Are you considering having a house, flat or shop in karachi, lahore or islamabad? It is great that you have found the best house for your family; the housing society has everything that you have ever wished for, the houses are beautiful and spacious and above all, the builder has ensured that all the properties are as per the approved building plan, but, have you checked the documents yourself?
Before starting any building, the builder has to get the building plan and layout designs approved by the development authority of their respective towns or cities. Building plan and layout designs are based on several factors like height of the building, distance from the road, distance between two buildings, distance from any important building, principle of mechanics, applicable construction material, proper support for walls, roof and floors etc. And ignoring them can be dangerous for the residents. Starting a construction project without getting the plans approved is not only risky for the residents and investors but can also be quite destructive for the builder’s reputation.
How would you know if the builder has constructed the building, or constructing it, according to the approved plans? As a buyer, you have all the rights to have complete details regarding the society and its building plan. Builders are extremely shrewd people that would do their best to satisfy you with tall claims but do not let them mislead you; the situation quite common in karachi, lahore and islamabad where builders have fooled thousands of people by selling illegal residential and commercial properties. Before taking the final decision, have a careful look at the following things.
- Construction clearance certificate
Constriction clearance certificate is a commencement approval letter that is given to the builder by the local development bodies. The officials conduct the site’s visit and check everything thoroughly, which includes the site’s width, distance from the road and other housing society’s etc. The authorities issue the letter after complete satisfaction and, therefore, it is a solid proof that nothing is wrong with the housing society and it is safe for investment. Especially in cities like karachi, lahore and islamabad where there are numerous such cases, checking the document is essential.
- Approved building construction plan and layout design
The builders submit their proposed construction and layout plans to the construction development authority of their area that checks and examine them as per their set standards and instructions. Every city and area has its own set of rules and regulations through which they allow development and construction of houses and flats. For instance, in karachi, the development authority has forbidden construction more than two floors besides the ground floor. Still, builders and even homeowners construct third and even more floors and suffer the loss. To avoid such a loss, check the approved layout plans.
- Tally the plans with actual construction
This is relevant for homeowners who want to buy constructed flats or houses and, to some extent, for the under construction societies also. Once you have checked the layout plans, tally it with the actual site and construction; ask the builder to guide you through the plan and explain the constructed property. Carefully check the developed area per house or flat with the approved in the document, same goes for balconies, terrace, gardens and floors, check everything and see if the construction is according to the approved plan. The process is time consuming and the builder may not agree to explain you the entire approved and constructed plan but all this pain is necessary if you do not want to lose your hard-earned money.
- Completion certificate
Completion certificate is issued after the building is completed and the local construction and development authorities have checked and approved it. The officers check the constructed building in terms of what was proposed by the builder and what was approved. Many of you must be thinking that if an official has checked and approved a building then why i need to check and tally the plans. Yes, you are right to some level but you must realize that in our country, specially cities like karachi, lahore and islamabad people do have their ways of getting things done. Therefore, check everything yourself to be sure of your decision.
- Occupancy certificate
Occupancy certificate indicates that a building is suitable for possession and occupancy; occupancy certificate is issued after complete and thorough survey and check up of the building. In the survey, the building is checked for its compliance with the compliance codes, its design with the approved plan, distance from the road, construction mechanics, floor and balcony/terrace support etc. The team also checks the amenities like water, gas and electricity and if they have been installed and cared of properly. Presence of this certificate means that the building is fit for residence.
Can i make changes or do more construction without permission?
A common concern of many homeowners and specially the independent owners that have bought and built the house themselves, so, can you make the changes in the approved plan or do more construction without getting proper legal consent? No. And we advise you that you should not do anything like this either. You will have to ask your builder and the local authorities if it is suitable to expand or change the construction design. Without permission, you have the risk that the construction development authority can damage your property any time.
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