Here's How You Can Complain Against Oppressive Rules Set By An RWA
Modern-day living is driven by community support and hence, in a housing society, Resident Welfare Associations or RWAs have become inevitable. It seeks to simplify housing complex level issues. Here's why RWAs today are almost your saving grace:
- Planning, improving and ensuring better living standards
- Empowering residents to identify areas of conflict while coming up with solutions
- Effective fund utilisation
- Addressing common issues in a practical manner
- Ease of communication
But what can you do if you are not happy with the way your RWA is functioning?
RWAs can be difficult to deal with if not competent. It turns out to be more of a harassment than help. An RWA or the Apartment Owners Association can be sued by any of the members or group of members. If you see a diversion or conflict of interest with respect to the byelaws of this association, a meeting should be held discussing issues in this regard.
Most RWAs prepare for such incidents and therefore, the byelaws may contain information about how and to whom should issues be directed to in the first place. All appeals against the decision of the Managing Committee is usually escalated to the General Body of the Association. The appeal is given to the Secretary in writing and the same is placed before the General Body. The decision of the General Body shall be final and will be communicated to the member concerned in writing.
If problems persist, residents can approach the Registrar of Societies which has the right to cancel the registration of the association. As a last resort, residents can move the court of law as well. These day various residents have been resorting to online forums to bring issues of concern to the fore.
Similarly, even when the Association is dissolved due to any reason, the course of action thereon is usually pre-decided especially with regard to liabilities, left-over properties/ assets etc.
Provisions under Societies Registration Act 1860 lays down the following:
“Every society registered under this Act may sue or be sued in the name of President, Chairman, or Principal Secretary, or trustees, as shall be determined by the rules and regulations of the society and, in default of such determination, in the name of such person as shall be appointed by the governing body for the occasion.”
What makes RWAs mandatory
RWAs are non-political and non-sectarian which makes it the best channel to take up issues that are affecting the residents of the apartment complex and giving it a voice whenever and wherever needed. All RWAs need to be registered and come under a specific jurisdiction which makes it liable to punishment/penalty in case of defaults or lawlessness.
In short, RWAs usually take up addressing each and every aspect of your community life- promote friendly relations amongst residents, ensure availability of civic amenities like water, sanitation, maintenance of roads, parks, street lighting, take up issues related to enforcement of prohibition of causes like drug abuse, procurement of funds for donations or subscriptions, welfare activities such as cooperative medical stores, medical/educational camps, employ help such as carpenters, plumbers, electricians and fix remuneration, promote non-political legal issues of residents and most of all ensure safety and security of residents besides many social, philanthropic activities. RWA's can also collaborate with urban local bodies (ULB) to implement the priority projects through ULBs' funds or through the Councilor /MLA/MP funds.
Therefore, it makes sense to have an effective RWA.