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Savitri Mangesh Parulkar   04 December 2023

Managing committee asking contribution based on flat area

Dear Advocate
I am a senior citizen living in housing society in Santa Cruz.My building wants to get into redevelopment.
The building wants to hire a lawyer for getting NOC from some other builder.

Now the Managing committee has given a cost estimate of approx Rs 10 lacs and wants all members to contribute.

Majority of members have small flats and these members are pushing for contribution to be done by area of flat rather than total number of flats.
As hiring a lawyer will benefit everyone why should the contribution be by sq.ft and not by number of unit.

I need to know that as per Maharashtra Society Act is there any provision that when such contribution are sought by the managing committee then such contribution are to be made based on area or number of unit.

Please guide

Savitri Mangesh Parulkar
Santacruz West


 2 Replies

Sanskriti Tiwari   04 December 2023

As per the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960, the distribution of expenses for redevelopment among society members can be decided through a resolution passed by the General Body Meeting (GBM) of the society. The Act does not explicitly specify whether contributions should be based on area or the number of units.

However, legal precedence often favors fairness and reasonableness in such decisions. Courts have previously emphasized the principle of equity in the apportionment of expenses related to redevelopment. The Bombay High Court, in the case of Nahalchand Laloochand Pvt. Ltd. v. Panchali Cooperative Housing Society Ltd., held that any decision concerning expenses must be fair and reasonable.

In your scenario, advocating for contributions based on the area of the flat might be justifiable considering that larger flats generally benefit more from redevelopment projects. However, the decision ultimately relies on the resolution passed during the GBM. It's crucial to check the society's bylaws and regulations as they might have specific guidelines regarding expense distribution.

To challenge or contest the decision made by the Managing Committee, seeking legal advice might be necessary. A lawyer specialized in cooperative housing society matters can guide you through the legal aspects and help evaluate the fairness of the decision based on legal precedents.

Dr. MPS RAMANI Ph.D.[Tech.] (Scientist/Engineer)     04 December 2023

The Model Byelaws of Maharashtra prescribes certain expenses like repairs to be shared according to areas of flats and certain other expenses to be shared equally. Cost of repairs and maintenance have to shared proportional to the area of the flat. Service costs like sweeper, security electricity etc are to be shared equally. Repairs to lift also has to be shared equally. On this principle it would appear that as lawyer's fees is a service it should be shared equally. Anyway Managing Committe cannot decide this matter. It should be placed before the General Body for a decision. If small flat owners are larger in number, they will opt for proportionate share. If voting right were also proportional to the area of the flat, then larger flat owners may decide the issue. In logic this is called 'pathetic fallacy'. But under Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 it is one member one vote. Socialism please. If you go to the Co-operative court, and argue properly, there is a good chance of getting decision for equal sharing. Neither party would like to delay a decision.

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