Trou­bled by leak­age from your neigh­bour’s apart­ment?

Delhi Co-op So­ci­eties Act re­quires hous­ing so­ci­ety man­age­ments to in­spect, within 15 days, the units from where prob­lems have been re­ported

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Su­nil Tyagi

In the pre­vi­ous two col­umns, we have dis­cussed is­sues such as trans­fer of mem­ber­ship in a co­op­er­a­tive hous­ing so­ci­ety, du­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the man­age­ment com­mit­tee of a hous­ing so­ci­ety to­wards maintenance of com­mon ar­eas, and fa­cil­i­ties in a hous­ing so­ci­ety com­plex. This week, we will dis­cuss the re­me­dial mea­sures avail­able to a mem­ber if he is fac­ing prob­lems due to his neigh­bours.

Many times, the oc­cu­pants of flats in a hous­ing so­ci­ety face prob­lems re­lat­ing to maintenance, seep­age, dam­age or other prob­lems due to con­struc­tion/ ren­o­va­tion car­ried out by other mem­bers in their flat which may ob­struct their right to freely en­joy and in­habit their prop­erty.

Of­ten, th­ese is­sues es­ca­late into dis­putes which lead to the af­fected par­ties ap­proach­ing the courts for a res­o­lu­tion. Not many peo­ple know that the Delhi Co­op­er­a­tive So­ci­eties Act, 2003 ( Act) and Delhi Co­op­er­a­tive Rule, 2007 (Rules) framed there­un­der pro­vides so­lu­tion to th­ese prob­lems faced by oc­cu­pants.

The oc­cu­pant af­fected by wa­ter seep­age can make a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the prob­lem to the man­age­ment com­mit­tee of the hous­ing so­ci­ety, which then is re­quired to carry out in­spec­tion of the apart­ment within 15 days from the re­ceipt of the com­plaint.

In cases where the man­age­ment com­mit­tee thinks that the com­plaint by the af­fected mem­ber is ver­i­fied, it has to ad­vise the con­cerned mem­ber against whom the com­plaint has been made, to im­me­di­ately take cor­rec­tive steps.

In case no ac­tion is taken by the con­cerned mem­ber within seven days to rec­tify such a prob­lem and rem­edy the de­fect, the man­age­ment com­mit­tee is re­quired to ini­ti­ate ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion for get­ting the de­fect re­moved, and if nec­es­sary, seek po­lice as­sis­tance for the same.

The man­age­ment com­mit­tee can ap­proach the con­cerned regis­trar for re­cov­ery of the amount in­curred thereon as ar­rears of land rev­enue from the con­cerned mem­ber who has car­ried out in­ter­nal changes.

A sim­i­lar prob­lem came up be­fore the High Court of Delhi in the mat­ter of Par­wana Co­op­er­a­tive Group Hous­ing So­ci­ety Vs the regis­trar, Delhi Co­op­er­a­tive Tri­bunal. In this case the com­plainant had ap­proached the man­age­ment com­mit­tee seek­ing rec­ti­fi­ca­tion of seep­age in his flat em­a­nat­ing from the unit lo­cated above his apart­ment.

The man­age­ment com­mit­tee did not take any steps to re­solve the prob­lem. The com­plainant ap­proached the con­cerned regis­trar for ad­ju­di­ca­tion. The ar­bi­tra­tor al­lowed the claim of the com­plainant and passed an award against the man­age­ment com­mit­tee of the so­ci­ety, di­rect­ing it to ful­fill its obli­ga­tion and get the ter­race re­paired, with costs paid by the so­ci­ety. The award of the ar­bi­tra­tor also pro­vided that costs in­curred by the af­fected mem­ber due to the prob­lem be paid by the man­age­ment com­mit­tee and the mem­ber in de­fault. The award of the ar­bi­tra­tor was up­held by the High Court of Delhi.

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