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The Economic Times

Handover of flats without occupancy certificate illegal, say experts

NOIDA: Getting a house on the basis of a ‘lease agreement’ by simply paying 5% stamp duty may not be a solution after all, feel real estate experts.

Issues in the long-term related to the sale of property and fire safety norms, water, etc could be highly compromised by builders in this method as they will try to hastily exit projects. Buyers, meanwhile, are livid as they feel victimised.

“The proper route for handing over flats to buyers is through occupancy certificates after the houses get completion certificates. Handing over flats is not just a matter of securing revenues for the state, but there are other issues that should be kept in mind. Suppose if a lift falls or there is some other kind of problem in maintenance or construction, who will be held accountable?” said Balwinder Kumar, member of Uttar Pradesh Real Estate Regulatory Authority (UP-Rera).

“The process of handing over occupancy certificates is important simply because it ensures a certain amount of quality assurance from the builders. So we do not approve of this method of handing over of flats,” he added.

Real estate lawyer, Aditya Parolia, also flayed the process as legally non-viable. “The occupancy certificate does not simply come from the Noida Authority or Greater Noida Authority as securing completion certificates requires the approval of at least nine departments, including water supply, fire safety and other environmental clearances. Also, once the builder hands over the flats on the basis of lease agreements, the buyer will not be able to sell the house,” said Parolia of PSP Legal.

Homebuyers, too, do not seem to be impressed with the district administration’s decision. “This will go in favour of builders who will easily handover flats and cease to take responsibility for maintenance thereafter,” said Abhishek Kumar, president of Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association.
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