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Real LeadIf you are renovating a house, apartment or a commercial space, you will need to obtain written approval from the governing authority of the area in which the property is located before beginning the renovation process.

Approval usually takes about a week to process, and in order to obtain it, property owners must submit a written application that specifies the projected renovations (even if they are minor ones, such as altering the façade of a house marginally) along with the following documents:

A No Dues Certificate (NDC). This can be obtained from the Cantonment Board. This document certifies that all dues (including property tax, transfer tax, water and conservancy charges, property mutation fees and refurbishment charges) have been paid by the owner to the relevant authorities.

Approved Property Plan. This is the original approved plan of the property in question, and usually dates to the time when the property was constructed.

Renovation work may begin once a written approval has been obtained; however, property owners should keep in mind that renovation work on a house is limited to the area within the property’s boundary walls. In the case of apartments, renovation should not extend beyond the existing covered area.

While the renovation work is in progress, vigilance teams of concerned authorities usually check on the progress periodically to make sure that renovation bylaws are not being violated.

However, certain types of renovations are usually not allowed under any circumstances.

These include:

  • The construction of a structure (such as domestics’ quarters, a car porch, terrace or staircase) within the specified Compulsory Open Space (COS) of the property.
  • In the case of a house, the construction of rooms on the third storey.
  • Any construction that requires altering beams.
  • Room extensions.
  • Adding a staircase.

– Mohammad Shafi Jakvani
The writer is CEO, Citi Associates.            

First Published on February 9, 2014 in the Real Estate Section of the Dawn National Weekend Advertiser.