in Contracts Law
Asked September 10, 2017

Issue with the procedure for disbursing maintenance fund in a housing society

  • 1 Answer

Roof Repairs Dear Sir/Madam, I am a flat owner in a Co-operative Group Housing Society Limited in Sector 20, in Panchkula city in the State of Haryana. I have been regularly paying all Society ( Annual Maintenance Charges and other bills ) and HUDA charges (enhancement of land prices from time to time). There is no default on any counts. As regards the 'Maintenance' I understand that all outside maintenance in Society premises including the maintenance of the leaking roof is the responsibility of the Society Management and inside the flat is the responsibility of the owner. There are two wings in the Society, each wing is having 25 flats. there are five floors. On ground floor there is a parking lot on the stilts. I am living the fifth floor of my wing. on top floor there are 5 overhead water tanks.Thus all flats on fifth floor are burdened with and having the 5 overhead water tanks each. The Society Management passed a resolution sometime in 2009/2010 or so, that all those flat owner having leaking roofs can get the same repaired to their satisfaction and the Society Management would compensate the expenses by 50% of the of the actual expenditure. They put condition that the repairs must be completed by a certain date failing which no claim would be entertained. Out of the 10 flats only 7 flat owners availed this facility. Two flats remain unoccupied and the owners never visit their flats ever since the allotment of the flats . In my case I did come to know about this circular but I remained busy in settling the marriages of my children and was out of station living with my sons in Bangalore and Noida and remained busy visiting places for finding suitable matches for the children.After settling the marriages of our children, we are finally living in our flat on regular basis for the last about for about 4 or 5 years period. We found the roofs leaking. It was brought to the notice of the Managing Committee (before undertaking the roof repairs exercise) and requested that I may also be treated at par with other flat owners and be compensated according. The Management Committee declined to accept my request and told me to get the roof repaired at my own expense and the Society would not pay any thing. After getting the roof repaired by giving Tarmac treatment process I submitted the bill to the Society Management but they promptly rejected my request. Now after 3/4 years the roof has started leaking again. I am yet to undertake roof repairs work again, but I waiting for the Rainy Season to be over otherwise it would be a futile exercise. Now can I ask the Society Management to get the roof repaired by the Society Management or compensate me for undertaking this roof repairing exercise as has been done in other cases.Or get the roof repairs done at their own out of the 'Maintenance Fund' of the Society and under what Bye Law?

Answer 1

As per the Haryana Apartment Ownership Act, 1983, the highest competent authority is the Chief Administrator, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA). The Chief Administrator approves the Bye-laws which primarily regulate the rules regarding common income and expenses of the housing society. Therefore, in the absence of the exact bye-law of your housing society, it is not possible to point out the rules governing the maintenance of the building in your situation. However, in general, you can file an RTI enquiring about the amount of maintenance fund used to repair the problem of leaking roofs. The issue of leaking roofs should not ideally be restricted to the immediate flat owners, since damaged roofs pose

a danger to other residents as well. Hence, with the information gathered by way of filing an RTI, you can approach the Chief Administrator HUDA, pointing out to him improper allocation of maintenance funds. In addition to this, refer to the clause in the bye-laws which talk about the time period within which the reimbursement has to be asked for. If the time limit is more than date prescribed by the society in its letter (issued sometime around 2009- 10, as pointed out by you), you can directly challenge that discrepancy. If you do not get favourable assistance from the Chief Administrator HUDA, you have the last resort of filing a claim of compensation at the Civil Court.

Sources:  Apartment-Ownership- Act- 1983.pdf  information.htm

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