Trapped without documents

Trapped without documents

Apartment buyers often find themselves trapped once they realise that the builders haven’t got the necessary approvals from the civic agencies. Occupancy Certificate and the khata remains high on this list.

Preetham Shankar, a manager at a tech company, had bought a ready-to-move-in flat in Kodigehalli four years ago. But he still does not have an OC for the building. “As far as I know, 90 per cent of flat owners in Bengaluru do not have occupancy certificates,” says he.

Besides, he has not received a No Objection Certificate from the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike. To obtain the individual khata for his apartment, Preetham had to pay a bribe of Rs.10,000 in BBMP through his builder. “Nothing works without a bribe,” he admits in all frankness.

According to Naveen Nagendra, a software engineer, if the builder has not violated any construction norms and has got the necessary approvals from BDA, BWSSB, Bescom  and other authorities concerned, it should not be too difficult to get an OC.

Did he know the consequences of not having an OC? “I am not sure, but I do know that the owner will find it difficult to resell the property. Also, I think, according to the law, you are not supposed to reside in a flat which does not have such a certificate.” Naveen had booked a flat in March 2014 located on the outskirts of Yelahanka and is now awaiting its completion.

Aravind Prabhu, who works in a manufacturing company, has this to say on the issue: “Our builder got approvals from BBMP, BWSSB and Bescom. We have got the No Objection Certificate, but not the OC.” Prabhu’s suggestion to apartment buyers is to get their land documents verified by at least two lawyers. “Sometimes the lawyer and the builder may be working together, so it is better to be safe and take second opinion,” he says. 

But there are a few lucky ones like Vasanth Ladwa, who owns an apartment in Malleswaram and Harish Kumar (name changed), a flat owner in Mathikere,. They received their occupancy certificates without much hassle.

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