Noida: Real estate developers, homebuyers object to UPRERA’s occupancy certificate rule

NOIDA: Real estate developers and homebuyers have objected to the Uttar Pradesh real estate regulatory authority’s (RERA) move that disallows giving possession to homebuyers in the completed housing projects without occupancy or completion certificate.

The occupancy certificate is applied and obtained only after the developer gets multiple non objection certificates including fire safety clearances, lift functional certificate, structure safety clearance and no dues certificate among others. (Sunil Ghosh/HT Photo)

The developers currently offer the possession in housing projects where there is a deemed occupancy certificate (OC) as per the old rules. In 2017, RERA had allowed possession of a housing project having four key no objection certificates (NOCs) including fire, finance, lift and others.

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The developers and homebuyers have objected to RERA’s move of issuing the model format of offering possession that was notified on Saturday.

“In the old legacy stalled housing projects, where the developer is failing to pay the land cost dues and not coming forward to obtain OC in view of the financial dues for the last many years, the home-buyers are made to suffer,” said Abhishek Kumar, president of Noida Extension flat owners welfare association.

He said thousands of homebuyers, who are paying their home loan installments against an apartment and also living on rent despite paying flat cost, will further suffer if they fail to take the possession in complete housing projects which are having the deemed OC or CC.

“RERA’s recent model format will cause huge suffering to the home-buyers. Therefore, we demand that RERA must withdraw it without delay because in legacy housing projects developers are not able to take final OC,” Kumar added.

There are dozens of legacy housing projects in which thousands of apartment owners are trapped for many years.

As per the building bylaws, a developer obtains OC after the housing project building is completed. The OC is applied and obtained only after the developer gets multiple non objection certificates (NOCs) including fire safety clearances, lift functional certificate, structure safety clearance and no dues certificate among others.

But when the RERA saw that many developers are failing to get financial dues NOC amid economic crisis, it issued a notification in 2017 that developer can offer the possession without financial dues clearance NOC in a ready housing project having the key NOCs that include fire safety clearance, lift clearance and structure safety clearance.

Also, RERA allowed developers to offer the possession if he has applied for OC or CC and the local authority has not issued OC or CC in a month as the OC or CC will be deemed approved.

As per the RERA, there are 2,000 developers who have registered their 3,649 housing projects on the portal.

The confederation of real estate developers association of India (CREDAI), a realtors lobby group, said it has given a representation to RERA, seeking immediate withdrawal of the new model format for being against homebuyers’ interests.

“There are many cases where a developer has submitted applications along with required documents to obtain OC before the local authority. And the authority delays the issuance of OC for over a month. In many cases, OC is not issued on various grounds for years. In such cases, if possession to buyers will not be issued, then buyers will have to wait for a long time until the OC is issued. For example, in Noida’s sports city projects, the developers have all requisite documents to obtain OC. But the authority delays issuing it for court cases. In these cases, consumers will suffer. We hope the RERA will revise the recent model format and work in the interest of consumers,” said secretary (CREDAI) Dinesh Gupta.

This is what the UPRERA order says

The UP RERA said that in the name of offer of possession, any letters sent like; demand notice, final demand notice or with similar language will not be valid and the letter of offer of possession will be sent only after obtaining OC or CC from the development authority, and its sole purpose will be to obtain possession.

“The promoters send final demand letter, and final demand notice using the name and language of Offer of Possession, which creates confusion among the allottees, and it carries some binding conditions,” said chairman (UP RERA) Sanjay Bhoosreddy.

“Offer of possession should be meant only for the purpose of taking possession. Hence, we have made available a model offer of possession on the portal and any other format of letter will not be valid. This will remove confusion among the stakeholders and help in disposal of disputes related to it,” he said, adding: “RERA will look into the issues raised by the buyers and realtors and decide the same in future.”

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