Check-list for buying a flat

This check list is based on our own experience of buying flat in KARNATAKA. Check List Also know the pitfalls
1 Visit few previously completed projects constructed by the builder and talk to the flat owners who has occupied the flat. See for your self the quality of t the construction. Also find out whether they finished the work in time. If builder takes you to meet some one, he is likely to say what builder wants to hear.
2 Verify original land documents, construction plan and tax paid receipts for at-least last 15 years. Consult a lawyer. It is necessary to get them verified. This requires the help of a good lawyer. Find a lawyer who is not a friend / well known to the builder. Otherwise lawyer is likely say what builder wants him to say.
3 If you purchase a flat when it is in the initial stages of construction, than you can ask for modifications in the plan like removal particular wall separating drawing room and dinning room, shift the entrance of any room / bathroom to another place, have separate pooja room, store room, etc. You can not alter the position of Pillars and Beam. From the uncertain delivery point of view it is better to buy a flat which is ready for occupation and likely to get occupancy certificate. This needs to be checked with Municipal authority.

There should be a separate agreement with price for the alterations of wall and additional work to be carried out. If the price is not finalised, you are likely to get exaggerated bill for this work.

4 While buying a flat, you have to sign and get following documents from the developer/builder:

1. A registered agreement for the sale of non-agriculture Land.:This is for the undivided share of Land. Buyer must ask the details for the calculation of this. It should be in terms of Sq.ft or Sq.m. But in Karnataka undivided share of Land is expressed as percentage of total land. It is better if it is expressed in terms of Sq.ft as well as percentage. This document is signed by land owners and the buyer. It describes the property (Land in terms of cents) and confirms the undivided share land in terms of percentage. Land area in terms of Sq.m is found in approved PLAN.

2. An agreement for the construction of the multi-apartment building. This includes the Price of the flat and car park and the advance payment made while booking the flat. Payment schedule for the balance amount is mentioned. Other terms & condition of Sale and specification of the apartment is written in this agreement.

3. Other Agreements like, Amenities Agreement, Car-Park Agreement, Common Area Allotment Agreement should also be entered. (to be described in DoD).

4. Separate agreement for additions/deletions ie. Alterations with prices should be entered.(to be described in DoD).

5. Registered Deed of Declaration.

Power of Attorney document if you sign should be for specific purpose for restricted period. It can not be for General Purpose.

Some builders in India do not provide draft agreement before receiving the advance for the flat. It is better to get the written opinion from trustworthy lawyer. Meet few lawyers and try to assess trustworthiness. Can the buyer succeed in changing any clause in the agreement?

Verify the figures like land area, total super built-up area remains same in documents like Approved Plan, Building licence, Agreement for undivided share in Land, Construction agreement and DoD. Verify the Calculation details for undivided share of land for each flats. Builders may retain some undivided share of land to build additional illegal flats over the terrace.

Normally, builders occupy illegally the common areas thereby denying the access to other legitimate flat owners. Therefore, we must understand what are the common areas.

Remember, No agreement can contradict (go against) the Rules & Laws of the Land. Therefore, ownership of Terrace can not be claimed by the developer/ builder even if it is written in the agreement.
5 Approach 2 to 3 banks at-least with the details and ask for the terms and conditions for getting loan. Find out whether they have scrutinized / evaluated the legal papers pertaining to this building project. Get a copy of the Bank's legal opinion. Banks who offer HOME LOAN should declare their method of evaluation of the builder for the correctness of the documents pertaining to land and other documents pertaining to the construction activities from proper authorities in the city.

Just because the BANKS are ready to sanction loan, do not assume that they have verified all the legally correctness of the documents. But discuss with them to verify that they have obtained all the statutory clearances.

Banks are flooded with funds to lend the money to flat buyers. Therefore they are more eager to lend, than the builder to sell the flat. Therefore, Bank may not be interested in detailed verification. Hence from buyers point of view banks verification may not be reliable.

6 Insist that the quality, brand or make of the materials (cement, Wood, Plumbing, Bathroom fittings, Electrical fittings, paint etc,)being used is included in the agreement. Demand good & superior quality plumbing materials that is concealed in the walls.

Demand Schematic drawing for plumbing -water & drainage lines for the building & your flat.

Ask for Schematic drawing for electric wiring for the building and your flat.

Preserve the 2 copies of the broacher. What ever is written in it needs to be followed by the builder. Otherwise, builder is violating the unfair trade practice laws. This is punishable as per the old judgments.

7 Demand in writing Completion / Occupancy certificate and transfer of Khata, Water bill and Electricity bill to your name before handing over the flat. You must insist to include this in the agreement.

It is the obligation on the part of the builder to secure a sanctioned plan and construct a building. It carries with it an implied obligation to comply with the requirements of municipal and building laws and secure the mandatory permissions / certificates.

8 Ensure that the electricity and water tariff for residential purpose is applicable to you. Commercial tariff may be application during the construction period.

Ensure the electrical installations in the building is audited by the relevant authorities for your city.
9 Draw attention of the builder to Karnataka Ownership flats (Regulation, Sale, Management and Transfer) Rules-1975.
Remind through letters that the builder can not deviate from the approved/sanctioned original plan. Normally they build extra illegal flats on the terrace and make enormous illegal profit out of them. Ensure that the calculation of Undivided Share of Land is correct
Builder has to provide notarized copies of the following : (1) Building License. (2) Approved/Sanctioned drawing PLAN. (3) Encumbrance Certificate, (3) Parent Documents of Land. (4) Correspondence with Authorities, (5) Khata,(original document) (6) Deed of Declaration -duly registered.(original document)

Additional floors over the approved top floor can weaken the building structure, if it is not designed for additional load.

10 Ensure that the builder takes care of maintenance till association is formed.

Insist on election and you should take interest in the association. Take responsible post, otherwise builder will ensure, his yes men are in position of power in the association.

In every project builder's friends and business associates (who have vested interest in the real estate business of the builder) buy flats. Such people are elevated to the post of President / Secretory / Treasurer.
This is the condition in Karnataka Ownership flats (Regulation, Sale, Management and Transfer) Rules-1975.

A Developer shall, pay all outgoings (including ground rent, municipal and other local taxes, taxes on income, water charges, electricity charges, revenue assessment, interest on any mortgage or other encumbrances, if any), until he transfers the property to the persons taking over the flats, or to the organization of any such persons.

Association formation is the responsibility of the developer/builder. This should happen with in 4 months of obtaining completion certificate.

Do not agree to pay electricity bills, water bills and maintenance charges before the association is formed by the builder and all parent documents municipal / electricity boards/ water boards / elevator license/ generator papers / completion /occupancy certificate are handed over to the association.

Deed of Declaration has to include the bye-laws for the association.
11 It was in April 2008 that the Bombay High Court ruled that car parking did not fall under the floor space index (FSI)/ FAR granted to the builder, and therefore could not be sold. builders are obliged to provide parking space for all the flat owners in the buildings and cannot charge buyers for the same. Agreement should have reference of car park drawing and car-park number alloted to you. Ensure Car-park drawings (with alloted car-parked marked for your use) are to a scale and no pillars are omitted, it should be singed & stamped by the builder. And this drawing should also be part of the agreement.

Car-park can not be alloted on setback area around the building. Car park should have adequate space for right/left turn to enter the alloted car-park area.

12 Do not go by the name of the company that advertised for the flats. They may be only marketing the project and some different builder may be doing the construction.

Find out who is the builder and the engineer taking care of construction.
There are laws to safeguard the interest of consumers, but implementation of Law does not exist. Judiciary is very slow as frequent adjournment helps the wrong doors. Builder/Developers take full advantage of this.

Unfortunately Municipal authorities have no system of blacklisting the Builders who habitually & repeatedly flout Laws in every building projects.

13 And last but not the least, do not pay the entire amount for the flat before you take over possession of the flat. Keep at least 15% of the total money with you and pay only during handing over of keys.

Builder does not give key till you have paid full amount. In many instances builder demands additional amount of Rs 100 per sq. ft in the excuse of prices escalation. Flat buyers have no time to fight out this type of frauds and are in a hurry to occupy the flat.
14 Demand Completion / Occupancy certificate and Door number when Developer ask you to occupy the flat. With out Door number, Municipal authority demand enhance (double the actual amount) property tax as penalty for not complying to the Law. Hence, you have to pay every year more property tax. A reward for your sincerity.

HOME Check List for
buyers of new flat
Deed of Declaration Excerpts from
SC judgment
SC Judgment
on car park
HC judgment
on carpark
Car park
can not be sold.
Car Park - Types Terrace SC Judgment
1782 of 2009
SC Judgment
3302 of 2005
SC Judgment
12984 of 1996
Excerpts from
Overview of
Problems at APEKSHA
Construction Deficiency at APEKSHA Car-Park at
Reality Check Summary of
Judgment of
MCC documents.
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