The handover from builder to co-operative is a critical process that requires due diligence from both sides as they must follow the RERA rules for society handover . It can take anywhere from three to five months for the handover legalities to come to fruition, involving financial, operational and technical aspects. We bring you a complete guide that helps you understand the entire endeavour from start to finish.
Initial Stage of the Handover
Typically, the average time for the construction of a residential complex and sale of houses/flats is three years. It is advisable that during the final stages of construction, the buyers should get actively involved in the legal process to ensure things are on track. At the same time, registration of your co-operative is imperative to ensure a hassle-free handover.
What are the property certificates and documents to be obtained from the builder?
You may be familiar with some of the below-listed certificates as the builders sometimes use them in their marketing and advertising strategies as trust-building tools to lend credence to the building project. At the time of the handover, they should be first on your checklist.
- Approved Building Plan
The builder has to hand over a copy of the construction plan along with block-wise and floor-wise details, approved by the local authority.
- Completion Certificate
The local authority issues this as proof that the construction is done as per required norms.
- Occupancy Certificate
This certificate is proof that the building is suitable for occupation by the residents.
- No Objection Certificates
NOCs are provided from water, fire, pollution and electrical authorities.
What are the financial documents to be handed over?
The protocol involves the handing over of all financial accounts, documents and records from the builder for which the society should ideally appoint an auditor/tax expert professionally or from within the members so that no malfeasance or inadvertent mishandling is possible. The following are the housing society handover checklist:-
- Insurance documents of the building;
- Payment records of taxes paid for property and construction;
- Payment receipts of water and electricity services along with details of security deposits and no due certificates;
- Financial records of maintenance charges and service tax paid while the premises were under the builder’s care;
- Handing over corpus/leftover investment amount;
- A statement or record of all collections made from the members (other than the purchase amount);
- Audited account statements related to all of the above
What is the operational handover required from the builder?
The operational handover can seem like a straightforward process actually entails a wide range of inventories and technical manuals for which the society should involve someone savvy with a working knowledge and understanding of machines and heavy equipment. Safety and security of the residents is of paramount importance for any society. Every component of the premises should be checked beforehand by the Managing Committee physically at the time of the handover.
- Annual Maintenance Contracts (AMCs) and vendor information along with bills and service records of the purchased equipment, such as generators, gym equipment, sewage and water treatment plants, etc.;
- Manual drawings, technical details and specifications of sewage and water treatment plans;
- List of all amenities and assets in the building including movable and immovable ones;
- Detailed and approved compounding layouts of convenience stores, offices, etc that constitute the building premises;
- Piped gas systems diagrams (if applicable) along with approval from relevant authorities, inspection records;
- CCTV Access Control System (if applicable) with user manuals, technical warranty, contracts and inspection report;
- Drawings of electrical wiring with earthing points, instructions on safety measures, generator set configurations and diesel storage facility;
- Water piping diagrams, lab tests of water quality, overhead tanks’ technical documentations, borewell yield report, and documented evidence of rain-water harvesting compliance;
- Fire/ emergency detectors and alarm systems with technical documents and instructions on resident alert protocol, panic button systems, inventory of hoses, hydrants and fire extinguishers;
- Automobile parking with layout and numbering;
- Layout and drawings of common areas including community hall, playground, and others;
- Lift license documents, clearance to operate them, safety manuals, warranty documents and details of renewal;
- Approval, specifications and vendor agreements for multi-utility pre-paid meter with validated software and tariff rates;
- Records of existing maintenance/service staff and their detailed work schedule.
What are the legal documents needed for a handover?
As the society and the builder deal with multiple government authorities and third parties with respect to services, taxes and operations, the paperwork can be long and tiring. Nonetheless, it is imperative that the Managing Committee stays vigilant and well-prepared to review all the legal documents at the time of the handover.
- All legal documents signed between the builder and the landowner have to be handed over to the society;
- Deed of conveyance and sale of ownership for every member along with Share Certificate Copies should be duly passed on to the society’s office-bearers;
- Legally binding contracts signed with any vendors or maintenance companies should be provided to the society along with zero dues certificates/guarantee;
- Insurance documents for amenities/equipments and third party inspection contracts;
- Record of car parking allocation provided to members;
- Undertaking by the Builder regarding Indemnity & Limitation of Liabilities of the Society for all transactions prior to the handover date.
The process of handover is not one that should be unnecessarily rushed or looked over. Getting hold of the right documents and certificates on time with proper checks and inspections is your first step towards building a cohesive co-operative that is well-aligned within and compliant in the eyes of the authorities.
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