Let’s talk about Partial Occupancy Certificate today. Occupancy Certificate (OC) is issued by the statutory local development authority while taking possession of a property. This certificate authorises the builder to allow homebuyers occupy the premises. The certificate is mandatory for buildings with more than five units. Partial OC is issued for large projects that are being built in various phases or blocks. The moment a specific phase is complete, the concerned authority, BDA in case of Bengaluru, grants a partial OC after inspection.
When the developer completes another phase, another partial OC is issued, and so on and so forth. Once the entire project is completed, the issuing authority grants a single OC for the project as a whole. Thus, as is clear, partial OC allows the complete portion of the project to be opened for occupancy. Naturally, partial OCs are valid till the entire project is completed and the final OC is issued. The builder, on completion of the project, must apply to the statutory authority for OC.
“No person shall occupy or allow any other person to occupy any new building or part of a new building for any purpose whatsoever until occupancy certificate to such buildings or part thereof has been granted by an officer authorised to give such certificate if in his opinion in every respect the building is completed according to the sanctioned plans and fit for the use for which it is erected. The Authority may in exceptional cases (after recording reasons) allow partial occupancy for different floors of a building,” states Section 5.7 of the Bangalore Building Bye-laws 2003.
The concept of partial OCs is becoming popular as phased constructions are gaining momentum. The biggest advantage of partial OCs from a financial perspective is that homebuyers can immediately take possession. Electricity and water connections can also be applied for via partial OCs. However, the partial OC may not help in getting homebuyers housing loans. They also cannot apply for khata certificate as it is issued only when they have the OC. Thus, buyers need to be very cautious when selecting projects, especially if it’s in phases.
Builders have to apply for partial OCs within 30 days from the date of phase or tower completion. Partial OCs are issues only after there is clearance from the fire department. The project needs to meet requirements for waste management areas and composting facilities, must also have proper rainwater harvesting facilities and sewage treatment plant. If the property is within the range of the airport, it needs to be cleared by the Airports Authority of India. The builder must also secure the electrical inspectorate certificate.
Only the basement and ground floor can be used for parking purposes. Buyers must be aware of these rules, and if they are going for properties that will be completed in phases, they should push the builder for a partial OC, and once the project is completed, for an OC.