A housing society meeting may not appeal to you, especially if petty matters are discussed. It can be exhausting knowing your water pump will be fixed or when your sinking fund will be used. It is crucial to attend these meetings and know your society's rules for two reasons. You own your home, and managing it does not require qualifications. This article discusses Housing Society Bye Laws & Member Rights in depth.
Managing committee positions are also honorary, so those who hold them are not even compensated. Committee members may be inept, uninvolved or, worst of all, fraudsters. It is, however, the committee that determines how much maintenance fees you must pay per month, gives a no-objection certificate (NOC) if your flat is to be rented out, and determines what fee should be paid for transferring interest. The purpose of this report is to inform you about your rights as a member of a co-operative, about the procedures to be followed by the managing committee, and about whom to complain if they don’t follow them.
Housing Society Bylaws
The actions of all co-operative society members, insofar as they affect other members or the building itself, are governed by a set of rules. These rules, or bylaws as they are more often called, must conform with the co-operative act or rules in force in that region. In Delhi, for example, it is Delhi Co-operative Societies Act, 2003 and Delhi Co-operative Societies Rules, 2007.
A society may frame its own bylaws, so long it doesn’t contradict the act, with the approval of the concerned authority (Registrar, Co-operative Societies in Delhi). In most cases, though, societies use the model byelaws that are provided, coupled with the provisions relating to housing societies in the rules and act.
At times, states also release amendments to the model byelaws. This was done for Mumbai in 2009. However, law relating to housing societies is flexible. So there’s no compulsion for any Mumbai society to adopt the new byelaws.
Rights of a Member
Right to inspect the books: As a member, you’re free to inspect, free of cost, the society’s books of accounts during the society’s office hours. You may request the last audited annual balance sheet, or the profit and loss account, and those portions of the books and records in which his transactions with the society have been recorded.
You may also get a copy of these on payment of a fee (to be decided by the society), if you wish to have them examined by an external auditor. In Maharashtra, an application by a single member alleging mismanagement of funds is enough to begin an enquiry under section 91 of the relevant act.
Right to vote: Each unit of a housing society is allowed one vote in an election. If your spouse, for example, owns another house in the building, she will also get one vote. It’s not one family, one vote. Even defaulters have the right to vote.
Right to minutes of meeting: A co-operative can hold two types of meetings for the general body – annual general meeting (AGM) and special general body meeting. The third is a meeting of only the managing committee members. In all three cases, the minutes of the meeting are recorded. If you’ve missed a meeting or wish to know what exactly took place during a managing committee meeting, you may ask for the minutes. Similarly, you may also ask for the act or bye-laws.
Registration of society
A co-operative society is the perfect fit for a residential building as flat-owners have common needs (water connection, watchmen, etc) and interests (maintenance of common areas, such as the terrace and compound). If you’ve purchased a flat in a new building, it would probably be best if you took interest in forming a society.
The builder may also be statutorily obligated to form a society. For example, under Maharashtra Flat Ownership Act, 1963, a builder must form a society within four months of selling 60% of the flats. But you needn’t wait for the builder to form the society. In many states, including Delhi and Maharashtra, ten flat-owners are enough to promote a co-operative housing society.
A building without a housing society usually indicates that there is a dispute between members or a general lack of interest. If you’re considering buying a house in a building where the society has not been formed, find out what the problem is. If the builder does not form a society, rights to the terrace and the compound continue to rest with him. Here’s what you need to do Register a housing society:
1) Submit an application for registration to the Registrar (forms available at www.rcs.delhigivt.nic.in, in case of Delhi).
2) Along with the application, you need to submit the byelaws the society wishes to adopt and the names and occupations of the promoters of the co-operative.
3) Pay the registration fees. In Andhra Pradesh, this amount will be 1% of the total authorised share capital, subject to a minimum of ₹100 and maximum of ₹10,000.
4) The minutes of the meeting in which the byelaws were adopted. Each housing society has a share capital, which will be paid up equally by the residents of the society, regardless of the size of the flat. Within six months of allotment, the member should receive a share certificate in this regard, according to the byelaws of Mumbai.
The bylaws may also be amended by a resolution passed by the general body. Each such amendment must be approved by the registrar, however, in Andhra Pradesh, approval is not required except if the amendment is of strategic interest to the members. For any queries or suggestions leave us your comment below.
- What is the role of committee members in Housing Society?
- What is the purpose of forming a cooperative society?