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Legal Documents Checklist for Buying an Apartment

The importance of having all the right legal documents, papers, approvals, and deeds before buying a home cannot be emphasized upon enough. Each of these documents are crucial to having a long, peaceful, and happy home ownership. Let us take a look at all the legal documents you will need for buying an apartment in the state of Kerala. 

Occupancy Certificate (OC)

The Occupation Certificate is issued by the local Municipal or Corporation authorities after an inspection of the completed building. During the verification process, the authorities  check if the construction of the completed building is the same as per the approved plans. At the end of the process, an Occupancy Certificate is issued after which the developer applies for door numbers of the individual homes of the apartment. 

In Kerala, a builder must also submit approvals from the Fire Force and Pollution COntrol Board for an Occupancy Certificate.

Sale deed and the possession certificate

Once the Occupation Certificate is granted and the buyer has cleared their dues, the developer files for registering the sale deed and apply for the Undivided Share (UDS) in favour of the home buyer. Once the sale deed and UDS are filed for, the homebuyer can apply for a possession certificate. 

Building Tax Receipt

The Building Tax receipt is a must-have for applying for an Electricity connection. It is granted to the buyer when they file for it once the sale deed is registered and the door number is obtained by the builder.

Electricity Board

The Kerala Electricity Board further grants electricity connection to the building once the Building Tax documents are verified. In most cases, the developer has already got a connection in their name that they may later transfer to the buyer. 

Sale Deed

The Sale Deed is one of the most important documents you will have during the process of the transaction. It is the one document that legalizes the sale and the transfer of ownership of the property. The Sale Deed covers crucial factors like the Undivided Share (UDS), the area of the land, the value of the land, the survey number, taluk and village that the land belongs to. 

Location Sketch

The location sketch is a document provided by the local village or municipal body. It is a permit with details of the number of plots, proposed built up area, amenities, car parking area etc. 

Encumbrance Certificate

The Encumbrance Certificate or EC is a document that has details of any liability that the land may have. For the sale of the land to be valid, an EC is an absolute must.

Joint Development Agreement

The Joint Development Agreement or JD is an agreement that the builder may have agreed for with a third party such as the land owner. The JD details the transfer of authority to the builder to proceed with construction activity.


The Building Approvals are permits granted to the construction of the building by the government bodies. Some of the most important approvals you may need are from:

Pollution Control Board

The Pollution Control Board issues a Consent to operate certificate that is necessary for a building construction commence. Though the PCB approval is not enlisted in the KErala Municipal Building Rules, it is essential to get one.

Coastal Regulatory Zone

The Coastal Regulatory Zone issues approvals for all construction, tourism, and development activities taking place in areas marked as CRZs. These regulations are levied to protect various water bodies close to oceans, to preserve the ecology of the oceans, and to promote the well-being of fisherfolk.


Association Formation

Once the Sale Deeds are registered, the builder then enables home owners to form an association for the apartment.

Vendor list and contacts

This is an important document for home owners to have after possession. It details the warranty details of the fixtures used in the building. The list of vendors is a document that homeowners can use when they have servicing requirements.

It is always best to invest in a home or apartment with a reputed builder to avoid any discrepancy in the long term. We hope our list of documents will come handy when you are buying your dream home. 


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