Cooperative housing societies: Common issues and solutions

Common issues in any cooperative housing societies or CHS can be resolved by discussion. If this does not solve the issue, the complainant may have to raise it to appropriate authorities, like municipal corporation, deputy registrar for cooperatives, consumer court and police

The recent Campa Cola episode shows that co-operative housing societies (CHS) must exercise due caution, when it comes to maintaining and ensuring that their buildings comply with the law. Sometimes, there are infractions between housing societies and individual apartment owners, as well as outsiders. However, many individual apartment owners are at a loss as far as grievance is concerned and do not know how to proceed with their complaint. There are several issues in a CHS, like car parking, leakages, fraudulent auditing, unauthorised construction (ala Campa Cola), and many other issues. Home owners need to know the right recourse to take action to ensure that their rights are maintained and upheld. Advocate Vinod Sampat who is the speaker at a seminar being hosted by Moneylife Foundation has given a brief of what you should do when you encounter various problems.

Register for the Moneylife Foundation Event by Vinod Sampat over here:

Some of the common problems related to co-operative societies and the solution to the same are produced as under



Suggestion Solution




Sale of open parking space by builder, sale of pocket terrace by builder, not executing the conveyance, not giving statement of accounts, not obtaining occupation certificate, not obtaining building completion certificate, not handing over original documents of title of the property, not transferring the property card in favour of the legal entity

a) Approach Consumer Court for deficiency of service;


b) Approach the criminal court for cheating, criminal breach of trust, mischief, violations of the provisions of Sec. 11 & 13 of MOF Act;


c) Lodge  complaint  with  ULC  Department  as undertakings are given that conveyance will be executed within a stipulated period of time at the time of release of the plot from ULC;


d) Lodge complaint with ISO authorities if the builder has got an ISO certificate;


e) Lodge complaint with SEBI if the builder is going for a public issue and has not made the disclosures in the prospectus;


f)  Lodge complaint with BMC to black list the builder;


g) Lodge complaint with police seeking permission to take out morcha by peaceful means to protest against the acts of the builder.


Builder  not  sharing  the  amounts received from allotment of hoardings, installation of mobile tower on the societies terrace

a) Approach the consumer courts for deficiency of service;


b) Request police authorities to file an FIR;


c) Approach city civil court;


d) Approach High Court.


Builders developing adjacent plot and apprehension  is  there  that  the FSI/TDR of the society is being used

a) Write letters to BMC objecting to the same;


b) File a suit in High Court/ city civil court/ consumer courts praying for an injunction restraining the builder from utilizing the FSI/TDR of the plot of land for which the society has already been formed.




Society not allowing visitors to park their vehicles in the building premises

a) Approach the police authorities stating that there is violation of the provisions of Table 15 READ WITH Regulation 36 of the Development Control Rules, read with Regulation 36 which stipulates that 10% (now 25%) of the parking space has to be kept vacant for the visitors;


b) Lodge a complaint with Bombay Municipal Corporation requesting the Corporation to cancel the occupation certificate as the terms and conditions pertaining to IOD have been violated.


Society not allotting car parking space to members

a) Draw the attention to the provisions of Table 15 Regulation 36 of Development Control Rules of Greater Mumbai;


b) Approach Consumer Forum for deficiency of service;


c) Approach Co-operative Court;


d) Approach Registrar’s office;


e) Note if you have other like minded members who are deprived of parking one each can approach different authorities;


f)  It will not make difference if the builder has sold car parking space to some other flat purchasers.


Co-operative Housing Society collecting exorbitant amounts at the time of transfer of flat, collecting exorbitant amount towards non occupancy charges

a) Approach consumer court for deficiency in service;


b) Approach police station for extortion, mischief against all the members of the managing committee with a specific request to lodge a First Information Report (FIR);


c) Approach metropolitan magistrates court;


d) Lodge complaint against auditor for professional misconduct.


a) Managing committee members not  issuing share certificate to members;


b) Co-operative Housing Society not taking action against the members of the managing committee who have misused the funds of the society;


c) Co-operative Housing Society not taking action against defaulters who are managing committee members

a) Approach Consumer Forum against society;


b) Approach Co-operative Court;


c) Approach the office of the registrar to remove the managing committee members;


d) If more complainants are there they can approach different authorities.


Co-operative Housing Society and its members employing minors

a) Lodge complaint for violations of Juvenile Workers Act, 1986, Bye law No 161(C), stipulates a punishment up to one year imprisonment and/or fine up to Rs20,000


b) Lodge complaint with labour & police authorities




Office bearers behaving as dictators.

Some members are having parties and disturbing the peace in the building

To lodge complaints with the registrar of co-operative societies, approach co-operative court or consumer forum;


For certain matters contact police authorities


Co-operative Housing Society not taking action against unauthorised construction

Lodge complaint with Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) for unauthorised construction


Co-operative Housing Society not responding to queries as regards payment of service tax

Do the correspondence with service tax department


Co-operative Housing Society not maintaining fire fighting equipments

As per section 3(1) Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006 read with rule 4(2) Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures

Rules every society having a building of ground plus four floors and above have to submit / arrange to submit every half yearly a certificate to the fire authorities. I would like to have a copy of the same at my cost for the last three years. Take up such matters with fire authorities.


Co-operative Housing Society not showing records related to

various expenses being incurred by the society

Draw the attention of office bearers to the circular dated 10/3/1995 issued by co operative department.


Complaint  against  chartered accountant who has audited the accounts of the society

Write to Institute of Chartered Accountants of India highlighting provisions of act, rules and bye laws; Example: Exorbitant amount collected as donation, security not given by persons handling cash. Rule 107-B.


Money collected for car parking deposit, amounts of some members waived off, legal expenses recovered from only some members + action at consumer forum.


Complaint against auditor on the panel of registrar

Request the authorities to take disciplinary action against the auditor;


Request the authorities to remove the name of the auditor from the panel of auditors;


If it is a case of negligence approach the consumer forum for the losses caused with a prayer to recover the same from the auditor;


File criminal case. In our view permission to file criminal case from government authorities is required only if the person is appointed by the government;


If the employee is appointed by the head of the state then permission is not required.


Complaint against government officers for not giving the proper information


Always keep camera spy pen with you. It is not known when it can come handy

Approach the higher authorities;


Ask for the actions initiated against him in his earlier postings;


Ask the pending departmental proceedings going against him as of date;


Here RTI Act can be of help to you.




Government officer not passing the order after the matter is kept closed for order.



Politely state that the judgment in the case has been reserved since a long time. Order XX Rule 1 of Code of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 fixes a model Time Limit of 30 for pronouncement of Judgment. Therefore please pronounce the judgment at an early date and do the real justice since ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’ (You may also ask for all orders being passed by the said quasi judicial authority)


No track record as to the court case

Insist on roznamas of all the dates of the hearing


Reply received from advocates that

court is not sitting

Tell the advocate to take up the matter with the judge; who has got additional charge of the said court.


How to speed up court case



If you are a senior citizen you have a right to request the court to take up the matter for expeditious hearings in the light of the high court circular dated 3/08/2009. If a long date is given insist for a shorter date;


You can approach the higher court for directions to expedite the court case if there is urgency in the matter. File miscellaneous applications to get the necessary information.


How to protect ones interest in matters where there is possibility of litigation.



Use modern technologies like Google search and ask for help;


Tell your advocate to pray for ad interim injunction;


Tell the court for the appointment of court commissioner.


Right to Information -RTI


Despite writing no action is being initiated by government officers

Make an application under the Right to Information Act (RTI) to the public information officer.


Evasive replies are given by the public information officer. 4578 illegal cell towers in Mumbai. Action taken big zero. If a common man breaks the law will the BMC be lenient. What was our sleeping giant doing when such towers were installed? Why are criminal cases not being filed by BMC suo moto?

File an appeal. You may also file another application with the public information officer asking for information which may include copies of all the registers being maintained by the office, when the said registers are being updated, details of the registers which are incomplete, number of files in the office which are misplaced, not traceable, number of letters received per month by the office, details of the number of matters disposed of within one week, inspection of the files with specific reference to the files of the matters disposed of within one week. If you have asked for documents like certified true copy you can also approach the consumer forum as you are a consumer;


To put pressure you can tell your relative at say Gujarat to file a complaint from Gujarat in Gujarati. Section 11(c ) of the Consumer Protection Act, which stipulates that a case can be registered where the cause of action wholly or in part arises. (Samajnewale ko ishara kafi hai);


Ask for inspection and reply given to RTI queries in the last six months.


Society not getting copy of building plan

Write to the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities asking for the necessary information using  the Right to Information (RTI) act;


Also approach consumer forum for deficiency of services.


Police-related matters


Police not taking steps to lodge an FIR in case of a cognisable offence

Approach the magistrate u/s 154 of Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) to direct the police officers to register an FIR.


How to draft complaint letters



Letter to Co-operative Society/ Government authorities.



Address to society, managing committee members and various government authorities;


Follow up with email to various government authorities;


Take up the matter on Lokshahi Din;


Just do not stick to one subject. Highlight all the wrong things done in the society;


Dramatise the facts; For eg: Say that the collective value of the property is approx Rs50 crore. If it is government department like BMS say that the yearly budget is Rs2,800 crore and the same is not properly utilised. Ask for information which will result in time being spent by the opposite party which information may not be very important for you;


Highlight instances of corruption, inefficiency pointed out by government authorities eg. Anti corruption bureau, comptroller and auditor general;


Request the government authorities to download the orders as is stipulated in Right to Information act. It is common knowledge that authorities do not do all their jobs as per provisions of all in all cases, follow up with Right to Information application if the matter pertains to government department.


LASTLY reserve your right to take action as per due process of law.


Action against auditors




Stay tuned for the 2nd part which will be published tomorrow in the run up to Vinod Sampat’s seminar.


Those seeking help or advice on CHS issues can contact Moneylife Foundation’s Legal Resource Centre (LRC) ( )


(Adv Vinod Sampat is a practising lawyer since past 28 years. He has authored several articles on property-related matters and written 46 books on cooperative societies, transfer of flats, recovery of dues, registration and stamp duty matters. He has been an Hon. Patron member of the Estate Agents Association of India. He is also the Hon. Advisor of the Federation of Accommodation Industry of India and is an advisor to the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry as well as the Federation of Accommodation Industry in India, apart from being part of many committees and winning several honours.)

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    1 month ago

    my society not following order of Deputy Registrar regarding correcting wrongly charged interest and penalty to me i had paid my dues in advance since 2011 till 2020. dispute was for some period in 2011 i have paid my dues along with interest in Dec'2011 and later paid my dues in advance. a approached Deputy Registrar and Registrar order to remove excessive interest and penalty.

    Pravin Bakshi

    3 months ago

    In my housing society, we have noticed terrace being used to assemble to drink, eat and litter in the evenings by young member family and friends..

    Is there in bye laws or liquor control rule to restrict this activity ...Can MC introduce a law to this affect ..? Is CHS Premises defined as public place ?


    4 months ago

    I have external bldg leakage issue for past 3yrs. This leakage has damaged my bedroom ceiling. The leakage has caused damage to the electrical fitting short circuit and sparking. I have been approaching the soc secretary n the managing committee in writing and in person but till date nothing has been done to resolve the problem. This tower is 5yrs old.
    Pls advise course of action.
    Thank you

    Shalini kamath

    4 months ago

    We have parking issue in our building. There is no space for parking cycles due to which the cycles are parked in the entrance/corridor of the building. The issue is some cycles are rusted and inspite of repeated requests the owners are not taking any steps to dispose them or take away the cycles . Since the rusted cycles may cause injury to flat people passing by , please advise how the society management can take action against this.?

    Prashant Kamath

    4 months ago

    Hi Sir,

    My father had purchased a flat back in year 1985. The land of the society is a collector land. We have purchased a car recently and asked society for stilt car park. Secretary refused to give so. Hence we had parked in a emergency parking for some time. Secretary issued a notice to move the car or it will be towed. But my father refused to take the notice. Hence secretary stuck the notice on my car which made the damage to my car.
    Hence my father gave a letter over the same. Thus secretary tore that letter without acknowledgement. Now my father filed a case on the society regarding the same. But the secretary in revert put the legal charges on us, But that too without any bill or voucher. Hence my father is not paying the legal fees there on. This has caused the increase in interest.

    Can anyone confirm if society has rights to put the bill on society members for legal charges. If yes then on whose name that bill should be. Is anything written in by laws then kindly confirm and share


    5 months ago

    My society is trying to mark my flat from where I run my profession, as consultant, as Commercial. Whereas I have none of my clients visiting me and neither have any regn. there nor any display board at the place. I just do my own accounts and paper work. Can they do that?

    Moreover, they want to charge me with a difference of Residential n Commercial from Retrospective date from the date of my purchase (dating 13 years back). Can they legally do it or are they supposed to charge me after the same is passed in their MC/General Body Meetings? There were no rates fixed (passed in any MC/GB Meetings) for the maintainence since then. The rates were recently fixed and passed in AGM for each flat as per Sq.Ft. and of Commercial/Residential. But it has still not been decided in any MC/GB Meetings whether my Flat is to be charged Commercial/Residential.

    Moreover, the Society has not been mantaining its mandatory records and have recently started doing so. Hence, the chances of manipulation are really high.



    In Reply to raps.reinforce 5 months ago

    We do not know, if you are aware that Moneylife Foundation has a free helpline for providing answers on the same subject from reputed experts. We request everyone to send their queries through the LRC page. This helps us to keep records and track queries while submitting report to sponsors of this Free Helpline. Here is the link


    5 months ago

    My society is trying to mark my flat from where I run my profession as consultant as Commercial. Can they do that?

    Moreover, they want to charge me with a difference of Residential n Commercial from Retrospective date from the date of my purchase (dating 13 years back). Can they legally do it or are they supposed to charge me after they pass it in their MC Meetings?


    6 months ago

    Closely related to CHS issues are the issued faced by members of Registered Societies under 1860 Act and members of AOPs under no known Act. This article is very interesting and keeps getting responses - so here's one more piece of information - 25 lakh out of 32 lakh Societies under the 1860 Act can not be traced!!

    Kaushik Shah

    7 months ago

    I have flat at Kandivali.oeiginal sale deed lost. Which was not to pay stampduty on Xerox copy. Pl advice me

    Mitali Waradkar

    7 months ago

    Can we keep the shoes in front of our door in co Op soc


    8 months ago

    My flat does not have a balcony/terrace attached to it. However there is a space attached to my flat that can be accessible only to me if I replace an existing window with a door. Can society allot/allow access to this terrace to me for a charge.

    Girish Manjrekar

    11 months ago

    Sir.....while I was reading an article about "Fire safety aspects that home owners shouldn’t ignore" on some blog, where i have got one question mingling in my mind about water storage tank.....We are observing that society committee has taken a decision to put a water storage tank in a society premise space where there is a Electric Meter room near by........A work is in progress regarding the same. So while digging activity, chair man said we will be putting a storage tank in that space where meter room is nearby...the space of near by is approximately of 25feet by 12 feet..... So is it a right decision to keep a water storage tank near electric meter room with respect to Fire Safety or is there any bye law to restrict the same.....Is it a right decision w.r.t safety and security of building premise is concerned?.......Awaiting for your valuable reply on the same.

    Roop Kaul

    11 months ago

    Can a Member of CHS who is a Defaulter confirmed by Registrar Of Soc Under Sec101 change the status of his property without settling his Dues as per the order of the Registrar

    Jason Joseph

    1 year ago

    Our Builder has not handed us the Society since last 5 years. We would like to have a good advocate to fight our case with the Builder, and he is dilly-dallying, by handing over inadequate papers. I stay in Malad and a good and honest advocate in a radius of 10 kms will help us. Please guide.


    Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

    In Reply to Jason Joseph 11 months ago

    A good advocate to deal honestly such a matter with the builder is not born.

    It is you, buyers of flats, should take up the case against the builder with District Consumer Court, and ask the court to direct the builder to get Co-operative Housing Society established for your building.

    For personalised free of charge expert's guidance, come to Moneylife Foundation Office on Tuesday, between 3pm and 7pm, after you fix your appointment on any working day, on Tel 022 4920 5000.

    Jason Joseph

    In Reply to Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag 5 months ago

    Now the Builder has decided to hand over the Society to the Building residents, but he says he will hand over the Xerox copies duly stamped and signed and will keep the originals. Share Certificate and Society Letterhead will be enough for anyone to avail housing loans. True copies i.e. the Xerox copies duly stamped and signed is enough for reference. He says, is it okay. Please guide.

    Balraj Shetye

    2 years ago

    Our society managing committee body election is skipped for 21 months and old body is still holding the office. Please guide us what should be done in this matter. Is there any way to regularize it.

    ADR and Facebook to provide info about candidates through mobile
    This feature will allow citizens to access information about candidates in the election more easily and enable them to make an informed choice
    Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) said it partnered with Facebook to provide citizens the up-to-date candidates’ information for the upcoming State Assembly Elections and Lok Sabha Elections to help them make an informed choice. Voters will now be able to access election candidates’ criminal, financial, educational and professional information directly on their mobile via Facebook using USSD technology. USSD or unstructured supplementary service data is a global system for mobile (GSM) communication technology used to send text between a mobile phone and an application program in the network.
    "This initiative with Facebook will allow us to expand our reach. Voters will be able to know the poll worthiness of candidates -- their educational, criminal and financial information -- at their fingertips and choose wisely. Simply voting in an uninformed manner is not enough, citizens needed to make an informed choice,” said Prof Trilochan Sastry, founder and trustee of ADR.
    Ankhi Das, Director of Public Policy, Facebook India, said, “Over 82 million Indian citizens access Facebook regularly, and an increasing number of users access the platform on mobile. Our goal is to enable citizens to get involved in issues of governance."
    How to access the information on election candidates for free-
    Access to information has never been simpler, faster and cheaper -- all users have to do is dial *325# from their mobile to access Facebook and select the election menu (option 6) or directly dial *325*35# to access the election menu for no charge. 
  • User 


    clancy fernandes

    9 months ago

    I stay in Naigoan east Palghar district. Our building is nearly 11 years old. Yet the society is not formed. The builder just handed over to us to run the building work saying that I do the society registration later. Till now it's not done. One of the owners is taking care of the work. My query is can anyone put a shed outside the window without permission of the builder? My second query is that I have pet dogs in my house. Usually you need to get a NOC from the society .But since it's not done can the society members force me to do away with the dogs?

    Imran Baig

    2 years ago

    Hi, Pretty impressed with the kind of issues and their responses posted here. I am part of my Society Committee and we are actively looking out for an Advocate to represent/consult our Society based out of Pune. If you know of any individual who specializes in Society matters handling and for legal consultation, please share the details. Keep up the good work!

    Asha Chouhan

    3 years ago

    Hi, We have a small society of 24 flats and 4 shops in Goa, society got registered this year after a struggle of two years, however we are facing issues towards conveyance. There were few sale deed s were executed by the builder during the society formation procedure. Now those 3 sale deed owner's are not willing to cooperate with us for the conveyance deed, however the majority of the society members are trying hard to get the conveyance done, how should we go ahead so that we can do conveyance deed.
    These 3 members are just not ready to understand and completely against and creating complications. Out of three two are Flat owner's as they don't stay here in the society and one of them is the shop owner.
    Really need a solution to this...

    Another Rail scam? RTI reveals expensive medical equipments being turned into scrap

    Relentless waste of public money and consequent cover up by the Western Railway officials at the Cardio Vascular Thoracic unit of the Jagjivan Ram Railway Hospital hints of another railway scam

    The Jagjivan Ram Railway Hospital at the Mumbai Central is in the fore for wilful wastage of public money by railway officials. The hospital’s has spent around Rs20 crore on its cardiovascular thoracic surgery department and yet has been unable to treat patients. It is shocking to note that as many as 22 out of the 43 machines installed by the department have been out of operation. The hospital comes under Western Railways management.


    According to a reply received on a Right to information (RTI) application, which was   filed by Samir Zaveri, out of total 43 machines purchased at the cost of Rs14.5 crore, 22 have not started operating. What refers to the rampant waste of public money is the sly cover up about the department’s functioning by Western Railways officials. Presently, some of the machines installed in the year 2009, with a warranty period of two to three years have become ineffective, while few have a warranty period of five to 10 years.


    However, it was revealed that an official of the Jagjivan Ram Hospital knowingly suppressed the facts and provided false information and covered up by stating that all 43 machines were functioning smoothly.


    As many as 114 bypass operations were carried after setting up of a cardio vascular facility at the Jagjivan Ram Railway Hospital, between August 2012 to July 2013, with the bills going over amounting to nearly Rs1.70 crore (all borne by the Western Railways department). This works out to roughly Rs1.45 lakh per case on the low side. According to a railways doctor, on condition of anonymity, such operations could have been carried out at a modest cost of Rs50,000 per case.


    According to Zaveri, a slew of such incidents reflect a scam in the making. He said that these facts indicate a scam involving railway officials. He said that they work in three ways—firstly they purchase machines; secondly, they avoid using it and then after expiry, they sell these hardware as scrap. In addition, the officials get kick backs from private hospital bills as well as bribes for favouring selected Railways employees benefiting from treatment at the private hospitals at Railway’s cost.


    While there is such a brazen waste of public money on one side, there is a poignant side of the story too. “Everyday around 20 people met with an accident in the Western Railway Mumbai suburban network. Inspite of the orders from the Bombay High Court and Supreme Court, sufficient medical aid is not provided. If Rs25,000 is spent on emergency medical treatment for each victim, annual expenses would be less than Rs20 crore. However Rs20 crore were spent only on the Cardio Vascular Thoracic surgery department for the benefit of the railway employees which has not been used even once!” Zaveri added.

  • User 


    clancy fernandes

    9 months ago

    I stay in Naigoan east Palghar district. Our building is nearly 11 years old. Yet the society is not formed. The builder just handed over to us to run the building work saying that I do the society registration later. Till now it's not done. One of the owners is taking care of the work. My query is can anyone put a shed outside the window without permission of the builder? My second query is that I have pet dogs in my house. Usually you need to get a NOC from the society .But since it's not done can the society members force me to do away with the dogs?

    Aditya Gupta

    2 years ago

    Hello sir, can we do fire cooking in a housing society shops?we are planning to give shops on lease , so question is if cooking is allowed. If yes, what are certificates are required?

    Girish Patel

    2 years ago

    One of the house person person has flat in the ground floor of the society, as he has put the safety grill and which is being a problem to the people who walk into the society, Does the committee members of the society can take any action against the same flat owner, Legally what needs to be done. Please do reply.

    Kamal K9004025070

    2 years ago

    मैंने मेरी दूकान के आगे seftydor ग्रिल लगवाया तो सोसाइटी कहती हैं कि वह अवैध है जबकि लैंडअग्रीमेंट में वह जगह मेरी है लेकिन conveyence में नहीं है अब मैं क्या करूं?

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