Real estate basics: What is a Commencement Certificate?

A commencement certificate is a document that proves the legitimacy of a real estate project. We explain what exactly a commencement certificate is and its importance for a developer, as well as a home buyer

A commencement certificate is a document from the local municipal authority that permits the developer to begin construction of the project. The commencement certificate (or CC) is usually granted, only after the developer has met the legal requirements and obtained the relevant sanctions for the building’s plan.


How can a developer obtain a commencement certificate?

Before beginning the construction of a new building or project, the developer must obtain a commencement certificate from the local authorities. Once the developer submits his plan for the project, the municipal authority will begin conducting several preliminary checks, before authorising that the project is fit for commencement. During this time, the developer must be able to provide all the necessary no-objection certificates (NOCs) that are needed to beginning a new construction. He will also need to show proof of having obtained clearances from all the relevant departments, namely, the water department, fire department, sewage department, electricity department, etc.

The commencement certificate is usually issued in two stages – first up to the plinth area and then, for the superstructure. The developer receives the commencement certificate, based on the findings of the inspection by authorities of the town planning and engineering departments. After having obtained all the required licences and sanctions for the project, the developer lays the foundation of the superstructure and builds the boundaries of the project. Under the new RERA guidelines, a valid commencement certificate is a mandatory document, for a project to be considered RERA-approved.


What is the importance of a commencement certificate for a home buyer?

Until a developer receives the commencement certificate for his project, he is not authorised to begin construction on it. Therefore, a home buyer must not invest in a project, if the developer is unable to furnish a valid commencement certificate for it. One must also check whether the commencement certificate obtained by the developer, includes the floor on which he/she wishes to buy a property.

If you were to purchase a property in a project that does not have a valid commencement certificate, you run the risk of being the owner of an illegal property. This not only affects your legal title to the property, but you may also have to pay the necessary fines, for buying a property in an illegal project.

A commencement certificate is as important as an occupancy certificate. It ensures that you are purchasing a property in a project that has fulfilled all requirements. It cements your title over the property and saves you from possible legal troubles in the future.


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