Live in A Housing Society? Know Your Legal Rights
Flats and apartments are the most common form of housing today. Even those who can afford to build a house on their own land often prefer to live in a housing society for the sheer comfort that they provide. But, there are several terms and conditions which you have to meet as a member of a housing society.
To begin with, you have to furnish all your rights details with the authorities, failing which the governing body may initiate action. You also have to maintain a certain decorum as a member of a housing society. Any oversight in this regard may end up in you losing your property ownership.
As the member, you also have certain rights.
You can inspect the book
In the form of maintenance and many such charges, your housing society earns a handsome amount from the members. It is only evident a member would like to know how the money is being spent. So, can you approach the top body and demand to have a look at the account book? You certainly can!
The society is legally bound to provide to you the last audited annual balance sheet. You can also ask for a copy of the profit and loss account. If case you want to dig deeper into the rules governing the society, you can demand a copy of the Act, the rules and the bye-laws. Also at your disposal should be the information about members of the committee, the minutes of general meetings, etc. Any information you seek, the society has to provide you within one month's time.
Also read: What To Do When You Don't Have An RWA?
Smell a rat? You could report this
Upon examining the papers, you discover some goof ups. What can you do now? Well, you can share this information with other members and approach the registrar to take action against the top governing body. The registrar will then hold an inquiry into the “constitution, working, and financial condition” of the registered society. In case of the accusations of wrong doings are well-founded, the society may lose its registration, and the governing body may eventually be junked.
Can you borrow money from your housing society?
Are you facing some financial trouble and are considering approaching a bank over the matter. You can alternatively ask you housing society to lend you money. Under the provisions of the Co-Operative Society Act, a society can lend money to its members.
What if you housing society tries to expel you?
Your housing society can cancel your membership, which in turn may amount to you losing your ownership over your property. While there are many conditions to be fulfilled before a housing society moved such a proposal, a member is given an equal opportunity to fight his case.
According to Section 35 of the Maharashtra Co-Operative Societies Act, 1916, a society can “expel a member for acts which are detrimental to the interest or proper working of the society”. But, for that, it has to get passed a resolution by at least three-fourths of members by conduction a general body meeting. Further, this resolution will not be valid unless the member is given an opportunity of representing his case to the general body. The resolution will also need the Registrar's approval to come into effect.