Know your Rights: Co-operative housing societies – issues and resolution

It is the duty of the members to elect the right representatives who would be willing to resolve problems effectively

Bimal BhutaUpdated: Monday, September 05, 2022, 09:05 AM IST
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A cooperative society (CHS) is an association of individuals who come together with the intention to promote a common interest. These societies work on the principle of self-help as well as mutual help.

It is the duty of the members to elect the right representatives who would be willing to resolve problems effectively.

The committee members, in turn, should perform their duties without expecting any privileges. Peaceful dialogue should be the first choice of all parties involved.

Approaching authorities can be the final option.

Issues faced by housing society members & possible solutions:

Issues with promoters / builders

Various issues are faced by society members such as sale of open parking space, non-execution of conveyance, nonfurnishing of statement of accounts, occupation certificate and building completion certificate not obtained, nonhanding over of original documents of title and not transferring the property card in favour of the society.

Solution

a) Consumer Court can be approached for deficiency of service

b) Request police authorities to file an FIR.

c) File a case in criminal court for cheating, criminal breach of trust and violation of provisions under the MOFA Act

d) Complaint can be filed with Urban Land Ceiling Department for conveyance issues.

Parking Issues: Non / unfair allotment of parking space

One slot is allowed per member to park their vehicle. When there is a shortage of slots, a draw is used to determine the parking arrangements. Visitors are also legally allowed to park their vehicles inside the society, allotment of guest parking is 5 per cent of total parking slots.

Solution

a) Draw attention of the office bearers to the provisions of Development Control Rules of Greater Mumbai & byelaws of the society.

b) Approach the Registrar's office

c) Approach Co-operative Court

Nuisance caused by residents

There are complaints by members such as residents playing loud music at odd hours, littering on society premises, playing cricket / other sports after prescribed play hours in gardens, members getting in scuffles with watchmen and other staff, smoking and drinking in common areas of the society, among others.

Solution

a) Managing committee should prepare a clear list of 'dos and don'ts' to be affixed on the society notice board

b) Written complaint can be filed against the offenders with the secretary of the society

c) The society can reprimand, penalise and even expel repeat offenders

d) A police complaint can also be filed as a legal remedy

Not holding society elections on time

Housing societies operate on the laws of democracy, where the members have the right to contest an election or nominate a candidate of their choice. At times there are issues such as the managing committee refusing to conduct fresh elections and retaining their position to misuse their authority.

Solution

a) Complaint can be made to the managing committee member which should be responded to within 15 days

b) Approach the Registrar's office

c) Approach the Co-operative Court

Exorbitant transfer charges

Among the many expenses that home buyers have to bear, are the transfer charges that cooperative housing societies charge on the sale and transfer of shares and rights to the flats in a building. Societies insist on payment of a transfer premium, at the time of sale of the shares and rights in a flat by a member.

Section 79 of the Cooperative Societies Act says that the premium amount of transfer charge should not exceed Rs 25,000.

Solution

a) Managing committee violating the provision can be disqualified

b) Approach the Registrar after issuing a legal notice to the society / managing committee members

c) Approach the Co-operative & Consumer Courts

(The writer is a Vile Parlebased social activist)

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