The Maharashtra State Consumer Commission on Monday upheld a central Mumbai district consumer forum order directing a co-operative housing society in Mahim to refund charges of Rs 500 per month being recovered from dog owners.
The Commission observed there was no ruling that stopped housing societies from levying additional charges on members having pet dogs, given that the animals use the lift and cause inconvenience to other residents.
In this case, however, the Commission noted that OLVPS Co-operative Housing Society had not followed proper procedure while passing the resolution to levy the extra charge on members. It therefore upheld the order of the district forum.
In 2009, two society members – Allwyn D’Souza and Eleanor D’Souza – had approached the central Mumbai district consumer forum seeking a direction to the housing society not to levy additional charges of Rs 500 on them for their pet dogs’ use of the elevator. They had also sought a refund of the charges already collected by the society.
The district forum later ordered the housing society to refund the additional charges recovered from the two members.
The housing society had carried the matter in appeal before the state commission.
The state commission then dealt with the society’s contention that the additional charges were levied in accordance with a resolution passed by its general body and the resolution was binding on all the members.
It observed that there was no ruling prohibiting a housing society from passing such a resolution, but it found flaws in the procedure adopted by the society, and dismissed the appeal filed by the housing society.
Besides, the state commission also directed the society to pay sum of Rs 5,000 to the complainants towards litigation cost.