The Cooperative Housing Society (CHS) issues and how to deal with them

Most of the times, CHS members and the managing committee are at loggerheads even over trivial issues. This leads to bitterness amongst them, which can be avoided through open discussion and by following procedures.

Many residents are not familiar with the workings of their cooperative housing societies and are left confused while dealing with a variety of civic and legal compliances.

Sometimes, there are disagreements between housing societies and individual apartment owners, as well as outsiders. However, many individual apartment owners are at a loss as far as their grievances are concerned and they do not know how to proceed with their complaint. Homeowners need to know the right recourse to take action and to ensure that their rights are upheld.

In an interview with Reporter Nasir Pipulkar, Deputy Registrar Co-op Society MHADA Mr. Rajendra Gaikwad addressed the issues of CHS.

Cooperative Housing Society (CHS) issues and how to deal with them

1. CHS Managing Committee is not following the byelaws?
Ans.: All the policy decision has to be done as per the byelaws in the AGM, if any resolution is passed against the law it can be challenged in the co-operative court.

2. Under the name of donation, gift charges etc. society is taking Non-Occupancy charges of Rs. 5000 / 10000.
Ans.: Non-Occupancy charges should not exceed 10% of the maintenance charges. Society is concerned only with the fixed 10% extra charges, over the regular maintenance charges, as “Non-Occupancy Charges” and STRICTLY NOTHING beyond this.

Any amount (whatsoever) collected besides the FIXED “10%” Non-Occupancy Charges” under any head like donation, gift charges etc. is ILLEGAL.

3. Calculation of non-occupancy charges?
Ans.: As mentioned above, non-Occupancy charges levied by society should not be more than 10% of the maintenance charges. For example, if the monthly maintenance charges are Rs. 2,000/- per month, non-occupancy charges would be Rs. 200/- (10% of Rs. 2,000) per month.

4. Under the name of donation, gift charges society is taking entry/transfer fees from new members of Rs. 25000 / 30000?
Ans.: The transfer of flat would be as per the general body resolution subject to the condition that it is not above Rs. 25,000/-. Also, society needs to meet/pay TDS on this charge as per tax laws.

5. Under any other head if society has taken non-occupancy / transfer charges exorbitantly than the stipulated limit can a member ask for a refund or adjustment in the maintenance?
Ans.: The society may adjust the extra amount in maintenance or the members can file a complaint with the co-operative court.

6. Managing committee is saying that the members who have given their flat on rent and who are not currently staying in the society have no say in the society?
Ans.: The member of the society irrespective of where he stays has full right and say in the day to day affairs of the society.

7. Managing committee is passing resolutions by the majority, which is against the byelaws and enforcing all members to abide by them?
Ans.: Any resolution passed against the byelaws is null and void and not enforceable on members and can be challenged in the co-operative court.

8. How can a Member of a CHS be disqualified?
Ans.: Managing member qualification is given in Section 73 CA of Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act and byelaws 117 & 119.

9. The member is not given a copy of the Minutes of the AGM even after sending a notice through a Lawyer?
Ans.: It is the responsibility of the Secretary to ensure that all members get a copy of the Minutes of the AGM. The secretary can distribute physical copies to members and if some members are not available copy can be mailed to them.

10. The Secretary is not ready to accept the Monthly Maintenance Charges, so the member is directly depositing the amount in the CHS Bank Account. But he is not receiving any RECEIPT for the same?
Ans.: It is the duty of society to give receipt against payment received for not doing so members can approach the registrar.

11. Car Parking?
Ans.: If there are adequate car parking 1:1 parking can be allotted if parking is less then lottery system can be used or first 6 months one member can use the parking and the next six month another member can use.

12. Fraudulent auditing?
Ans.: If fraudulent auditing has been done it has to be proved and if the general body passes resolution to reaudit then they can submit the proposal to the registrar.

13. Society is taking commercial charges from members who are commercially using the additional constructed area?
Ans.: Any structural changes require prior approval of the corporation if the construction is done without approval it is illegal hence the commercial charges collected on such area is also illegal.

14. Conveyance?
Ans.: The society has to clear all pending dues if any and approach the concerned department of MHADA and comply with the process. Non-MHADA societies can approach the concerned DDR for deemed conveyance if the developer denies conveyance.

15. Redevelopment?
Ans.: In January 2009 guidelines have been laid down regarding redevelopment and the CHS has to abide by them. During AGM 2/3rd of the majority should be present. Transparency should be maintained at all level to ensure the smooth flow of the redevelopment process.

16. During the CHS election some member contested the election after the formation of the committee on their behalf their relatives are working in the committee
Ans.: Only the elected members have the right to work in the committee their representatives or relatives do not have any right or say in the working of the society.

17. Your advice to CHS.
Ans.: The byelaws is Gita, Bible, Quran for the CHS and following it is mandatory for the managing committee violating and non-compliance with the byelaws can lead to action against the committee. Use video recording for each meeting. Take advantage of technology to put a cap on the powers of the managing committee and ensure compliance with the byelaws.

The common issues in any CHS can be resolved by discussion. If this does not solve the issues, then a complaint has to be raised to appropriate authorities, like deputy registrar for cooperatives, consumer or cooperative court, Municipal Corporation and police.

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