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Dhiraj Solanki   23 September 2023

Limitation act to claim rights over flat by legal heirs

An application to transfer the Flat on nominee's name was submitted to the Society in 2019, the society did not actioned the application and have not responded as on date, the application was supposed to be actioned by the managing committee of the Society as per Section 154B-13 of the Maharashtra State Co-operative Housing Society Act. i.e. " Society should have given effect to the nomination by transferring the shares/interest in the society in favour of the nominee and nominee must be admitted as a provisional member and will hold the property only in trust for the legal owner of the deceased member."

The nominee is also one of the legal heir of the Flat and has been residing peacefully in the Flat for the last 45 years without any interference from the deceased owner or from any other siblings.

Now since already more than 4 years have lapsed, does the provision of Limitation Act, 1963 apply for other legal heirs to claim their rights over this Flat. 

1. Please specify if the period of limitation is 3 years or 12 years.

2. Despite submitting all the relevant documents to Society, the society has not acted and hence it the society which is at fault, the society has no rights to frustrate the process by neither actioning nor providing a written response, therefore please can you advise when does the period of limitation start in this case.

3. If the period of limitation is over, i.e. after completion of either 3 years or 12 years as the case maybe will the nominee be required to get the succession certificate for getting the Flat transferred on his name.

4. What are other legal remedies available in lieu of Succession Certificate after the period of limitation is over. In case if the nominee is unable to get the succession certificate or do not want to go to all the hassles of getting succession Certificate.



 9 Replies

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     23 September 2023

Firstly as you rightly said, the nominee is just a trust to receive the property on behalf of the ;legal heirts of the deceased owner.

Even though the nominee is also one of the legal heirs, his entitlement in the flat is restricted to his share alone, he cannot occupy the shares of other legal heirs for any reason without the consent or permission of the other legal heirs.

The claim for partition is not restrcited  by the limitation act 

If the society has not transferred the flat or the shares of the property to the nominee for four years, then the nominee should have resorted to legal action against the society either through registrar of cooperative societies or through the consumer forum or at least approached the civil court seeking direction against the society in this regard.

Succession certificate is meant for acquiring the movable properties of the deceased and not the immovable property.

Also obtaining sucession certificate through a civil court is a cumbersome process besides time consuming and expensive in terms of court fee and lawyer's fee.

You may talk to the other legal heirs and arrive at a consensus and get their rights relinquished by executing a registrered release deed in your favor after which you can drag the society to court seeking reliefs accordingly


Dr. J C Vashista (Advocate )     24 September 2023

Very well analysed, opined and advised by learned expert Mr. T Kalaiselvan, I concur.

Society can transfer its share in the name of nominee in terms of Maharashtra Cooperative soceities Act, 1960

Transfer of title (ownership) of the flat in the name of successors of deceased has to be decided by jurisdictional Civil Court. 

Consult a local prudent lawyer for proper appreciation of facts /documents, professional advise and necessary proceeding.

Dr. MPS RAMANI Ph.D.[Tech.] (Scientist/Engineer)     24 September 2023

Even if the Society has not acted on the application made by the nominee, if the nominee is in physical occupation of the flat, the Limitation Act will apply. The Limitation period is 12 years. Ownership of a flat is not decided by whether the Society admits him as member. Eligibility to be a member is sufficient for all rights of a member, or a provisional member even if the Society does not admit him as member. If a person purchases a flat in a building, but the Society does not admit him as member, still he has the right to occupy the flat.

Dhiraj Solanki   24 September 2023

Thanking all of you for responding. The complaint against the Society has already been filed with Deputy Registrar and District Deputy Registrar of CHS for not acting and still keeping the matter of Flat transmission pending on nominee's name.

Responses from DR and DDR on complaint submitted are awaited.

However the issue is, the remaining legal heirs of the Flat are all well settled overseas and none of them are neither interested to provide release deed nor come to India for any court proceedings to claim their rights, nor anyone is going to stay in the Flat as all of them are established abroad. They all have confirmed that they do not have any objection if the nominee stays in the Flat for lifetime till nominee dies.

However they are unwilling to do anything beyond this and the attitude is "I will not eat nor allow you to eat"

The nominee is facing a terrible situation and does not know what to do know. Does the nominee have any other option besides waiting for the time period to lapse so that he can get a court order by virtue of law of limitation once the waiting  period is over.



T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     24 September 2023

Whether the other legal heirs claim their share in the propery or not, their share of property cannot be taken away by you without their consent or permission.

By just remaining in the same property for decades will not entitle you to claim title or claim the entire property for yourself.

If they are not cooperating then you cann file a suit for partition  and get the property sold  and the considration amunt difstributed to all the shareholders accordingly.


Dr. MPS RAMANI Ph.D.[Tech.] (Scientist/Engineer)     25 September 2023

There are many, many cases like yours in Mumbai and rest of the country. I presume that you are the nominee and staying in the flat. Are you regularly paying the dues to the Society?  Are they accepting the payments?  Are they issuing receipts?  In whose name are they issuing receipts? Have you submitted the death certificate of the deceased member? If so they cannot issue receipt in the name of the deceased member. If your answers to the questions are in the affirmative, what is your problem?  You stay there and enjoy life. You can even sell the flat if the buyer is prepared to take the risk and buy. In any case you can rent out the flat because the risk for the tenant is not great. The problem is actually with the Society Management. They are lethargic and do not want to act. If they really want to help you they can do the following. They should give a public notice in 2 prominent newspapers stating that they propose to transfer the flat to your name and that objections, if any, should be received within 30 days. If no objection is received, the flat is yours. One of the reasons that they are lethargic is that you are paying their dues regularly.

P. Venu (Advocate)     25 September 2023

Facts posted reveal that the owner of the apartment is no more and you are the nominee as well the current occupant and also, one among the legal heirs.  The property has already evolved upon the legal heirs. And it is lawful that you are in occupation of the flat. However, such occupation, however prolonged cannot render you the sole owner of the flat. No limitation apply in the given context.

The only remedy in filing a partition suit under the provisions of the Partition Act, 1893.

Dr. MPS RAMANI Ph.D.[Tech.] (Scientist/Engineer)     27 September 2023

There is no law requiring a nominee to search for legal heirs. If his interest is in getting a residence to stay rather than cash, he can stay in the flat as long as he lives if no claim is made. If after 12 years one or more legal heirs claims he need not concede on the strength of limitation act. But he cannot claim the property for himself on the strength of adverse occupation. There is High Court judgment regarding my last sentence.

Dr. J C Vashista (Advocate )     28 September 2023

If DR/ DDR Cooperative Societies is not responding to your application(s) / representation(s) for a reasonable time it is prudent to file a writ petition before the High Court for issuance of necessary writ / directions to the authorities.

Consult and engage a local prudent lawyer for appreciation of facts / documents, professional advise and necessary proceedings.

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