Answered by
 Shirish Shanbhag
Sir, This is a query I am seeking on behalf of the MC of our society being the Hon Secy. and seeking this in favor of the society as a whole.
I seek this response to be able to a. understand the nature of this issue whether its origin may really be pinned to the intentions of the builder, initial MC's oversight or any lacunae on part of the member b.if such issue is really can be resolved in the purview of the society itself or it will eventually need external legal opinion
Our's is a society formed 13 yrs back. building constrn was on since 2003-4. One member of the society entered into an agreement with the builder at the time of constn for providing him 1 combined unit which was to be made from 2 smaller units as per sale plan of builder.
The builder in his 1 agreement mentioned 1 unit mentioning total area of the 2 smaller units, in the layout given in the agreement, he marked with pen 2 units to be considered as 1 for this member.
when society was being formed, the then MC went ahead and registered the society by taking min 75% members data. In this the number of units were taken as per builders plan. However the builder did not at that time provide any information that he had combined the 2 units as 1 and sold it to this member as 1 unit.
The then MC also seem to have taken the builder's word and went ahead and registered the society with same number of members as the number of units.
However in the initial MC minutes they recorded that this member's husband also had submitted documents for the second unit and he was inducted as member also. This has been recently found out in the minutes and the then Secy accepted that his was a mistake and should be corrected.
While the flat was bought by the member in her name as primary and her husband as co-owner, second name on agreement, the MC has recorded contrary information that member's husband also is a member as per documents submitted.
As per this, the member was being charged 2 maintenance bills in the same name but for units 1, 2. While the member has protested about this matter that there is only 1 member and only 1 unit as per agreement the society is charging her incorrectly. The member also alleged thaT the builder purposely didn't show the map submitted to BMC as 1 unit since the scheme he was consstructing these units were economy flats while if he showed these as 1, he would have to be paying revenue for luxury flat which he avoided.
Sometime 9 yrs back, with such protests by this member, the then MC decided to waive off this second unit maintenance to settle the matter amicably given the member repeatedly raised this issue that they are paying maintenance of the second unit in protest as there was no 2nd agreement and the unit should be considered as 1 so only 1 bill to be given.
However there is no record of this waiver specifically in any MC minutes. But the subsequent bills are single bills to the member.
Now since the time I became the Hon Secy 2 yrs back, the previous secy and the member who was Hon Secy in the first MC begain raising this issue to resolve the membership issue of whether we should have 56 members or 55 so the billing needs to be accordingly changed to 56 again.
While these 2 members in the MC have been manning the committee since the last 4-6 yrs, they have as per my understanding of the earlier minutes since 9 yrs back not brought up this membership issue to resolve. However they now are highlighting this issue to be resolved.
at the same time, 2 other members of curernt 8 member MC who were also part of the original committee have said that the society should not have been registered as n - 1 members as there was no agreement to show there were n units since the beginning.
But they say they did'nt have any knowledge how this thing should have been done and went ahead as per the builder's agent who helped register the society as n member society as the number of units are n in plan. The First MC Hon Secy who registered the society also says he wrote to MumDistFed seeking their inputs about 12 yrs back on how to go about billing in such case. It is not clear what all documents he submitted to MDF for their suggestion but their response was that the society should bill the member 2 separate bills irrespective of the member's presentation.
Member had at that time said without the existance of the unit 2 for her, she will not accept the bill in the name of unit 2.
Now since I have been on board, we wrote this issue to the Dpty registrar of Societies in the last year asking him on the treatment of membership if a person has more than 1 unit in their name
The response from Dty Registrar said howmany so ever units the member has, s/he should be treated as 1 member. This they probably meant from the point of view of voting rights. But the issue related to billing was not written to their office.

Hence I am seeking the help of this platform trying to again get a clarity on how to approach this issue now given the limited technical legality knowledge I have and I need to present the correct society details on the online portal.

What should be the way forward in such a scenario - whether society can charge member 2 bills,
if yes how, if not why not.
since we have n-1 agreements only, we can consider society as of n-1 members only, while the BMC plan shows n units.
how do we present this information online.
can this membership and billing issue to be resolved within society members only given the scenario present.
based on the information given if the details are clear to you, I request yyour suggesiton. Thanks for your time to go though this. In case you have further queries, pls do let me know i will try to provide all details as available with me - under confidentiality conditions that this information is only being given to you for the purpose of seeking clarification and that this information may not be used for any other purpose by anyone beyond this site.
 CHS, property-related issues
(1) Kindly go through the Sale Deed entered by Mrs.X of your CHS with the builder.

Her Sale Deed will have area of the flat shown in the drawing & also in wordings of the Sale Deed.
If map shown... Read More
Our Experts

Shirish Shanbhag An MSc in Organic Chemistry and Diploma in Higher Education and Diploma in French. As a junior college teacher, he taught theory and practical in chemistry, to students in 11th and 12th standard at Patkar College from July 1980 to May 2012. After his retirement in May 2012, he started providing guidance to people on several issues. It includes, career guidance, Cooperative Housing Societies' legal paper works, Right to Information (RTI), Lokayukta, Ombudsman complaints, Marriage Registration,

Bapoo Malcolm Bapoo Malcolm is an Advocate at the Bombay High Court and a former national cycling champion and a man of many interests. Mr Malcolm is an expert in the mechanics of preparing Wills. He is advocate practising civil and criminal law as well as documentation and arbitration. He also takes up family court matters, redevelopment and MHADA matters and testamentary work, including litigation. Mr Malcolm operates in areas up to Nashik and Valsad and from Igatpuri to Udvada. He has experience in polluti

Jamshed Mistry Jamshed Mistry is a BCom, LLB, DLL & LW. He appears as Counsel in the Supreme Court and in various High Courts all over India. His clients have included several corporate companies as well as public sector corporations and institutions eg. the Reserve Bank of India and the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking. He also works actively for social causes like the rights of disabled persons, beach safety (Goa Action Plan), the setting up of distinct hawking and non-hawking zones in

Shailesh Gandhi Shailesh Gandhi is a former Central Information Commissioner for the Right to Information Act. He is a successful RTI activist and a regular speaker at Moneylife Foundation.

Abhay Datar Abhay Datar is a consumer activist and is also Member of the Managing Committee of Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP). He was Treasurer at MGP for over two and a half years. After working at Bank of Baroda for about 29 years, he retired as IT Manager. After retirement, Mr Datar joined Consumer Guidance Cell of MGP in 2008 and solved many cases related to banking including online fraudulent transactions, misuse of credit cards and ATM cards. Also handled cases related to mobile and mediclaim. Mr Data

AV Shenoy AV Shenoy hold degrees in both Mechanical and Electrical Engineering from VJTI, University of Bombay and a Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. Worked as a Design Engineer in Electrical Business Group of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. at Powai from October 1969 to September 2001 and retired as Dy. General Manager. Also worked as a Facilitator/Trainer for implementation of Total Quality Management (TQM) and ISO 9000 in the organization. Since r

DG Kale DG Kale, former General Manager of the Reserve Bank of India, with a long stint in the customer services department, has also been a Public Information Officer under RTI and has a ring-side view on what happens to complaints filed with the Banking Ombudsman. His vast experience makes him the ideal person to provide guidance on grievance redressal.

SD Israni Dr SD Israni is an Advocate & Partner of SD Israni Law Chambers and has over 37 years of experience in the field of Corporate, Commercial and Securities Laws. He has simply written the book on Indian securities laws, copies of which he kindly donated to Moneylife Foundation library. Dr Israni's professional achievements are formidable. He was a member of the Naresh Chandra Committee for simplification of Company Law relating to private and small companies. He has been on SEBI's committee on

Samir Zaveri An extraordinary activist who has dedicated his life to the cause of railways, with a mission to help every rail commuter and accident victims, and improve Railway safety.

Yogesh Sapkale Yogesh Sapkale is Deputy Editor of Moneylife and writes on legal, RTI, and consumer issues

To ask a question

Sign Up or Sign In
than you