Things to keep in mind before taking possession of your house

Possession of a property should take place once all defects are taken care of.

After your holiday home has been constructed, it’s time to take possession of the same. This is the last step to becoming the proud owner of your property and reading further, you will realise how important a step it is. No doubt you would be excited to take possession. But hold on! Prepare a detailed handover report before you give the developer his last payment.

In practice, when the developer or contractor deems his contractual obligations to be completed, he will send a completion notice to the buyer requesting final or further payment, following which, the buyer can take possession. 

But the buyer may wish to verify that all work has been completed as mentioned in the Sale & Purchase Agreement (SPA). To address such conflicting interests, both parties should agree to a proper, written, handover report. 

Pre-Handover Inspection:


You, the buyer, can now proceed with an on-site inspection, once you receive the completion notice from the developer. Thoroughly check that your doors, windows, ceiling, tiles, piping and installations conform to the descriptions in your SPA. It is a good idea to take the SPA for the pre-handover inspection and compare with the final product.




The Handover Report:


A handover report helps the buyer of a newly constructed home to identify any outstanding defects or incomplete finishes before he moves in. This will help minimize the risk of dispute over non-conformities related to the construction of your property. The importance of a proper handover report is often overlooked at the time of executing the SPA, which should not be the case.

If you find any defects or non-conformities, make sure that you draft a formal letter with all the issues and submit in writing to the developer. Make sure that the cost of rectifying all defects due to defective material and workmanship is borne by the developer or contractor. Also give him a time-frame to complete them. Under no circumstances should you sign the possession letter nor make the last payment.

In a nutshell, it is advisable that both the developer or the contractor and the buyer agree on proper handover procedures so as to avoid confusion regarding the responsibilities at the time of completion and delivery of the property.

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