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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

Changes in flats cannot be vetoed by housing societies

Gurbir Singh addresses few FAQs to advocate Vinod Sampat, an expert in cooperative law, on the provisions against builders not conveying the land to housing societies stricter.

india Updated: Apr 21, 2007 03:55 IST
Gurbir Singh
Gurbir Singh

The Maharashtra legislature has made the penal provisions against builders not conveying the land to housing societies stricter. The rights of societies are back in the news. We addressed a few FAQs to advocate Vinod Sampat, an expert in cooperative law.

Can members of a housing society carry out additions and alterations in their flats?

A member proposing to carry of additions and alterations in the flat should first submit a written proposal to the society. The member should ensure he does not carry out structural changes in the flat.

After the collapse of Navroze Apartment at Sion and Poonam Chambers at Worli in Mumbai, cooperative society office bearers have become vigilant and have started asking for indemnity bonds from members before they carry out major repairs.

Courts have also held against major repairs. However, repairs or alternations that do not damage the basic structure of the building and do no create inconvenience to other members should be cleared by the society. For instance, cooperative courts have held that carving out a niche for free breeze or creating a door or window in a wall that does not damage the structure of the building is not objectionable.

Is it advisable for the society to hand over the management of the society to an administrator? When does the Registrar of Cooperative Societies appoint an administrator?

As far as possible, disputes in the society should be solved amongst the members. It is not advisable to hand over the management of the society to an administrator. Even if none of the members are interested in administrative work, societies should employ a paid employee. When the management of the society is not functioning as per provisions of the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960 or the bye-laws of the society, then the Registrar has the discretion to appoint an administrator to manage the society. The appointment generally does not exceed six months.

When should the society conduct its Annual General Body meeting? What is the quorum for ageneral body?

The AGM of a society should be held on or before August 14, but if for some reason it cannot be held, an application should be made to the Deputy Registrar of Cooperative Societies to grant an extension. Normally an extension is granted till November 14. The quorum for an AGM is two-thirds the total number of members or 20, whichever is less.

Who can attend the general body meeting of the society?

Only the members of the society can attend the general body meetings and in his/her absence the associate members can attend the meeting. The right to attend the meeting cannot be delegated and persons holding the power of attorney or letter of authority cannot attend the general body meeting.

Can a society restrict children playing in society compounds?

The society can restrict the kind of games children play in the society premises. The society can also impose restrictions on the timings for such games. However, there restrictions can only be imposed through a decision of the general body.

(Advocate Vinod C Sampat has just published the 2007 edition of the Cooperative Societies Ready Reckoner. The 800-page book is an easy-to-read guide on society law that confronts housing societies and members everyday.)

First Published: Apr 21, 2007 03:49 IST