Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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You should know your rights as a housing society member?

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housing society, cooperative housing society, mumbai society

Co-operative societies are largely a voluntary endeavour and the committee members are more often than not law-abiding citizens. It only behooves individual members to do their part and contribute positively towards the idea of communal living. But most of the time these volunteers take the residents for granted by throwing unwanted weight. As a resident of the owner of the flat, you must know your rights.

Model bye-laws can be quite bewildering if it is your first time as a member of a co-operative. However, with a little personal effort and research, the law can most definitely be turned into a trusted ally rather than a tormentor. Knowledge of your rights makes your life easier; not just because it encourages compliance with model bye-laws, but also because it helps you handle regular life scenarios more effectively.

We often face uncertain or unwanted situations in life that demand attention, forcing certain changes in our schedules and plans. Knowing your basic rights with respect to your living situation makes you well-prepared for such times. Whether you need to relocate to a different city, want to rent your apartment, suspect any malpractice in the society’s committee, feel the need to voice your opinions and ideas for the betterment of the society, or simply just wish to be a part of the bigger picture of a gated community, it makes complete sense to know your rights as a member first and foremost.

The biggest irony is that the said ‘Rights of Members in a CHS’, remains only on paper, never implemented in total due to loopholes in the system. The committee with the support of their favourite members manipulate the rules as per their own whims & fancies, they do not hesitate to exploit the innocent honest members of CHS who end up as a victim fighting a lone battle against Corrupt & Mal be practice if the arrogant Sec/ Chairman & Treasurer. Due to long protocols & multiple window systems, the so-called competent authorities also give a deaf ear to the grievances of the member.

In case of grievances first, you make a written request to the social committee and take an acknowledgement. And if the committee doesn’t provide you with the information required by you say within 15 days of your letter, you can file a complaint at Registrar. Most of the time the Officials in Registrar’s office are never responsive to any such initiative or complaints. You have to have that nag on following up with these registrars. Housing societies are governed bound via the implementation of the respective By-Laws of the respective state. You have to file a formal complaint i the housing society. Do contact a lawyer practising in real estate who can access the details of your particulars and represent you to your apartment committee.

A new form, M-20, has been inserted whereby elected members of managing committees have to declare they are jointly and severally responsible for all the acts and omissions detrimental to the interests of the society.

“Lack of professionalism, transparency, insider/connected borrowing, and political interference is the bane of cooperative banks. This has taken a toll on their financial health. The new measure will deter managing committee members from taking arbitrary decisions,” said a senior co-operative banker. According to another co-operative banker, the new rules could prove to be the proverbial double-edged sword.

So under the new rules, if an advance which was extended during the tenure of a member goes bad, he will be liable for it even if he ceases to be a member of the managing committee,” he explained. Residents of co-operative housing societies, who normally are reluctant to take up the honorary responsibility of looking after the affairs of the society, are expected not to join managing committees. Every elected member of the managing committee of a society shall execute a bond on a stamp paper, as provided under the Bombay Stamp Act, 1958, within 15 days of his assuming office.

The chief executive officer/secretary of the society shall receive such bonds and keep them in the records of the society and accordingly inform the Registrar of Societies within 15 days from the formation of the committee.

Further, under the rules, a provisional list of voters should be prepared by every notified society in the year in which the election of the society is due to be held. Persons who have completed a minimum of two years as members from the date of their enrolment should be included in the provisional list.

The Registrar, Cooperative Societies, has become irritating for the residents. The committee members feel as powerful as the president of this country and take the residents on a ride randomly over their own issues. Most of the time the residents become victims of such circumstances due to a lack of unawareness. They misunderstand that the social committee is the supreme power.

Under the Cooperative Societies Act, the powers of the Cooperative Committee and the rights of residents are clearly specified. Moreover, every society member should seek a copy of dos and don’ts, along with society formation agenda. You have every right to seek accountability from committee members.


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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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