The Maharashtra government has issued a notification ruling out the need for housing societies to submit their building’s occupation certificate (OC) to exercise their right to title. From now onwards, the mere proof that society members had legally taken over possession from the builder will be sufficient to approve proposals for deemed conveyance.
In Mumbai alone, the move is expected to benefit over 5,000 housing societies. It would be applicable all over the state. The cooperatives department has issued a notification in this regard. Though it is mandatory for the land owners or developers to convey the title of a plot within six months of the formation of the housing society, there are thousands of cases where this has been withheld for pecuniary gains.
The Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act, 2005, allows societies to apply for deemed conveyance if the land owner or the developer fails to convey the title himself. Officials from the cooperative registrar’s office, however, insist on possession of the OC — a building permit that certifies the building is now complete in all respect and ready for occupation — for issuance of the deemed conveyance.
Senior government officials said several of over 5,000 buildings in Mumbai that lacked Ocs had been in existence for more than three decades. Redevelopment of these buildings, some of which are dilapidated, is stuck since ownership of the plot is required for redevelopment permissions.
The modification comes with a catch. Societies procuring the title of plot in this manner will have to submit a registered undertaking that they would obtain the OC as per prevalent norms. An OC is usually withheld for a building if development conditions stipulated at the time of the approval are not met.