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The objective of this article is to create awareness amongst the Managing Committees and resident members of Housing Societies about proper maintenance and repairs of their property and develop an understanding approach towards future life of buildings.

It is invariably noticed that in majority of cases where any complaint with regard to repairs received by the Managing Committee is generally neglected due to lack of time, carelessness, lethargic attitude, absence of competence and initiative or inadequate fund.

Do not neglect leakage issues as the repair is an essential activity to make good the damage caused to the Society’s building due to decay or poor maintenance. Hence, it is of utmost importance to identify the defects, plan and implement maintenance and repair work well in time which will lead to the prolonged life of building and safety of the members and appreciation of property value.

In addition to above, the following Bye-Laws have been framed and incorporated by the Commissioner for Cooperation and Registrar, Maharashtra, Pune to have control on repairs and maintenance of the properties of Cooperative Housing Societies.  The members of the Managing Committee and the resident members may take a tour to the Bye-Law No. 77, 156, 157, 158, 159 & 160. 

Under the supervision of Secretary, it is the prime responsibility of the entire Managing Committee to maintain the property of the Society in good condition at all times. The Secretary of the Society, on receipt of any complaint about the repairs from any of the members must take the cognizance of such grievance on priority bases and report to the Managing Committee to consider the same and decide as to which of the repairs should be carried out.

Any administrative failure on the part of Secretary or the Managing Committee may lead the matter to litigation at a later date and may cause financial penalty if negligence proved.

One such recent case of one of the Housing Societies situated at Thane is narrated below. The Society has been ordered by the Consumer Forum to pay Rs.5.00 lakhs as compensation to a member for neglecting the leakage problem in his top floor flat for 16 years.

In an order delivered recently, the Thane District Consumer Forum said that the Society had failed to provide services to its member who had paid necessary funds for repairs of the building.

The member was residing on the top floor of the ground plus three-storey building, complained to the Consumer Forum that the leakage problem started in 1997 and that the Society turned a blind eye to the problem despite his repeated complaints followed by reminders. No response from the Managing Committee led him to register a complaint against them before the Forum.

The leakage started in 1997, when the complainant’s flat started developing cracks and it started leaking. When he addressed the problem to the Office-Bearers of the Society, they did not pay heed to his complaint.

During the year 2003 to 2006, the bedroom of member’s flat started developing cracks and water seeped profusely through the cracks. Again he informed the Society, but the Office-Bearers turned deaf ears towards his complaint. He then spent money to repair the leakage. However, the problem persisted as stated in his complaint.

The member mentioned that he not only suffered mental harassment due to this problem but his wife slipped and fell in the house on account of the water from the leakage. She was admitted and treated in hospital.

The Consumer Forum noted that the said member had contributed toward the Society’s building repair fund, but the Society did not care to redress his problem.

Asked to reply to the complaint, the erring Office-Bearers of the Society claimed that the damage in member’s flat was the result of alterations that he had carried out. However, the member produced evidences to show that he was compelled to make alterations during the course of repairs.