Housing Society Problems & Solutions: Obtaining Proof of Joint Ownership & Addressing Irregularities with Adhoc Committee
Shirish Shanbhag 30 November 2023
When your loved ones and relatives, with the best of intentions, nominate you or even have you jointly sign a sale agreement for a property but forget to share a copy of the documents with you, it can be difficult to claim your share in the property. If other claimants raise objections to your right on the property, it could lead to lengthy and expensive legal battles.
 
There are solutions to such problems, provided the proper process for registration of the sale deed or nomination was followed at the time. Copies of the registration documents can be obtained from the registrar as sufficient proof of joint ownership. This week, I will address one such problem and explain how such documentation can be obtained. I will also explain how a Society's name can be added to the property card and what can be done to address irregularities in a Society that is managed by an adhoc committee. 
 
Obtaining Proof of Joint Ownership After Death of Primary Owner
 
Question: Around the year 1990, my maternal aunt who was a spinster, had purchased a flat in Mumbai suburbs. The sale deed was executed as joint ownership with her and my daughter (a minor at that time), and was signed by me as my daughter's legal guardian. My aunt has recently passed away and I do not have any documents pertaining to the flat.
 
Several claimants have risen to claim the property and the Society has now sealed the flat. I have tried to get a certified copy of the sale deed from the registration office in Bandra, but no records of the same are available with them. The Society is also refusing to give any details about the joint ownership of the flat.
  
Please guide as to how I should move forward to obtain some form of acceptable evidence which proves that my daughter is the legitimate joint owner of the said flat.  
 
Answer: On the share certificate of your flat, Society must have written your aunt and your name as joint owners. This will only be done if the registered sale deed of the flat was in jointly in the name of your aunt and yourself, and a copy of the same was submitted to the Society. 
 
At the sub-registrar's office, kindly make a search in form-4 by putting the names of the seller and buyer of that flat (your aunt and yourself), and mention the range as 1990 to 1994 (up to five years); affix Rs10 court fee stamp and submit it to the sub-registrar's office. You will get a registration number with the date, of that registered document.
 
Then apply for a certified copy of Index-2 (two-page summary form of a registered document) by submitting form-2 and apply for a certified copy of the sale deed with form-3.
 
With a copy of these documents, you make a confirmation deed on Rs500 non-judicial stamp paper to transfer the jointly owned flat to your name and register this confirmation deed with the sub-registrar of assurances office, where the registration fee would be Rs1,000. Then, you can either fully or partially gift that flat to your daughter by a gift deed.
 
If you need further guidance, kindly come to Moneylife Foundation's office with copy of your documents on a convenient Wednesday between 3pm to 6pm, after you fix your appointment by calling  (022) 2444 1058.
 
Adding Society's Name to Property Card
 
Question: Our Society has completed the deemed conveyance process. We want now to add the Society's name to the property card. Should we visit the registrar or some other department? Please advise.
 
Answer: I hope the the conveyance deed (CD) is registered by your Society with the sub-registrar of assurances. With a copy of this registered CD, your Society has to apply at the city survey office, to transfer the property card, your Society's land document, in the name of your Society.
 
Once the property card is transferred in the Society's name, your Society should apply for a survey of land and acquire a land map which shows your building's outline from the same city survey office.
 
NOTE
We will not be answering queries posted in the comments. Only questions sent through the Moneylife Foundation's Legal Helpline will be answered. If you want to seek guidance or ask questions to Mr Shanbhag, kindly send it through Moneylife Foundation's Free Legal Helpline. Here is the link: https://www.moneylife.in/lrc.html#ask-question
 
Replacing A Joint Owner with Registered Nominee After Death
 
Question: My father and my wife are joint holders of a property in a cooperative housing society (CSH) in Mumbai. Both had nominated me for their share in the property.   On death of my father, can I become a member of the Society and have joint ownership of the property with my wife? What documents would I have to submit to Society for the same?
 
Answer: For your father's part (50% share) in a jointly owned property with your wife, your mother and any siblings are equal joint legatees. 
 
To transfer your father's share in your name and thus make you a joint owner with your wife, your mother and any siblings should make a 'release deed' on Rs500 non-judicial stamp paper and register it with the sub-registrar of assurances office. The registration fee is only Rs1,000.
 
In case you have lost both your parents and you are the only child to your parents, then on Rs500 non-judicial stamp paper, you should do a 'confirmation deed' and register it with the sub-registrar assurances office.
 
In the joint property, if your father's name is first in the sale deed of the flat, your name will now stand first in the share certificate after the above process is complete.  
 
Irregularities in Society and Adhoc Committee Formed by Builder
 
Question: For more than two years, I have been a member of the ad hoc committee, which was formed after the Society handover from the builder in 2021. There are many irregularities in our Society. For instance, the builder has not given a final audit statement for two years of maintenance which the committee paid in advance; the adhoc committee has not held regular monthly meetings; minutes of any meeting has never been prepared, circulated or displayed on notice board; quarterly account statements are not shared by treasurer despite multiple requests; no share certificates have been issued and no election has been conducted. 
 
Answer: Within six months of forming an adhoc committee, it should inform the deputy registrar of cooperative societies, and ask him to appoint an election officer from the government list of election officers. Such an officer shall conduct an election of your Society's managing committee and thus form a permanent managing committee, which can hold its position for five years. 
 
Now you should a complaint against the managing committee for not conducting the election and for other financial irregularities that you found from the builder's side when he formed the adhoc committee.
 
The deputy registrar will appoint an authorised officer (administrator), who will correct the irregularities in your Society and call for an election of the Society's managing committee. Then, the charge of the Society shall be given to the newly elected managing committee.
 
Disclaimer: The guidance provided in these columns and on our Legal Helpline is on the sole basis of the facts provided by the reader/questioner and does not amount to formal legal advice in any form whatsoever. 
 
(Shirish Shanbhag has an MSc in Organic Chemistry, a Diploma in Higher Education, and a Diploma in French and has completed his LL.B. in first class in 2021. Before his retirement, he was a junior college teacher at Patkar College from July 1980 to May 2012, teaching theoretical and practical chemistry. Post-retirement in 2012, he started providing guidance and counselling to people on several issues, specifically focusing on cooperative housing society-related matters. He has over 30 years of hands-on experience in all matters about housing societies and can provide out-of-box solutions for any practical issue.)
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