Clearances that have to be in Place when Buying an Apartment
If you are planning to buy an apartment of your own in Kerala, the frequent advice that you would receive is to check whether all government approvals and clearances are in place before the purchase of the apartment. This is done with good intentions because it always can happen that you will miss something important. Realizing that purchasing a home is a high-value long-term investment, you must check out all the approvals that have to be in place before take a final decision to purchase a home.
For this, you have to understand the negative consequences of not having certain approvals, and why having them approved is very important. A builder who is offering you an apartment with all the approvals in place is one that you can place your trust in. The the approvals have to be obtained by the builder before they sell your home to you, the negative consequences of not having some of these approvals will only affect the homeowner. These disturbances to your life may continue even many years after the sale has taken place. Therefore, you must buy your property only from a trustworthy builder.
Let us now have a brief look at a list of approvals that you should ensure are in place before purchasing an apartment in Kerala.
The Coastal regulation zones (CRZs) are specifically four categories of ecologically sensitive areas that lie along the coastal stretch of India (about 7500-km in length). According to the EPA (1986), a CRZ is a coastal land lying up to 500 m of the High Tide Line and 100 m of the banks of other water bodies such as creeks, bays, estuaries, rivers, lagoons, and backwaters. The CRZ clearance based on specific CRZ rules was instituted by the Union Government. However, as far as their implementation is concerned, it is up to the respective state government.
As per this CRZ Act, there cannot be any industrial or residential or tourism development or any other activity that may take place in any of the CRZs without a clearance certificate issued by the specific state government body.
The Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority (LCZMA) provides this clearance certificate in the state. The CRZ rules have been formed to protect the environment, the welfare of the fishermen, and preserve the delicate ocean flora and fauna.
The Kerala Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetland Act, 2008 aims to control the conversion and the eventual development of paddy fields into dwelling areas. With the growth of urbanization, there have been negative impacts on the ecology. Conversion of agricultural land into dwelling areas can affect food security in the long run. For this purpose, the act serves to conserve the paddy fields and restrict their conversion.
A homebuyer should therefore check whether the land on which the homes are built violates the provisions of the act. Accurate information related to land use can be found in government records. The local government land development office is where the information will be available.
Provided by the Directorate of Air Traffic Control and the Airport Authority of India, the Airport Clearance certificate reveals that the intended building on the plot concerned meets specific height criteria set up by the municipality board. In Kerala, it is required that buildings within a 20 m radius of the Airport Reference Point would have to obtain an Airport Clearance in case they exceed a height of 150 metres.
Navy and Army Clearance
Any construction activity that takes place within a 100-m radius of a navy or army base or any other major defence installation for that matter requires an NOC from the Local Military Authority. Defence setups usually have swathes of land that lie unmarked. Therefore, apartment builders mustn't construct on this land, knowingly or unknowingly. As a buyer, you have to check out that the builder has obtained a clearance certificate for the construction.
Pollution Control Board NOC
The builder should obtain ‘Consent to Establish’ clearance from the State Pollution Control Board for any construction project inside the state of Kerala. As a buyer, you should check out to ensure that the certificate has been obtained.
Indian Railways NOC
The builder should also obtain an NOC from the Indian Railways in case the intended construction plot lies within a 30-metre radius of a railway track.
The Environment Protection Act of 1986 stipulates a mandatory environmental clearance for any construction work on plots of sizes that measure between 5000 sq. m. and 1,50,000 sq. m. The Ministry of Environment and Forests issues the clearance for construction so buildings only after ensuring that the local administrative authorities such as municipalities/panchayats have enforced the stipulations and ground rules according to the provisions of the act.
Clearance from the Fire Department
The Kerala Government stipulates that all high-rise buildings have to obtain a clearance certificate from the State Fire Department before and after construction. The department officials initially pay a visit to the construction plot and also study the building plan in detail. The next inspection occurs after the construction of the building to make sure that all the mandates of the Fire Department such as escape routes and fire control equipment are in place.
Clearance from Kerala Water Authority
The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has to issue mandatory permission to pump groundwater via bore wells or other means. The Authority also prohibits the construction of walls, private streets, fences, and other structures or buildings over existing sewers.
Zoning Clearance from the Revenue Department
The Revenue Department provides a zoning clearance certificate after ensuring that the land use or the proposed structure is allowed in the specific zoning district.
This clearance is sought by the builder from GAIL and IOC if the building is located within 30m of gas pipelines.
If the proposed construction project is adjacent to a National Highway, then it is required to have clearance from the NH department.
The builder must obtain all the requisite approvals. However, as a buyer, you have to ensure all approvals are in place for the future security of your home. It is also observed that associating with the best and most trusted builders can ensure hassle-free homeownership.
It is only a couple of months before the monsoon will come calling. Waterproofing means keeping your house dry and not allow water to penetrate to the inside of your home. This means there will be less humidity inside and consequently less damage.
Waterproofing frequently begins with checking your doors and windows for leaks and closing any to forestall damage due to heavy rains. We list a few basic ways in which you can rain-proof your home.
► Check for Leakages
Water seepage into the roofs and walls can not only cause long-term damage to the structures but also make for a damp and uncomfortable environment. This check is best done when there are light showers. Any wet patches on the walls/roofs indicate seepage through cracks. These can be fixed using adhesives and plaster and sealing these cracks.
If you are an upwardly-mobile millennial in India, you would have already realized the importance of worthwhile investments that you have to start making now. Having a home of your own is surely one of them. However, you would have also realized that buying a home is not that easy a job.
If you are planning to buy your first home, considering that you are young, you may require some sort of financial assistance to help buy your first home. Many banks and other financial institutions provide loans to eligible individuals which would help them buy their houses.
If you are at this juncture in your life, you must obtain a clear idea about how home loans and mortgages work in India. Committing hasty mistakes can cost you a great deal of money as home loans run for 20 to 30 years. This simple home loan guide will provide you with some basics that will help you when applying for a home loan in India.
What is a Home Loan?
A home loan is the amount of money that you borrow from any financial institution or bank of your choice at their specified rate of interest. The institution usually requires that you pay back the borrowed sum in the form of equated monthly instalments (EMIs) in a mutually agreed period.
In most cases, the borrower offers the property that they intend to purchase as collateral security against the money borrowed. In case you, the borrower, fail to pay off the loan as specified, the institution would sell the collateral security property to recover the outstanding amount.
Advantages of taking a home loan
Availing of a home loan is surely a long-term commitment for you. However, there are several advantages you enjoy in the longer term.
• Over time, the value of your house will appreciate and not depreciate. This means it can be a source of wealth for you in your later years.
• A home loan falls under the category of good debt as it is linked to the acquisition of an asset, unlike credit card loans. When you pay off the loan on time, your creditworthiness swings positively.
• A home loan comes with tax benefits. The payments that you make as interest towards a home loan, the interest you pay during the pre-construction period, the principal amount that you have repaid, the registration and stamp duty charges, etc., can all be used as deductions during the payment of taxes.
Different Types of Homes Loans in India
This is a loan using which you can buy a property under construction, a unit that is ready to move into, or one put up for a second sale. Typically, you can avail up to 85% of the cost of the dwelling when you take this loan.
Land Purchase Loan
Banks may provide loans to buy plots of land within the corporation/municipal limits. The interest rates are similar to that of regular home loans and the processing also follows the same steps. The usual limit for the loan amount is 70% of the plot value.
Home Construction Loan
If you want to construct a home and not buy a readymade dwelling unit and you want financial help for this, you should apply for a home construction loan. The application procedure and the processing of the documents are different in this case. You should have already purchased the plot where you plan to construct the house and the house should be built within a year.
Home Renovation/Expansion Loan
If you already own a home but want to remodel a room or expand the size of your home, you have to apply for a Renovation/Expansion loan. Institutions lend up to 75% of the expansion or renovations costs involved. The amount of loan sanctioned depends on many factors such as your age, your creditworthiness, your repayment ability, etc. The term of this type of loan is usually 15 years and you should be at least age 21 or above to apply for this type of loan.
NRI Home Loan
This loan is a variant of the regular home loan that helps non-resident Indians to buy property in their home country. The compliance aspects and application procedures are different for this type of loan.
Other loan types include home improvement loans, bridged, loans, home conversion loans, etc.
Eligibility and Documentation required for Application of Home Loans
The eligibility criteria for applying for home loans include:
• In India, you can be salaried, self-employed, or a business person to become eligible for applying for a home loan.
• You must have completed 18 years of age at least. Most banks/financial institutions offer home loans to salaried/self-employed in the age group of 18/21 years to 70 years.
• You should have a regular income to prove that you can repay the loan on time.
• Your savings history and professional stability are important.
• A bad credit history within three months before the application month can have a negative effect.
• The type of residence you currently stay in is taken into account.
Documents Required when applying for a Home Loan
When applying for a home loan, you are required to submit the following documents:
1.0 Completed loan application form with photos
2.0 Proof of identification (any one of the below)
Driving licence/ration card/passport/PAN card/ Voter’s ID card/ employee ID/bank passbook
3.0 Proof of age (any one of the below)
PAN card/birth certificate/10th standard mark sheet/bank passbook/passport/driving license
4.0 Proof of address (any one of the below)
Bank passbook/Bank account statement/Voter’s ID card/Ration card/Passport/Utility bill/LIC policy
5.0 Income Proof:
Salaried individuals (any one of the below)
• Form 16/Letter from employer (Appointment letter also required if you have been with the current employer for less than a year)/Last three months’ pay slip/Three years’ IT returns/Six months’ bank statement
Self Employed Businessmen (any one of the below)
• Last three years’ income tax returns /Last two years’ Balance Sheet and Profit and Loss Account
None of these lists is exhaustive and vary according to the lender’s requirements.
A home loan is a long-term commitment, and you should choose the loan wisely after clearly understanding your commitment during the term of the loan.