Please issue a notice to the society and endorse a copy to the member, asking to repair the leakage within one month, else you will get it repaired at your cost and the society and the member will be responsible to reimburse the costs of repairs.
Please refer the case of Mithul Enclave Housing Society Ltd, Chembur, which is a case in point:
"In a landmark decision by a consumer forum which directed the cooperative society to pay for damages,more and more consumers will be encouraged to raise their voice and get compensated.
In yet another landmark decision,a consumer forum has ordered a cooperative housing society in Chembur,to pay nearly Rs 1 lakh in compensation to a member.Interestingly,the compensation has to be paid for the damage caused to his flat by renovation in the flat above.The decision will have serious ramifications in societies across Maharashtra while heralding the way ahead as a valid moot point for others,all over the nation.
While the legal process is perceived as being long drawn and cumbersome,dissuading most cooperative housing society members from moving court to avail justice;besides the members,even consumers of a service provided by the cooperative housing society,can move to the consumer forum.
In this case,the forum held the society guilty of deficiency in service because neither did it take any action against the flat owner who caused the damage nor did it make any attempt to recover costs from him.It said,There is no doubt that since the complainant was a member of the society,he was its consumer and the society was a service provider.It is responsible to pay the complainant.
The compensation to be paid by the erring society,Mithul Enclave Housing Society Ltd,includes Rs 55,000 as repair costs and Rs 44,500 for litigation costs,mental harassment and interest.In the complaint filed before the additional Mumbai suburban district consumer disputes redressal forum,Bhimrao Jogdand said that flat owner Bhalchandra Patil,began extensive renovation inside his flat in 2006,resulting in leakages in his flat below.
On August 24,2006,Jogdand wrote to the society about the problem.He informed Patil too,and sought reimbursement of the repair costs.In May 2007,as is usually the case with cooperative housing societies across Mumbai,the society told Patil,he was responsible for the damages and would have to compensate Jogdand.
However,Patil did not pay up and the society absolved itself of all responsibility.Jogdand finally sent registered notices to both in 2009 but to no avail.He then filed a complaint.Responding to the complaint,the society and Patil filed independent replies denying the allegations.Both claimed that Jogdands flat was damaged because it had been lying unused for a long time.
After taking into consideration photographs of the damaged flat submitted by the complainant,along with copies of the correspondence,the forum accepted that the renovation had caused the damages.It also observed that despite notices,the society made no attempt to stop the work in Patils flat and neither did it complain to civic authorities.Hence,the society was guilty of deficiency in service and would have to compensate the member for the losses suffered.
For members who suffer losses due to inaction on part of the cooperative housing societys managing committee which chooses to look the other way each time a civic anomaly occurs,and a member goes about making structural changes causing damage to others,the decision is a precedent of sorts.Jogdands decision is a case in point when it comes to deciding similar matters.
Now,societies adopting the did-themandatory-correspondence approach each time they encounter a situation like Jogdands,will need to sit up and take note.No longer will they be able to dodge the onus.The society that assumes the role of a service provider will need to compensate the consumer,in this case the member,each time there is a deficiency in service according to the
Consumer Protection Act 1986.
Considering the overwhelming backlog of cases filed in cooperative courts,high court and city civil court,going the consumer forum way is best for members who can argue their cases here,without having to avail the services of a lawyer too.The delivery of justice may take a while as in the case of Jogdands but will be certain and a lot cheaper too.The precedent is set to empower millions of members drastically affected by their societys apathy and reluctant to go the legal way,for the fear of having to tackle excessive legalese and expenditure."