Must Knows

Why should your apartment society be registered?

[] An apartment association is a voluntary body that ensures the welfare of the residents in a housing society. Read on to understand why a registered apartment association is beneficial for all the residents and the procedure to register your society

The Apartment Owners Association (AOA) can provide valuable services for all the residents and represent its interests and even settle disputes. However, all of this is possible, only if the association is registered under the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) or any other law for the time being in force. Let us look at the powers of the AOA and how a registered association can be useful for you as a resident.

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What is an apartment association?

It is a voluntary association, consisting of owners within a housing society.

How can your apartment association help you?

Apartment owners’ association advantages

It represents your interests

For example, suppose that one Ehsaan Khalid got into a spat with a resident next door, over contribution towards the common lift. The majority of other residents stood with Khalid. The maintenance of the lift had required some contribution from all the apartment owners but a handful of families were not willing to contribute. In such cases, an AOA can be the mediator and resolve the situation, by helping people understand the benefits. Another key role of the AOA surfaces in case of differences between the residents and members of the managing committee. There could be a number of other problems such as someone playing loud music at night or somebody doubling up their residential space to conduct business or subletting the premises, etc.

It protects your rights

If you are facing the brunt of someone else’s fault, the AOA will see to it that your rights are protected. You cannot be at the receiving end due to a fault on someone else’s part. If you are being victimised, you can always approach the AOA. There may be other situations where you need help. For example, a Gurgaon-based apartment and its residents suffered owing to poor construction quality. A certain family happened to suffer a greater loss. The AOA put across the complaint against the developer firm, representing the family and all the others who suffered due to the collapse of a wing of the building.

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Enforcement of rules

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Community living is difficult, because it involves a lot of people coming together from diverse backgrounds. An AOA can help frame the rules for the society and also see to it that these rules are being followed. This ensures common welfare. Ensuring your safety is also the duty of an AOA. For example, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Housing Ministry has released a set of rules and regulations for the associations to follow. Enforcing these rules to ensure your security is also a priority for the AOA.

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Maintenance of common areas

Whose responsibility is it to see to the maintenance of common areas within a society and collect the maintenance charges? If left unattended, this can be a cause of trouble for all the residents alike. So, while you are busy looking after your own homes, an AOA is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of your society, rendering it a space fit for living.

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Socialising with other members

In your daily life, where family and work remain your priority, you may tend to neglect other facets of life. An AOA may also undertake special initiatives and organise cultural events where all residents can come together and bond.

Is it necessary to register your apartment association?

Yes, in order to let an AOA represent you, you will need to register it. In 2017, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) declared that only registered residents’ welfare associations (RWAs), consumer organisations, cooperative societies or association of flat or plot buyers, can file complaints against builders in the commission. Thus, in the legal sense, a voluntary consumer association registered under the Companies Act, 1956 (1 of 1956) is a valid body that can represent your rights. An apartment association can be formed under the Societies Registration Act 1960 and Apartment Association Act or any other similar Act that is valid in your state.

When your apartment association is registered, you can expect the following benefits:

  • The funds for the welfare of the housing society will be accounted for and used with transparency.
  • Your AOA will be able to take action against defaulting residents who fail to comply with the rules or delay in paying the subscription charges and other important contributions.
  • There will be clear demarcation between the roles and responsibilities of AOA members and set rules for all residents.
  • It will not appear to be ‘nosy’ on the part of an AOA to intervene in critical situations arising out of a spat, etc.

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How to register an apartment association?

You need a minimum number of seven individuals to get together, to form an association. These representatives would be elected by the residents of the society. In order to get the association registered, the following information is mandatory:

  • Proposal letter addressed to the Registrar of Societies, signed by all executive committee members.
  • Name of the association.
  • Address of the association.
  • Proceedings of the first general body meeting.
  • Memorandum of association (name of the society, objectives, names and addresses/occupation of members and printed or typewritten bye-laws).
  • Standard fee.

An association would have a member, an associate member, a general body (all members of the association) and a managing committee (a president, a vice-president, a secretary, a treasurer and eight other members). This management committee carries on its work for a year before re-election.

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Procedure for registering the society and mandatory documents

  • Registration of societies is maintained by the state government. Hence the application for the same should be addressed to the specific authority. Before proceeding, all the members must be content with the society’s name and go on to prepare the memorandum, as well as rules and regulations. While selecting a name for the association, make sure that it does not contravene the provisions of the Emblem & Names Act, 1950, or suggest any kind of patronage of the state government.
  • The memorandum must be signed by all the establishing members and witnessed by a gazetted officer, notary public, chartered accountant, oath commissioner, advocate, or magistrate first class with their official stamp and complete address.
  • When requesting for registration, you must provide a cover letter that is signed by the establishing members. Other requirements include a duplicate copy of the memorandum of association of the society, along with its certified copy, copy of the rules and regulations of the society along with duplicate copy duly signed by all establishing members, address proof of registered office of the society, as well as no-objection certificate (NOC) issued by the landlord, affidavit avowed by secretary or president of the society declaring relationship among subscribers and a meeting during which other details will be shared and documented.

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Other important documents

  • PAN card of all members
  • Residence proof of all members (bank statements, Aadhar card, utility bills, driving license, or passport).

Is there a charge for registering an association?

Yes, there is a prescribed fee that needs to be paid, in order to register the association.

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Does an apartment association have the power to recover maintenance dues?

Yes, maintenance charges are mandatory payments and every home owner or tenant must pay it. An association can enforce it.

How can an apartment association take action against a developer?

By means of issuing a notice against the builder, by lodging a police case or by lodging a consumer case, an apartment association can take action against the developer.

Do association members and management get salaries?

No, it is a welfare association and a voluntary body. All the funds received through subscriptions are to ensure the smooth functioning of the association but the members cannot take a salary for it. It is purely out of will and dedication.

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Category: Must Knows

Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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