How can a cooperative housing society make provision for waterproofing the terrace since during monsoon water leakage causes inconvenience to top floor residents?
Patrick D’souza, Bandra
Terrace is a common area utilised by all members of the society. Bye Law 68 requires the society to keep the terrace leak-proof well before the monsoon using its own funds. The society can utilise the ‘repair and maintenance fund’ or ‘sinking fund” for waterproofing the terrace. Further, the society is also required to repair the damaged ceiling and plaster in the top floor flats caused by leakage of rainwater through the terrace. In case the society is falling short of funds, it may collect the amount required from members as per the decision of the general body. In such cases all members are required to contribute towards the repair of the terrace and top floor flats. Such collection is often a matter of dispute, since those living on the lower floors do not want to pay since they are not affected by leakage of the terrace. In such cases, the society can take action for recovery of dues.
A flat in our society has been purchased by another member in a bank auction. The purchaser knows that there are certain dues pending with regard to the flat bought by him. Can the society recover the dues from the new flat purchaser?
Sanjana Parte, Dahisar
At the time of auction, the bank makes it clear that the sale of flat is on an ‘as is where is basis’ and also lays down the terms and conditions. The bidders are given an inspection of the property and also sufficient time to find out about the outstanding amounts. The onus of due diligence is on the bidder before placing the bid. In case a member of your society has purchased a flat in the auction, he ought to have been aware of the obligations attached to the flat. Thus, if any amount is outstanding the society may recover it from the new owner at the time of transfer of the flat in his name.
Some members of our society do not attend meetings and do not file objections when the minutes are circulated. But later they complain about the proceedings. How can the managing committee deal with complaints?
Amit Rathi, Kanjur Marg
It is necessary that all the members attend the meetings of the society and point out the omissions or mistakes in the minutes of the meeting circulated by the managing committee. It is not right on the part of the member/s not to attend meetings and later raise questions. The cooperative commissioner issued a circular on May 4, 2023, in this regard. Your managing committee is not required to respond to the complaints of such members. It can direct such complainants to approach the respective forum as per Bye Law 174 and file a complaint with the registrar of cooperative court.
The questions are answered by Sharmila Ranade, a legal expert associated with Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.
The questions, in brief, may be sent to email@example.com