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Sneha Sharma, a home buyer in a housing project in Greater Noida west, is now planning to shift in to her apartment. While a few of the towers in the project are fully built, most remain under construction. Occupants of only one tower, have been offered possession. Sharma, like many other occupants, decided to move in and paid the amount due to the builder. However, while the developer has offered possession, the project itself does not have a completion certificate.
Why is the completion certificate important?
With home buyers eager to take possession of their flats, Sharma isn’t the only one to move in to a project that doesn’t have a completion certificate.
There is a buzz that the development authorities of Noida and Greater Noida, will soon start awarding part completion certificates to completed towers of certain projects. Recently, the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA), announced a list of around 40 projects, for issuing completion certificates, either in part or for the entire project.
Delhi-based lawyer Saurabh Taneja, who deals in land and property laws, points out that “Possession of the apartment is considered illegal, if the project has not received a completion certificate from the authority.”
The GNIDA, on its part, has informed home buyers through several notices that as per the Uttar Pradesh Apartment Act, 2010, no builder can offer possession of the property to a buyer, without getting an occupancy certificate (completion certificate). The GNIDA also recently sent notices to some builders, who were offering possession of flats, without the necessary completion certificate.
It may not be easy to access an apartment in an incomplete project. Regular movement of heavy construction trucks, may also hinder your peaceful stay.
Problem of law and order
Recently, houses in a project in Greater Noida west, were ransacked, when the inhabitants were not at home. The miscreants took advantage of the lax security in the project, on account of the ongoing construction. “Very often, the visitors are not checked,” said one of the residents, whose house was ransacked, requesting anonymity.
High occupancy charges
The builder may ask you to pay monthly charges for water, maintenance, power back up, etc. In an incomplete project, these charges may range from Rs 10 per sq ft to Rs one lakh per month, with premium projects having higher maintenance.
“According to regulations, the levy of maintenance charges, should start after the owner takes possession. However, developers are taking an undertaking from home owners, who are willing to take the possession before the completion certificate is granted, to the effect that the owner of the flat is taking possession as per his will and understands the associated risks. This saves the builder from any litigation in the future,” says Delhi-based real estate consultant, Pradeep Mishra.
Uncertainty over completion
There are numerous examples of projects, where developers have failed to provide the promised amenities. If the project involves several buildings, there is no guarantee over when the builder will get the completion certificate for the entire project or for a particular tower.
What should buyers do?
If you are paying for a rented accommodation, as well as EMI for your new home, taking possession of your flat does not make sense, if the cost of possession is higher and there is uncertainty over its completion. Home buyers should move in to their apartments, only after ensuring that the developer has procured the completion certificate.
Disadvantages of taking possession without a completion certificate
- Infrastructure problems.
- Problems of law and order.
- High maintenance charges.
- Uncertainty over completion.
- It may be illegal to take possession, in the absence of a completion certificate.