[ecis2016.org] A project’s correct handover from the builder to the owners’ organisation is important. We look at some ways to streamline this process
Apartment buyers often complain about difficulties, such as delayed handovers and inefficacies in their units. On the other hand, building-level faults are far more complex and usually overlooked, ranging from serious flaws and unfinished construction, to lack of documentation, inappropriate maintenance post-handover, among others. Managing committees (MCs) may lack both, awareness and resources, at first. Consequently, issues may keep re-emerging, causing the society association to spend a considerable amount of money on fixes, with little cooperation from the builder. The transition or handover process, with its financial, operational and technical aspects, can be difficult to define. However, it is the most pressing difficulty, as a residents’ association prepares to administer its operations.Owing to this, a unit’s correct handover from the builder to the owners’ organisation is important.
You are reading: How to ensure a smooth handover from the builder to the residents’ association
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SaaS-based community management organisations are driving the change
Community management organisations are bringing builders, MCs and residents together, to discuss and eliminate hurdles in the Indian residential real estate sector. These organisations are emerging in the real estate market to streamline the handover process through new technologies and adding basic amenities in houses and societies.
Community management service providers use end-to-end complete SaaS platforms, to help self-managed associations run effectively. Furthermore, they assist businesses that manage properties in a better and efficient way. They also assist builders in bringing property owners to their platforms. Such initiatives help builders to provide a positive customer experience to their buyers.
Ways to ensure successful handovers
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Once the MC is created and the handover process begins, the association must require all related documents from the builder. This is perhaps the most crucial aspect, because once the builder has handed over the building to the society, any future compliances related to the building will be the duty of the society.
As a result, it is vital that the association or managing committee have all the information or documents pertaining to the following:
Occupancy certificate: Certificates of completion and occupancy possession are confirmation from the builder that the building was built in accordance with the approved plan and government regulations. If the builder is unable to present these credentials, then, either the building codes may have been violated or the original construction plans may have been compromised. In either case, it is illegal to occupy a building/flat that lacks an occupancy certificate.
No-objection certificate: A No-objection certificate (NOC) is issued when there are no objections to the certificate’s covenants. A builder must submit an NOC from the fire, water, and pollution departments to the resident’s welfare association (RWA).
Community management organisations use a variety of technologies, to highlight concerns that need to be addressed by the builder before owners take over. This procedure would also ensure that all the equipment supplied by the builder is in working order. During the handover of facilities, it is the builder’s responsibility to transfer utility connections such as electricity and water to the RWA. If the builder is unable to do so, he must provide an NOC certificate for the same.
Maintenance charges: Typically, the amount of the maintenance charges is not mentioned during the sale and is divulged only at the time of handover. Maintenance charges are levied for the upkeep of the society and common facilities, such as lobbies, elevators, gardens, parking places and centralised services such as power and air-conditioning. While selling their units, builders commit to a number of amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, clubhouses, etc. However, some facilities may get delayed or fall short of the standard promised. Hence, the society should be sure that all amenities are available and in accordance with the sale agreement.
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Resident’s manual or bye-laws: The residents’ manual is essentially a detailed list of standards that all future inhabitants of the building must adhere to. This is typically created over a few months with inputs from all residents. This mostly comprises the maintenance charges, payment process, allocation of finances, clubhouse administration, hours for external vendors to work in case of fit out work, parking rules, among others. This document would be given to everybody who moves into the building and would control the processes and protocols that all inhabitants must adhere to.
Attaining successful real estate activity management
A typical multi-storey apartment building (or complex of many buildings) has various parts, each of which is essential for the occupants’ quality of life. When taking over, it is critical that MCs follow established protocols, such as documenting information, using the right tools to address difficult situations, and doing an audit before warranties expire. Currently, in India, the average housing estate has 300 flats, up from 50 units 10 years ago. Large, gated communities with many clubhouses and dozens of towers can contain up to 3,000 units. As a result, streamlining of handover processes and good community management, are the need of the hour.
The management of the modern real estate market entails a number of areas, including facilities management, financial management, vendor management and most importantly, communication and handover management, to create a cohesive and networked community. It is difficult to imagine maintaining all these details without a community management platform or an engaging homeowner app. SaaS-based community management firms are, thus, striving to develop new and effective methods to streamline the handover processes for both, builders, as well as buyers.
(The writer is co-founder and COO, ADDA)
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