With Rest The Case’s awareness campaign, we are here to tell each of your legal rights and duties pledged to you while becoming a part of this society.

Unlike independent landowners, we are entitled to various rights and benefits in our society. Membership is the core structural characteristic of the cooperative form. It is a space formed to benefit its members.

However, being a member of society comes with some share of responsibilities. Unless we know our rights and responsibilities as members of society, it can be hard to safeguard our rights and not violate others’ rights too.

Let’s take a look at few rights rendered to you as a society member -

Rights as a housing society and its member?

A. Right to Vote

Every unit of the cooperative housing society has the right to vote in an election. Your right to vote remains intact even if you have defaulted on any payments. One member of each House in the cooperative housing society has the right to vote.

 B. Right to inspect

Members pay a lot for the maintenance to keep their society healthy and safe, but how do you know whether your money is being used for the cause or not? 

Members of cooperative housing society have the right to inspect fee of cost books, register documents, etc. and get a copy of the documents on a prescribed payment. A member is also entitled to receive copies of bylaws and an audit report on payment of a prescribed fee. Society is legally bound to provide you with such documents.

C. Right to attend Annual General Meeting 

As an active member, you are entitled to attend the AGMs, which includes discussions related to annual budgets audit reports, conveyance deeds, financial statements and other developments of the society. 

In case you miss or have not been able to any of the meetings - AGM, special general body meeting and meeting of the managing committee, in all three cases, the minutes of the meeting are recorded. You are rightfully allowed to read the minutes of the meetings.

D. Right to transfer shares and interest in the capital/property of the society

Any member desiring to transfer his shares or interest shall give a 15 days’ notice to the Secretary of the society in a prescribed form along with the transferee's consent in a prescribed form. The Secretary shall place the same before the committee meeting.

In the event of ineligibility to transfer shares or interest, the Committee shall inform the member accordingly within 8 days.

E. Non-payment of maintenance

Non-payment of dues can imply a major legal consequence for the defaulters. If a flat owner/member fails to pay his maintenance for three months, the member will be labelled as a 'defaulter', and the society can initiate legal proceedings to recover the dues. The society can file an application u/s 101 before the registrar, and at the request of the society, the registrar will issue a certificate of recovery. The recovery certificate is then submitted before the collector to recover the amount as arrears of land revenues.

The collector's office can attach the defaulters' apartment and even sell it to recover the maintenance dues.

F. Parking Rights of Tenants  

By recent judgment passed by the Maharashtra State Cooperative Appellate Court, Tenants have a right to park their four-wheelers allotted to the landlord inside the society where they are residing. Cooperative housing society members cannot stop a tenant from using his parking sport provided by the owner. Not only parking spots, but tenants also have the right to use common areas of the property, including play areas, common storage areas, parks, gym, Common terrace and basements.

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Author: Shweta Singh