Transfer of Membership in Housing Society

If you’re wondering what your options are to transfer your property to a family member or anyone else you see fit to inherit your residence? Fret not, there is a simple and clear procedure provided by your society’s model bye-laws that cover every probability and circumstance that may occur in your life.

What are the rules?

You should be able to transfer the membership to any person of your choosing, be it a family member or any other. However, if the society rules that you have not been compliant according to the bye-laws, it may raise an objection. You have to be regular in paying your dues and maintenance, and should not have been held in gross violation of its rules and are not facing expulsion due to disrepute or persistent nuisance to other members.

What is the procedure?

Any member desirous of transferring ownership of his residence should give a 15-day prior written notice to the society’s Secretary, stating his intention.

The Secretary puts forth this notice in the next committee meeting. Member’s eligibility to transfer shares is verified according to bye-laws.

Any decision (of approval or disapproval) has to be taken by the managing committee within 30 days and has to be communicated to the member within 8 days of taking the decision. However, under exceptional circumstances, the time period can be extended to no longer than three months. If within that time period, no communication is sent to the member by the society, the person to whom the ownership is being transferred is deemed as the member of the society in place of the original member.

A ‘No Objection’ Certificate is usually not needed from the society in this matter, but if the member has requested for an NOC, the society must provide it to him. A society should not have any objections if the member intends to transfer ownership to another, unless there has been a serious non-compliance of bye-laws by the owner. If it cannot provide the NOC, it has to inform the member of the reason in 15 days. The member can then appeal to the three other committee members or apply to the Registrar.

Documents required

  • Prescribed form in the bye-laws that states the intention of transfer along with Share Certificate
  • Application in the prescribed form for Membership of the proposed Transferee
  • Member/Owner’s resignation in prescribed form
  • Valid reason for transfer of membership
  • Letter of consent from the person to whom membership is being transferred
  • Registered agreed copy with paid stamp duty
  • Payment of the transfer fee of Rs 500 by the member and Rs 100 admittance fee paid by the transferee
  • Submission of NOC from a financing agency (if any)
  • Premium amount of Rs 25,000 (being the maximum amount to be paid, however could be less depending on what is decided in the General Body Meeting. However, the premium does not apply if the ownership of residence is being transferred to an heir/family member or if the members have decided to exchange flats between each other.

Procedure to transfer membership upon the death of the member

Most members appoint nominees to whom the society transfers the shares/interest in case of death. The nominees are required to submit an application for membership within six months from the death of a Member.

If there are multiple nominees, they should decide whose name will be primary and the others become joint or associate members.
If there are multiple nominees and they wish to nominate only one among themselves as the owner, they should give the society an Indemnity Bond, securing it against legal liability for its actions. Such cases occur when one is a trustee and holds the property till all the heirs are brought on record.

As such, the society verifies the nomination form and executes the transfer according to the court probated will or civil court succession certificate. It is not the society’s responsibility to verify who the actual heir should be as long as the nomination is according to its bye-laws and legally accurate.

If the member has not provided a nomination for transfer of ownership, the society (at the expense to the member) within six months of the member’s death, issues a public notice inviting claims or objections to the proposed transfer of shares and interest of the deceased member. This notice is published in two local newspapers with a good circulation.

After receiving a response, the society decides who is the legal heir to be granted ownership after receiving an Indemnity Bond from them securing itself against claims made by any other. If the society cannot decide, it transfers the ownership after asking the claimants to produce a succession certificate from a competent court.

What do you think?