Afternoon Voice

How can you avoid a Campa-Cola-kind situation

The story of the decade – old Campa Cola Society in Worli, Mumbai reached its climax today when the deadline to vacate the 96 illegal apartments ended. But this has raised the alarm for those who are planning to buy properties in the city.

Below is a checklist for home buyers to consider before making any property transactions, so they can prevent getting stuck in a Campa Cola kind of situation.

List of documents

BMC Approved plans along with the Intimation of Approval/Disapproval (IOD), Commencement Certificate (CC) and Title Certificate indicating the history of ownership of the property, are few important documents that are required.

In Mumbai, BMC is an apex body providing approvals to residential projects. Therefore, it is important for an investor or end-user to ensure that a particular project is as per the BMC approvals and permissions and there is no illegality involved in the construction of the project.

“The buyers should verify and ensure that all the above documents are in order by getting a legal inspection done through a solicitor/advocate. Apart from this, it is important to check the draft of the Allotment Letter and Agreement of Sale.

These should also be legally inspected by the proposed buyer’s solicitor/advocate, who must ensure that the terms and conditions mentioned therein are logical and the claimed date of delivery is reasonable.

“You should also check for No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from the departments of environment, fire, water and electricity,” he adds.

Apart from this, it is wise to ‘apply for a home loan’. The bank follows a stringent due diligence procedure. They will not sanction loan for buying a disputable property.

Tap the progress

Since the CC is issued in parts, the home buyer must keep a tab on the progress of the project. As per the rules, a builder gets CC only till the plinth level in the initial phase of the project.

Later, if BMC finds the construction till the plinth level in line to its approved plans, it issues the next part of the CC. At each step, BMC ensures that the construction of the project is adhered as per the legalities and only then does it issue a full CC at the final stage.

It is the right of the buyer to inspect the said CCs at various stages and the builder cannot object to the same.

Occupancy Certificate

Before taking possession, it is important for the buyer to know whether the builder has procured an Occupation Certificate (OC) or not. The same is also issued by the BMC, certifying that the project has complied with all the local bye-laws, constructed legally and is now fit to be occupied by residents.

For those who are buying ready-to-move-in properties, it is important to ask for documents from the developer or the party from whom you are purchasing the property. “A building’s overall legality can be verified by the availability of an occupation certificate.