Ever wondered why the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) is important for homeowner? Here, we drill down into the details of this certificate, how is it different from the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO), and who is the Principal Submitting Person (PSP)? Read on to find out.
Your house may be ready, but is it safe to live in or rent out?
The Certificate of Completion and Compliance (or known as CCC) is incredibly important because it ensures the safety of your house’s occupants and can be used to determine if your house is in a livable condition. In fact, this is one of the most important documents that should be given to you by the developer upon the completion of the building you purchased.
What is the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) and why is it so important?
This certificate is an official recognition that the building is fit for the purpose it was built for, meaning that it has been well-constructed and suitable for occupants to live in. It’s a mandatory self-certified document and enforced under the Street, Drainage and Building (Amendment) Act 2007.
The process of the building development will be documented during the CCC process, and this certificate requires all responsible parties to sign-off on it, verifying that the building has been properly constructed, ensuring that the design and construction are carried out in accordance with the national standards set such as in the Uniform Building By-Laws 1984. This also includes a comprehensive review of construction elements such as the foundation work, earthworks, plumbing, drainage, landscaping, street lighting, and fire safety in designated premises.
All measures are taken into account, as every phase of the development needs to be addressed and validated in order for the building to be safe to occupy. We definitely don’t want to end up with a roof that can be blown off by the wind upon the first month of moving in, do we?
Why is the CCC so important for homeowners?
Just like you want to be given a clean bill of health by the doctors after being discharged from the hospital, the CCC works similarly for homeowners. It’s important that the certificate issued to you, as a homeowner, so that you are officially guaranteed that your property is safe enough to live in. It is actually an offence in Malaysia to occupy a building that has yet to be CCC-certified. It’s a good enough reason for homeowners to not take this lightly.
This is also why homeowners should be cautious when accepting the Notice of Vacant Possession (VP). It is important to ensure the final CCC is obtained beforehand. It’s also common practice that the CCC is issued alongside the VP.
What’s the difference between the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) and the Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO)?
The Certificate of Fitness for Occupation (CFO) is the predecessor of the CCC. The latter was introduced and was implemented in April 2007, replacing the CFO. The CFO used to be issued by the local government authority and was often a lengthy process with too much red tape in bureaucracy. Hence, it was deemed to be inefficient. The process also required the authorities to visit the site and give their approval to it. This often caused delays in signing off on completed buildings, especially since there were limited resources available within the local authorities for technical tasks.
The new CCC, on the other hand, is a more efficient and self-regulated process where the sign-off is shared amongst the Principal Submitting Person (PSP). The local authority is also involved in the process of issuing the CCC, and they can conduct random checks at the construction site. They can also direct the PSP to withhold issuing the CCC if any problems are found and rectifications are needed. This way, the local authorities still hold the highest power in the CCC process, as they are required to approve the planning permissions and building plans. They also need to report and charge any parties who may have provided false certifications.
Who is the Principal Submitting Person (PSP) and can homeowners trust PSP?
The Principal Submitting Person (PSP) consists of a group of professionals including the professional architects, engineer and building draughtsman. They are all bound by their respective duties and responsibilities.
These professionals are not your regular contractors; they are required to be registered with their respective professional boards under the law relating to their field. For example, the Architects Act 1967 or Registration of Engineers Act 1967 (revised 2015).
What are the PSP’s duties and responsibilities?
Among the duties and responsibilities of the PSP outlined in the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 (amended 2007) include:
- Supervising the erection and the completion of the building to ensure the construction is in accordance with the approved plans
- Ensuring the building has been ‘duly constructed and completed’ as stipulated and according to the approved building plans and the requirements set out by the laws as well as to ensure and comply all ‘technical conditions imposed by the local authority’
- Ensuring the building is safe and fit to inhabit
Apart from the points mentioned above, the PSP is also responsible for reporting any breach or issues to the local authority and ensuring all rectification work (of any breach) is carried out during the construction. They are also involved from the start of the construction – with PSP submitting all the plans to the local authority for approval – to its completion.
How does the CCC process work?
The CCC is a self-regulated and self-certified process where it only deals with technical elements of the building construction. It works well to ensure the homeowners are able to occupy their homes as soon as possible without compromising their safety.
With the CCC process, each construction phase is required to be endorsed by the professionals. They will be obligated to complete the 21-stage certification process (also known as Form G) –– from the start of earthworks to the final touch of landscaping.
With this method in place, the quality of construction work can be supervised easily and immediate action can be taken on by the party who has failed to meet the mandatory requirements set out in the building works.
In fact, the entire process of CCC has its checks and balances (in the eyes of the law), as any parties found to produce false declarations, certificates, applications or representations of any form of the CCC process is punishable by law.
When can the PSP issue the CCC?
It is important that the PSP ensures all 21 stages of Form G certifications are duly completed and certified before the issuance of CCC.
Besides that, it is also a responsibility of the PSP to ensure that all clearances are in place and technical works required by the local authority are carried out. With that, PSP has to deposit a copy of the CCC, together with all the Form Gs, to the local authority and respective professional boards.
The PSP must also ensure the following essential services are provided:
- Confirmation of electricity supply;
- Confirmation of water supply;
- Confirmation of connection to sewage treatment plant or septic tanks;
- If applicable, clearance from factories and machinery department for lifts;
- Clearance for active firefighting and safety systems (exception for residential buildings lower than 18m height): and
- Clearance for roads and drainage systems.
Your home will be ready for you to move in if you have accepted the Notice of Vacant Possession (VP). It is crucial that this document comes together with your final CCC. Your final CCC is a single proof of a document that the building you purchased is fit for human habitation and that you are legally allowed to live in. Remember, it is a legal offence to occupy a non-CCC certified building. This also applies to your tenants if you are planning to rent your unit out.
Be cautious as well if your building is only issued with a ‘partial CCC’, meaning that it is only partially certified. Do not fall into this trap, as it is expressly stated in the law that a ‘partial CCC’ is not acceptable for the issuance of a VP.
Always be careful and check the final documents you receive before officially accepting them.
Written by Geraldine