Checklist before buying apartment - Part 1 - Learn from others mistakes

There is a famous saying "One must always learn from other mistakes to be more successful in life" . Yes , this motherhood statement applies if you are searching for a new apartment , your dream home .

In this series , we share articles shared by our readers - their experiences while buying an apartment , mistakes they made which they realized after buying apartment , problems and solutions which may be helpful for some buying new apartment.

Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) 

A must have important items in your checklist before buying an apartment . Government has made a mandate for all apartments having more than 50 flats to compulsorily have an STP installed within apartment premises for removing the contaminates from sewage water pipes before letting out to drainage systems outside . 

Our blog follower Mr.Muralidhar resident of an apartment of more than 100 flats in south Bangalore says - "I was always interested to buy an apartment which has Occupancy Certificate (OC) issued by the municipality which ensures everything is well covered by Builder . But later after 1 year came to know even though the approved plan shows STP , builder never had one constructed and somehow had managed to get OC !! " - Now they are facing the hard notices from pollution boards to install STP 

Another resident Mrs.Chandini Shekar shared - "We made a big mistake without carefully going through the approved plans of builder and are now struggling spending time fighting with pollution board every week . In our apartment neither we have space to construct a new one , and all these sophisticated systems come at a hefty rates ranging between Rs. 10 to 25 lakhs for a mid sized apartment , How can a middle class family person afford to spend hard earned money Rs.50K more for such things which builders should have provided".

Usually some builders may not indicate explicitly in building plan documents which they share with purchaser and these plans have to be carefully reviewed under a legal adviser.  Ask these questions to builder -

  • What kind of Sewage treatment is present in the apartment ?

  • Is the layout provided with drainage systems by City Development boards ?

  • Is STP installed , how old is the system , how is STP connected to layout drainage ?
  • What is the capacity of STP approved in building plan ?
  • Has the builder received a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from pollution board post STP implementation ?
  • Has the builder paid all betterment charges to Water & Sewage Board and received NOC ?

Inspect such spots , understand the capacity of such plants . These shall be sized based on total sewage output of an apartment and measured in Kilo Litres per Day (KLD) . A 100 flat apartment usually requires a 70 to 80 KLD system in place for efficient management of waste. 

State pollution boards and National Green Tribunals conduct random inspection at apartment sites and send notices if found not complying to standards. Hence it is very important you check this at early stages of your apartment buying negotiations , include clauses in your sale deeds and agreements on STP inclusion , else you may end up spending 20 to 50K extra at a later stage and complications. 

Do share your such experiences !