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What is a Completion Certificate and why it is required?

A completion certification is an important and mandatory legal document attesting to the fact that a new building has been constructed and completed according to all the safety norms and regulations of the Buildings Act. A mandatory no-objection certificate issued by the local development and municipal authorities, the completion certificate of any building in Karnataka proves that the building has been approved by the Bangalore Development Authority, as per the stipulations in the Karnataka Town and Planning Act (1961) and the Bangalore Development Authority Act (1976). Contents of a Completion Certificate The certificate should contain all the required details, including the identification of the land, the location, if the building has met all the standards of safety and regulation, the distance from the road, distance from surrounding buildings, height and other criteria set by the Municipal authorities, along with the building plan. In short, the completion certificate guarantees that the building has not violated any rule in that locality. The Apartment Ownership Acts in various states in India make it compulsory for an owner or builder to possess a completion certificate, in order to avail of basic amenities like water and electricity. In case of a builder or a developer, it is mandatory that they give a copy of the completion certificate to a person purchasing the house. How is a completion certificate awarded? Once the project is completed, the local authority inspects the premise on the basis of the building plan and awards the completion certificate, provided it is satisfied. The builder then applies to the departments yet again along with a copy of the completion certificate to get water, electricity connection and other basic amenities for the project. Provisional and final completion certificates A provisional or temporary completion is usually awarded to a builder if they want to hand over an apartment to residents but still have pending work to complete, such as finishing construction of amenities like the club house or painting. The provisional certificate expires after six months and should be followed by the builder applying for the final completion certificate. Why is it important to have a final completion certificate? A final completion certificate is awarded after the construction of a house is complete or if a group housing or apartment society is formed. It is a mandatory legal testimony to the fact that the builder has not violated any building rules and standards such as the floor area ratio limit, structural design, distance from road, quality of construction, distance from surrounding buildings, height of the building, number of floors and other criteria, along with an attested and approved building plan. This certificate is needed for an apartment or building to receive basic facilities such as electricity and water. In fact, the water rate is converted from non-domestic to domestic only after receiving a completion certificate. A buyer should not get possession of a house or building without a completion certificate, which also sets into motion other compulsories such as the payment of property tax and housing loans. What if a completion certificate is not awarded? If the developer has not been awarded a certificate of completion, buyers can either approach the local municipal authorities to award the completion certificate or can form a resident’s welfare association to speed up the process. In case new properties operate without completion certificates, residents are threatened to be evicted and the city engineering department will penalise the properties for not paying property tax. Many people are unaware that a completion certificate is crucial to procure, before finishing payment of a final instalment in terms of purchasing a property. Builders tend to persuade hapless people into buying a property without possessing the appropriate legal documents. Hence, it is important to press for the builder to acquire a completion certificate, before releasing the final payment to the same. A completion certificate is also required to ensure that safety norms such as codes in the case of fires, accidents and other criteria are met.

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