal heir is least interested in resolving this issue.

    will consumer court be of any help since this matter is over 15 yrs. old. also, since the builder has expired and his construction co. has been wound up. whom do i state as the opponent in the consumer complaint.

  5. shiv kumar patel says:

    we will pur.flat 2006 but will not getting the oc now til date.
    sir what can we do.
    river wood park
    shil kalyan road desai naka .
    sagarli village
    dist. thane

    1. Merwyn viegas says:

      You might have got intimation of disapproval ,IOD copy of the building where you stay in that file no is writen . Seek through RTI whether the IOD of the building is fulfilled ,if not take all copies of the file such as floor wise sanction copy , their file nothing and additional iod , . Then catch a lawyer and architect and sought the matter

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September 2021