About Occupancy Certificate

An occupancy certificate meaning a document that evidences the completion of the building as per the approved plan and compliance of local laws. The absence of an OC certificate makes it difficult to get the water and sanitary connection. Even the banks and financial institutions do not sanction loans against the flat unless the certificate is not issued by the concerned authorities. If the buyers are found doing so, the local authorities can ask for eviction of their flats or heavy penalties levied on them.

Steps to Obtain an Occupancy Certificate

The local municipal authorities issue the Occupancy Certificate within 30 days from the date of application. The following documents are required to obtain the certificate of occupancy.

  • Commencement Certificate.
  • Completion Certificate.
  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) for fire and pollution.
  • Built and section plan.
  • Latest tax paid receipt with the tax assessment.
  • Photographs of the completed apartment or building.
  • Pictures of solar panels and rain harvesting.
  • A copy of the sanctioned plan.
  • Calculation sheet of the floor area duly signed by an architect.

How Important is the Occupancy Certificate?

The certificate poses as proof that the building is safe to occupy, and it is required while applying for water, electricity, and sanitation connections from the local municipal body. Obtaining an occupancy certificate is an essential requirement, the buyer cannot legally occupy the apartment or building unless this certificate is occupied by the developer. Also, an Occupancy Certificate is one of the mandatory documents to be submitted while availing a home loan. This certificate is one of the most important certificates required if you want to be able to sell the property.

Also know about Encumbrance Certificate before buying a property.

Difference Between Occupancy Certificate & Completion Certificate?

Occupancy Certificate

Completion Certificate

  • An Occupancy Certificate (OC) is a legal document certifying that the building construction has abided with the approved plan and is ready to be occupied.
  • The legal possession of the apartment/house by the owner is considered valid only after obtaining the Certificate of Occupancy.
  • An OC certificate is issued by local municipal authorities or the building proposal department once the building is ready for occupancy.
  • A Completion Certificate is a legal document that certifies the construction of the property is complete and the building abides by the rules and regulations set by the government.
  • This certificate is issued only after it is confirmed that the construction meets other building standards like distance from the road, the height of the building, and rainwater harvesting system, etc.
  • Obtaining a Completion Certificate does not mean that the owner of the flat/house can legally occupy and possess it an OC is a must.


1. Who can apply for an Occupation Certificate?

The builder/developer and the owner of the house/flat can apply for a Certificate of Occupancy.

2. What if the builder/developer doesn’t give the Occupation Certificate?

No, it is advisable to accept the possession letter of a flat/house only after the developer has obtained the Occupation Certificate.

3. Can the builder claim 100% payment from you without an Occupation Certificate?

Under the RERA Act, provisions are made to make some payments to the builder or developer. A certain portion of this payment from the total amount can be paid to the builder; however, the builder or developer cannot claim 100% payment without obtaining the OC Certificate.

4. Can I sell my property which does not have an Occupation Certificate?

No, without a valid OC, your occupancy is illegal as it can be classified as an unauthorized structure by the authorities. The Occupation Certificate is one of the most important documents required in order to extend a home loan. Therefore, if the buyer is looking to avail a home loan for the purpose of buying the property, they will be required to submit the without the OC Certificate. Thus, it’s necessary to acquire an OC certificate to sell your property

5. Who will issue the Occupation Certificate?

The local municipal authorities will issue the Occupation Certificate based on the local laws and regulations for the construction of a housing project.

6. Can a developer/builder issue a partial Occupation Certificate?

Yes, a developer/builder can issue a partial Occupation Certificate when there are phases of numerous projects that have different completion dates. The local authority can issue a partial Occupancy Certificate for the completed phase or block. Once the entire project is completed and ready for occupancy a final Occupation Certificate would replace the partial Occupation Certificate.

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