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Simar Nagi | 27 Apr 2022

How to Identify, Report and Manage Illegal Construction?

How to Identify, Report and Manage Illegal Construction?

The construction work that is carried out without a valid construction permit is known as Illegal Construction. This type of construction work is technically hazardous and uncontrollable to manage in finished buildings. Besides these potential hazards, illegal construction activity adversely impacts the environment. Environmental violation happens at the time of illegal construction done on preserved areas like nature reserves. In a similar form, illegal construction work in India can also lead to political implications when practised as land grabbing. Old buildings that collapse are the ones built without proper permits and lack structural safety standards. Illegal construction work in India is also one of the contributing factors to overpopulation, homelessness, and poverty. It has led to the rise of slum areas. 

With the issue of illegal construction work spreading all over India, how will you be wise enough to identify whether the property you are about to buy is legal? 

That is the reason why we have brought this blog to you so that you can run some checks with the help of experts if needed to ensure you are getting a fair and legal deal. 

Following are the key points to watch before investing in real estate. 

1. Get your documents right.

The way you show a certificate in order to tell that you are a graduate, not a school dropout, in a similar manner when you invest in a property, the proof of its legality can be seen in the agreement papers. Whether or not the papers presented to you are right or not is the first thing to check. Real estate developers advertise heavily, and construction work can continue to happen in the open, but that is not enough to represent its legality. It's like believing that the celebrities have straight, shiny black hair or fair skin by using the products she endorses. Developers are required to present all the documents that need to be signed by you. There is one document stating that you have inspected the property thoroughly among all the documents. But in case you don't trust your developer that he has presented you with the right documents, you can get the documents from the municipal corporation or sub-registrar. Registered documents are available for public inspection, but consider it a red flag if someone hesitates and does not provide you with the documents. Because the construction is legal, no one would deny it, but people tend to hesitate in case of illegal construction. 

After billing and acquiring a property, the developer sends your details to the concerned authority to issue you an Occupancy Certificate or NOC. It is important to have these documents as OC is proof that the property you have occupied is built with an approved plan. If you don't possess OC, amenities like water supply and sanitary connection will not be provided. 

2. Even a small tweak can cause an issue. 

While buying a property, you must ensure that you are buying exactly as per the approved layout. Minor changes are also not acceptable as you can be charged up for those changes. The residential project needs approval for every square foot that is used for occupancy. FAR (floor area ratio) denotes the area how much is allowed to be constructed on a provided land size. Any construction work beyond the allowed area is considered illegal construction. If you find something fishy, you can consult a lawyer with respect to getting documents checked professionally. 

3. Cheaper than usual rates 

If the property rates you are getting are way less than you expected and the developer is too kind to you, you have to monitor the rates instead of getting excited. Maybe the developer wants you to acquire that illegal property as soon as possible due to which he is selling you at lower rates. So beware, and get the rates checked prior to signing the contract. 

These are the top 3 areas of red flags you need to consider. But if in case nothing on such a thing happens and any financial institution refuses to provide you with a loan, then you need to consider that too as a red flag. It can be an indication of illegal construction work. However, such an incident is less likely to happen. Banks have a tendency to verify the documents and approved papers to ensure that the construction work is legal. A reputable bank will help you validate a project you plan to take a loan on. So you can consider a rejected application based on a lack of documentation a sign of illegal construction work. 

How to report illegal construction in Delhi?

If you are a victim of a harried situation by any illegal construction work in Delhi, there is a way to file a complaint without even physically visiting any office. The Delhi Development Authority has allowed residents to file a complaint whenever they encounter any kind of illegal construction work. With the help of the DDA 311 mobile app launched in May 2018, you can file a complaint, get updates, and address further issues in a hassle-free manner. You can track your complaint on the DDA-311 app and use the unique ID provided to you to check the status of your complaint. “You can also file a petition in the High Court under Article 226 of the constitution of India”. 

What are the documents required to file an illegal construction complaint?

Following are the documents required to file an illegal construction complaint- 

1. All the legal documents needed by the municipal corporation to validate the complaint are authentic. 

2. Your name, house, Aadhar number, photo ID proof for an illegal construction complaint

3. Other information you possess about the illegal construction work. 

How to make illegal construction legal in Delhi?

Corporation has made a plan for owners building who have illegal construction till December 2016 can get their apartments approved by getting a safety certificate from an authorised architect and an affidavit attached to it stating that no proportion of the illegal construction work is encroaching upon the government land. 

You would still have to submit the penalty amount along with the circle rate of the property. In this form, instead of demolishing the property, the Civic will earn revenue, and the amount received through this initiative will be used for development activities. 

Also Read: Easy 7 steps to check the construction quality of your new home

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