The Occupation Permit of a first-hand residential property project has not been issued due to retaining wall and slope work. If we take into account the issuing of a Certificate of Compliance by the Lands Department, the delivery of possession is expected to happen in June this year. What is an Occupation Permit? What is a Certificate of Compliance? How do they affect property developers’ delivery of possession? In this article, we will respond to these questions.
Occupation Permit VS Certificate of Compliance
Occupation Permit (OP) is issued by the Buildings Department. Developers could commence building works after the architectural drawing has been approved. The architect of the developer would apply for an Occupation Permit upon building’s completion. Afterwards, the Buildings Department would carry out inspection and examine if the building is structurally safe and complies with the requirements, building purpose and numbers of flats on each floor. Usually an Occupation Permit would be issued if the building is constructed according to the architectural drawing. The Transport and Housing Bureau would announce quarterly statistics of private domestic unit completions based on the number of Occupation Permits.
Certificate of Compliance (CC) is issued by the Lands Department. The government would require the construction of pedestrian access, bridges or greening works when it comes to land disposals and land sales. The Lands Department would issue Certificate of Compliance once the obligations have been complied with. The department’s website shows the information of Certificate of Compliance each quarter. For example, there were 4 Certificates of Compliance issued in the 4th quarter of 2019.
How do Occupation Permit and Certificate of Compliance affect the delivery of property unit?
Usually developers could only apply for a Certificate of Compliance from Lands Department after the Buildings Department issued an Occupation Permit, which takes another 3 to 6 months. Developers could only deliver the property after obtaining both OP and CC. In the case of forfeiture of deposit, the developer is expected to deliver the property a year later as it has to wait for the CC approval. Nevertheless, CC is not required if it involves redevelopment of old buildings with an existing land lease, but mortgage application would be more complicated.
How to check Occupation Permit
(1) Please visit the Land Registry’s Integrated Registration Information System (IRIS) website, and order the memorial (HK$10 fee) to know the memorial number, then search for related land documents with the memorial number (HK $100 fee).
(2) Please visit the Buildings Department’s BRAVO website, or visit Building Information Centre (2nd Floor, Buildings Department Headquarters, North Tower, West Kowloon Government Offices, 11 Hoi Ting Road, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon), and apply for a copy of Occupation Permit, the fee would be HK$45 per copy of a certified OP and HK$38 per copy of a non-certified OP.
How to check Certificate of Compliance?
Please visit the Land Registry’s Integrated Registration Information System (IRIS) website and order the memorial (HK$10 fee) to know the memorial number, then search for related land documents with the memorial number (HK $100 fee).