Can housing societies refuse tenants? Here’s what you need to know

How seriously should you take your housing society
Yes, you have to, but if they infringe on the fundamental rights of a citizen, they can be challenged in a court of law. Here are a few things you probably had no idea about

 

Singling out singles

Being single is the biggest disadvantage if you are looking to rent a house in the metros. This is because most housing societies disallow their members from leasing their properties to bachelors, say real estate experts. So, even if the owner wants to give it on rent to a group of singles, the housing society won’t give him a no-objection certificate (NOC).

Bachelors typically don’t stick to a place for long and this doesn’t provide stability in rental income compared with that from families, says Ramesh Prabhu, chairman of Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association.

 

Can housing societies frame their own laws?

If legal experts are to be believed, the housing societies can indeed frame their own laws. According to Ravi Goenka , advocate, Goenka Law Associates, there are broad guidelines, or bye-laws , that every housing society adopts when it is registered. These rules and regulations govern the day-to-day functioning of the housing society and are crucial to its smooth running.

 

How strong are these laws?

The guidelines are typically framed under the Co-operative Societies Act, which is a Central Act. This provides specific guidelines for a society to be registered with the municipal corporations, its governance structures, common area maintenance rights, dos & don’ts , accounting practices.
The Act also offers a degree of flexibility to societies to add regulations of their own, say experts.

Example: If the housing society has made a rule for tenants, according to which they cannot park their vehicles in the parking slots allotted to members , then they have every right to enforce it.

Can the housing society overrule a flat owner?

Om Ahuja, CEO, residential services, Jones Lang LaSalle India, explains that though it is the legal right of the owner to lease his property, the housing society in which the flat is situated, too, has a say in it. Individual societies are legally empowered to deny tenancy based on their bye-laws . In many cases , such bye-laws are interpreted in a certain manner in order to achieve this. However, they have no constitutional right to do so.

 

How about charging more from owners leasing their property?

Housing societies that impose additional maintenance charges on the apartment owners who have leased their property are legally allowed to do so under The Societies Act.

 

Can the bye-laws be challenged?

Vinod Sampat, president, Cooperative Societies Residential Users Association, and a real estate lawyer, explains that any regulation which infringes on the fundamental rights of an individual can be challenged in the court of law. The housing society regulations don’t have the same stature as that of a law. Every Indian citizen has the right to reside anywhere in the country and discrimination is not allowed on the basis of religion, caste, sex, eating habits or marital status.

How can a tenant go about it?

If a tenant feels a housing society has not been fair, he can file a police complaint against it, claiming infringement of his rights as a citizen. The member, too, can take legal recourse, such as approaching the civil or the cooperative court. He can also appeal to the deputy registrar of housing societies concerning his grievances.

 

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - August 2, 2018 at 7:25 pm

Categories: Co-operative Housing Society   Tags:

Managing committees of co-operative housing societies will no longer be able to withhold information from members

Hsg soc’s MC must provide info or pay fine

Managing committees of co-operative housing societies will no longer be able to withhold information from members. Failure to provide the information sought could result in a Rs 25,000 penalty. No personal information about a member can, however, be divulged.

The state cabinet on Tuesday approved the addition of a new chapter to the Maharashtra Cooperatives Act, 1960 to deal exclusively with issues related to co-operative housing societies. While the Act requires at least ten members to form a co-operative society, it will now be amended to allow a minimum of five members to form a CHS, said officials. TNN

Ordinance to curb rights of defaulters in a CHS

The government will issue an ordinance to effect changes in the cooperatives Act within a month, said officials.

Co-operative housing societies constitute 40% of all co-operatives in the state and number around a lakh. Nearly 70% of these housing societies are in urban areas. “These are not profit making bodies and many of them have small memberships. However, the law that has been framed is more focused on the large co-operatives such as the district cooperative banks, dairies, sugar cooperatives, spinning mills, etc. The existing laws make the running of a housing society difficult. The introduction of the new chapter is to smoothen the functioning of housing societies and reduce litigations,” said an official.

Also, housing societies that have fewer than 200 members will now be able to choose the returning officer and the assistant returning officer from the panel set up by the election tribunal to conduct elections to the managing committee.

At present a society makes a request to the tribunal which then appoints the officials from the panel and the appointment is often delayed. With societies being allowed to choose the officials, the delay in elections and formation of the new committee can be avoided.

The new chapter will curb the rights of members who do not pay their dues as also ensure smooth transfer of the share certificate to the legal heir besides reservations on the managing committee. It has also been proposed to amend sections 146 and 147 of the Co-operatives Act that deal with what constitutes an offence and the punishment thereof.

Advocate Vinod Sampat, an expert on housing matters, said, “The intent is good but one will need to read the fine print to understand the implications of what has been proposed. For instance, the government proposes to make changes with regard to membership but the press note makes no mention of amendment to section 22/23 of the Co-operatives Act that deals with membership. It is also not clear how the government will make transfer of share certificates easy.”

Advocate Vivekanand Gupta said, “The state must come out with a draft of the proposed ordinance, invite suggestions and objections. It must finalise the ordinance only after getting feedback.”

 

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 7:21 pm

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Autopsy not must to claim insurance in accident death

 

In case of an accident, normally a post-mortem is conducted to rule out foul play. But is it mandatory for a postmortem to be performed in each and every accidental death case? It is quite common to find families reluctant to subject their loved ones to a postmortem. So can the absence of a post-mortem be a ground for the insurer to repudiate a genuine claim?

Case study: C Mohan Reddy had taken four insurance polices from Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). On 9.5.2014, he suffered an electric shock from the water heater in the bathroom. His family rushed him to Kakatiya Hospital in Hyderabad where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The family did not opt for a post-mortem and the hospital also issued a death certificate certifying the cause of death to be due to electrical shock.

His widow Challa Yadamma later lodged claims under the four policies. LIC refused to settle the claims, saying that neither had an FIR been lodged with the police nor had a post -mortem been conducted.

Aggrieved by the repudiation, Yadamma filed a complaint before the District Forum and LIC contested the case. The district forum held the claims were payable and ordered LIC to make the payment.

LIC challenged the order, but its appeal was dismissed by Telangana State Commission, which upheld the District Forum decision. LIC then approached National Commission.

In its order of 13.7.2018 delivered by justice V K Jain, the National Commission noted that the only issue to be determined was whether Mohan Reddy had died due to an electrical shock or not. It observed that when the family rushed Mohan Reddy to the hospital without even knowing whether he was alive or dead, their sole intention was to save his life. Hence, the family would narrate the correct facts and there could be no reason to give a wrong history or make a false statement to the hospital, the order said. Besides, even the hospital had issued a death certificate recording the cause of death to be due to a shock.

The commission also observed that LIC’s demand for an FIR was not justified when death had taken place due to an accidental electric shock at home. The commission pointed out that there was no legal requirement of subjecting a dead body to post-mortem when foul play was not suspected.

The commission concluded that the claims had been wrongfully repudiated. It dismissed LIC’s revision and held it liable to pay the claim as per the policies.

Conclusion: When the cause of death is clear and foul play is not suspected, it is not mandatory to get a post-mortem. This judgment will be a major relief as a post-mortem puts a family to considerable anguish and harassment at the time of their bereavement.

The author is a consumer activist and has won the Govt.

of India’s National Youth Award for Consumer Protection. His email is jehangir.gai.columnist@outlook.in

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 23, 2018 at 7:25 pm

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 22, 2018 at 5:31 pm

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what you can do if you fail to repay your home loan

A WAY OUT
Here’s all you need to know about what you can do if you fail to repay your home loan

First-time home-buyers need a lot of effort to arrange funds to buy a house. Therefore, a home loan is seen as a great enabler to invest in your first home. However, under certain circumstances, if the borrower fails to pay the loan EMI on time, then it leads to financial distress.

So what happens if a home loan borrower fails to pay their EMI on time? What are the repercussion and recuse options in such situations?

FAILURE TO PAY HOME LOAN EMI

Lenders classify a home loan as a Non-performing asset (NPA) if the borrower fails to pay his home loan EMIs for 90 consecutive days. Once it is classified as a NPA, the lender will issue a 60-day legal notice to the borrower asking him to pay his dues. If the borrower still fails to honour his commitment during this period, the lender will issue a 30-day public notice notifying the auction of the property and its valuation as assessed by the lender. Therefore, the borrower gets at least five months after his first EMI default before his lender takes possession of the property and auctions it.

NAVEEN KUKREJA,

CEO AND CO-FOUNDER, PAISABAZAAR

WHAT CAN A BORROWER DO TO OVERCOME DEBT DISTRESS?
Options available to home loan borrowers under debt distress are:

NEGOTIATE WITH THE LENDERS AND RESOLVE THE PROBLEM;

BORROWERS CAN EXPLAIN THE REASON FOR NOT PAYING THEIR LOAN ON TIME WITH VALID REASONS SUCH AS AN ACCIDENT, FINANCIAL CRISIS OR LOSS OF JOB;

THE BORROWER CAN ASK THE LENDER TO REFINANCE THE HOME LOAN;

LIQUIDATE EXISTING SAVINGS AND INVESTMENTS TO REPAY OUTSTANDING EMIs;

BORROWERS THEMSELVES CAN SELL THEIR PROPERTY AND PAY BACK THE AMOUNT INSTEAD OF BANKS TAKING OVER IT AND SELLING;

THE BORROWER MUST TAKE HIS LENDER IN CONFIDENCE IF HE PLANS TO SELL THE PROPERTY HIMSELF.

ACTION BY BANKS
According to experts, banks usually prefer to consider all feasible alternatives before seizing the property and auctioning it off. So if the borrower is unable to service his EMIs repayments due to temporary reasons such as job loss, a medical emergency or loss of income due to an accident, he should convince his lender with relevant documents regarding the temporary nature of his problems during the notice period itself. If convinced, the lender may restructure his loan rates and other terms and conditions to lessen his burden.

“To recover a home loan, lenders sell or seize the assets or mortgaged property of the borrower. This is an authority given to lenders under the SARFAESI Act (Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interests Act) to protect their interests. Banks usually do not resort to selling the property immediately and try resolving the case by understanding the reason behind non-payment of EMI and further ease the process of repayment. Property is sold by the bank only in certain extreme cases.”

ANUJ PURI,

CHAIRMAN, ANAROCK PROPERTY CONSULTANTS

HOW MUCH TIME DOES THE BORROWER GET BEFORE THE BANK AUCTION?
Experts point out that proceedings by a bank in taking the property of the borrower into their possession and disposing off it are undertaken under the guiding factors of SARFAESI Act. Proceedings also begin when the account of the borrower is considered as a NPA (i.e. when the EMI is not paid by the borrower). In this case, lenders issue a 60-day notice to the borrower. This notice is usually a reminder to the defaulter stating the issue of not paying EMI for three months consecutively.

In case the defaulter is non-responsive even during the notice period, the bank goes ahead with the sale of the mortgaged property of the borrower. During this period, the borrower can resolve the issue or raise an objection to the notice.

HAVE YOU DOWNLOADED THE TIMES PROPERTY APP YET?

Since Times Property has always been a pioneer in using the latest technology, in the advertising realm too, we have taken a major step to ensure a reader-friendly experience.

Download the Times Property App and take a visual tour of the projects by:

HIRANANDANI CONSTRUCTIONS

This ad in the current edition is embedded with the AR feature.

This application will support both, the Android as well as IOS system.

For downloading the app:
STEP 1 Go to the app store and search for Times Property App;

STEP 2 Download the app and install it;

STEP 3 On the app, swipe down to initiate camera for the AR experience. Scan the ad or the logo (called the marker) to initiate augmentation (which can be a video or walkthrough). Markers are visual cues, which trigger the display of the virtual information.

 

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 21, 2018 at 7:15 pm

Categories: Co-operative Housing Society   Tags:

SMALL SIZE, RIGHT PRICE

With sales velocity pacing upwards in the last few quarters for compact housing projects, the demand-supply chain seems to be finally working in tandem with each other.
Read on…

Small is the new big – is a phrase that has become increasingly popular in the past couple of years, particularly in the real estate market. In fact, the need for housing has gained momentum lately due to an increased population density across our urban centres and a growing trend towards rural to urban migration.

Hence, on the back of this trend and the prevailing market sentiment, apartment sizes in the Indian metros are definitely shrinking as developers increasingly deploy compact homes that are affordably priced. Incidentally, the demand for such houses is currently the highest.

“In theory, reduction in the size of a house results in the reduction of the price point at which it is sold. And a lower price point means many a ‘fence-sitter’ will opt to buy the home. Therefore, developers are increasingly focusing on developing projects, which offer compact homes to the potential buyers,” says Niranjan Hiranandani, president, National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO).

RISING ON THE POPULARITY CHARTS:

The Indian ethos still encourages everybody to invest in real estate. Hence, even today it is a priority for most of us. However, post the global financial crisis, not only has the world market not recovered completely, but also the Indian market, particularly, the real estate sector, has not shown a big spike. Against this backdrop, there has been a series of initiatives undertaken by both, the developer fraternity as well as the government to boost the sector.

“Most developers have understood the pulse of the market and have realised that creating the right-sized homes is the key to ensuring sales velocity as it meets the demand of the customers while creating value for the end-user. Furthermore, the thrust of the government towards accomplishing its ‘Housing for All’ agenda with a clear policy focus on the affordable housing segment, has resulted in a growth in the number of affordable housing developments across centres. In short, compact homes are creating the right buzz in the market – as these are projects where the ticket size of the house is directly proportional to the price of the home,” says Ramesh Nair, chairman, CII Real Estate Conclave 2018.

Also, with millennials increasingly focusing on building a varied asset class, they are eyeing the realty market as they would rather spend their monthly income on paying off the EMI than hefty rents. “Compact housing provides locational connectivity, affordability, ease of maintenance and meets the demand of younger urban professionals. Also, developers are offering innovative designs in these units to ensure that they are aesthetically appealing while addressing the daily needs of the dweller. From mezzanine lofts that double up as a study to a folding Murphy bed; wall panels that can extend into dining tables to mirrors creating an illusion of space, developers are investing in making units lively in their appeal so that compact homes turn out to be the perfect combination of aesthetics and affordability,” mentions Shubika Bilkha, director, The Real Estate Management Institute (REMI).

FINANCIAL EDGE:

On the back of the various incentives rolled out to developers and buyers of affordable housing by the government, which is fully intent on meeting its ‘Housing for All by 2022’ agenda, banks readily provide home loans for compact housing buyers. Besides, many finance companies have a loan bandwidth from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 40 lakh and the target audience varies from drivers and domestic servants to youngsters who have started fresh in their career, who wish to tap into the growing affordable market segment.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) too, one gets the additional benefit of a subsidy amount of Rs 2.68 lakh (condition the size of the house is below 1100 sq ft) from the central government if the overall family income is below Rs 18 lakh, with the investment being the family’s first home purchase).

“Prices have stagnated in the last couple of years and it is not going to drop any further looking at the current market trends. Also, the realty segment today is being driven by end-users and not investors wherein the focus is on synchronisation between one’s income and the house price. And with compact housing showing significant movement, the way forward for developers would be to scientifically plan projects where the ticket size of an apartment will hold the key,” says Dr Samantak Das, chief economist & national director, Research, Knight Frank India.

THE DEMANDSUPPLY DYNAMICS:
According to a recent report released by ANAROCK Property Consultants, the trend of shrinking apartment sizes is prevalent across property markets:

• The average size of new properties in NCR was 1,853 sq ft in March 2018, which dropped to 1,323 sq ft in the month of April;

• Bengaluru too followed this trend with property sizes shrinking from 1,300 sq ft in March to 1,160 sq ft in April. In fact, if we consider the trend at an annual level, it emerges that flat sizes in Bengaluru’s new projects reduced from 1,478 sq ft in 2017 to around 1,334 sq ft in 2018;

• Other cities like Pune, Hyderabad, NCR and Kolkata also followed suit with average sizes of properties seeing a downward trend over the last two years.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 7:11 pm

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GOODBYE PLASTIC!

Adhering to Maharashtra’s plastic ban initiative, premium trains from Mumbai to Delhi will begin serving meals in bagasse ware

The railways have started manufacturing bagasse packaging to serve food aboard premium trains along the Mumbai-Delhi route, such as Rajdhani and Shatabdi. The idea is to transition completely to bagasse in phases and liberate the railways from plastic that is strewn across the seats and floors of long-distance trains.

As per railway officials, an average of 1.5 tonne of garbage is retrieved from trains coming into the city. “Almost 90 per cent of this garbage is plastic, which includes food packets that passengers order while aboard the train.” The railways hopes that by introducing biodegradable food packets, they will be able to tackle this menace. “Currently, our food packets, including plates and cups are made of either thermocol or plastic. Hence, if we transition to biodegradable materials, we can safely dispose into BMC dustbins,” say officials.

The State of Maharashtra decided to ban plastic in its territory beginning June 23 this year and the move has been welcomed by most government authorities. But the initiative by the railways, namely the Indian Railways Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) who provide the food in these trains has just scratched the surface. IRCTC general manager (West Zone, Mumbai) says, “Right now, we have planned only for the trains from Delhi to Mumbai but eventually the bagasse packaging will be introduced in trains that will be going from Mumbai to Delhi as well.”

DID YOUR KNOW?

The Central and Western railways have almost 100 long-distance trains entering the city every day, with each train bringing their share of garbage.

WHY BAGASSE?

Made from leftover
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IT’S OFFICIAL

In a statement to Times Property, IRCTC says, “We have launched environment-friendly bagasse-based food packaging on a trial basis on eight select Shatabdis and Rajdhanis originating from New Delhi. IRCTC reaffirms its commitment to a cleaner and greener India and hence, will gradually introduce bagasse products, which are the fibrous remains after extracting sugarcane juice, for serving meals to passengers in all the Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duronto trains. Bagasse is used to make disposable cutlery and containers in which meals will be served. Proper collection and disposal system through composting will ensure environmental sustainability.”

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 7:10 pm

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TRASH ON TRACK

About 2 lakh tonne of garbage is dumped daily along the railway tracks in Mumbai and this official data holds a mirror to the city’s appalling culture of dumping waste in public spaces

If you are among those who carelessly dispose the packaging of your snack from the train window, stop and think again. You are contributing to around 2 lakh tonne of waste, muck and garbage that the railways is losing sleep over, due to the entailing efforts required to clean it up.

The railways in Mumbai are as important as the oxygen we breathe, due to the city’s unique network of suburbs. Railway officials have been asking commuters to work on their civic sense but the Mumbaikar just isn’t listening. In fact, officials from both the central and the western railway say that the efforts put in towards cleaning up the garbage is almost the same as running the services.

Last year, the Western Railway (WR) sent a proposal to the Railway Board in Delhi, asking permission to impose a fine of Rs 500 on a commuter littering on railway property. But the proposal is still stuck in limbo due to the logistical difficulties of the plan.

The Central Railway (CR) recently asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to deploy clean-up marshals who are empowered to impose a fine of upto Rs 100 on individuals caught littering and spitting along the railway lines. However, this plan too is under consideration.

CR chief public relations officer Sunil Udasi says, “We have been cleaning up the muck that accumulates along our lines. It is quite a task for us; when we go back to the same space where we have worked, almost half or even all of our work is undone by people who come and dump garbage there again.” He further adds that the biggest challenge is the physical effort needed to clear the garbage off the tracks (due to the nature of the current infrastructure of the railway line), “We have been trying to get the JCB cranes into small and tight spaces next to the railway line where the garbage is dumped. Then we have to make sure that there is separate electricity provided to them in order to actually work there.”

A regular traveller from Mumbai to Nagpur, Jacob Sathe

(68) says, “I am not saying the railways is not doing their work. In fact, there are a lot of machines on the station through which they try to keep the stations clean. But I feel that people have become even more uncivilised.”

REALITY CHECK
WR chief public relations officer Ravinder Bhakar says, “It takes almost all departments in the night to contribute towards picking up the garbage. We would like to appeal to Mumbaikars to do their bit, by not throwing their personal trash from a running train.”

WHAT IS MUCK?
Muck is not only garbage but also comprises human waste as many slum dwellers tend to use railway tracks for defecation. It takes both the central and western railway 5 ‘muck special trains’ every night to clean up the mess Mumbai makes.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 7:03 pm

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PETS AND THE CITY

Have a pet at home? Are you aware of your civic rights and duties as a pet owner?

The joy of being a pet guardian should not be discomforting for those around you. When you make the conscious decision to welcome a four-legged friend into your home, it is essential to ensure that you abide by the rules and be a responsible citizen as well, because the luxury of having a pet also comes with the responsibility of being a good citizen.

WHAT ARE YOUR CIVIC RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES AS A PET OWNER?

According to the revised guidelines for pet owners by The Animal Welfare Board of India, which operates under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change,

A pet is akin to a perennial toddler and therefore deserves the same attention throughout its life.

Pet owners are advised to ensure that their pets are not a source of nuisance to others. In doing so, they may, however, distinguish between reasonable and unreasonable, lawful and unlawful claims as to their pets being a source of nuisance; however, no amount of pressure should lead to abandonment of a pet animal. Doing so is a violation of law.

Pet owners are advised to either clean up when the pet defecates in public premises or participate in other solutions to maintain cleanliness.

For instance, you can have designated pet corners in the complex/park where pets can be trained/encouraged to relieve themselves; a corner can be designated where pet poop can be collected and composted.

Although barking is a dog’s natural way of communication, it is crucial that the barking isn’t causing a lot of noise for the neighbours.

The pet owner should make sure that their pet is clean, healthy and vaccinated.

Leashing of pets in public places is advisable; this assures passersby that they are safe and makes their walk comfortable. Leashing also ensures the safety of the pet.

Meet Ashar, Emergency Response Coordinator – PETA India and Animal Welfare Officer (H), Animal Welfare Board of India – Government of India says, “Domesticated animals like dogs and cats who we bring into our homes are living, breathing, thinking, feeling individuals who have needs specific to their species and who absolutely must be considered as family members. Wild animals, on the other hand, like fish and birds are inadequate to be kept inside homes. They have needs like flying and swimming long distances that we cannot meet. Animals are not inanimate objects to be bought and sold or discarded at our whims. Because there are too many dogs and cats and not enough good homes, and since pet shops and breeders are notorious for keeping animals in horrid conditions, it is advisable that you adopt a pet from an animal shelter or the street if you have the time, patience and the resources to look after the pet.”

LEGAL EYE

The Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules, 2001 framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, provides that – “The owner of pet dogs shall be responsible for the controlled breeding, immunisation, sterilisation and licensing in accordance with these rules and the law at the time being in force within a specified local area.”

Animal guardians from Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai and other municipal corporations which provide a license for keeping dogs as companion animals must obtain such a license from their ward office/dog control cell.

The same is to be renewed every year. This is important because the license also helps confirm the dog is yours in case of theft or dispute.

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