Bye Laws – Co-operative Housing Society Rules and Regulations

June 28, 2022
By Team MyGate

How does a Society finance itself? How does it screen potential members? Why does it bill its members maintenance charges? Where and when does the member voice his concerns or opinions? 

These questions must have popped in your head time and again as a member of a housing society. Look no further than the inconspicuous little book of ‘ Society Bye laws ”. 

Table of Content

What are bye-laws for housing society?

Society Bye-laws are rules formed by residential societies to self-regulate their activities and to control the actions of its members. Housing society bye laws are provided and approved by higher authorities (government bodies, legislative authorities). Society Laws could vary from one state to another in their particulars, yet the basic framework and nomenclature remain the same. Let’s briefly explore distinctive categories for each component of the functioning of a society. These are broad categories that cover every aspect of housing society rules and regulations, be it holding a meeting, issuing shares to members, collecting dues from them, conducting Elections, allotting parking spaces or putting out a circular on the notice board.

Purpose of housing society bye-laws

The managing committee of an Apartment Owners Association (or Residents Welfare Association) must have bye-laws in order to ensure adequate upkeep of the apartment building and to swiftly and effectively address the problems residents encounter. Escaping the problems is difficult. Convincing the society to accept the chosen laws and regulations is a challenging endeavour. A set of regulations known as the bye-laws provides a solution to all associated problems. The bye-laws are adopted by each apartment building as soon as it registers. The bye-laws are regarded as the apartment complex’s constitution and regulate how it operates on a daily basis.

Why should you know about the model housing society bye-laws?

The answer to any question you have about the functioning of your society can be found in the model bye-laws of housing society . They may seem verbose or cumbersome, but they should be on your ‘essential reading list’ as they are your ‘set in stone’ legal chaperones that cannot be refuted by any society under any circumstances. As part of a society, you’d be remiss if you are not aware of your basic rights and duties, your society’s foundational policies, its management and the guidelines that dictate its decisions. A lot of homeowners harbour an approach of ‘we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it’ with respect to the rules of a society, thinking all is accomplished once they have occupied their residence inside it. Be that as it may, to avoid being misinformed or manipulated by dishonest committee members, to stop the violation of your rights, or simply to be aware of the workings of the community you’re part of, familiarising yourself with model bye-laws of housing society is necessary. Cooperative society bye-laws are easily available online to peruse in your own time. Otherwise, as a member you have the right to ask for a copy from your society.

List of housing society bye-laws

1. Preliminary- Name and Address

This section informs us about the procedure for naming, change in name, classification, address change procedure and exhibiting the Name Board of the society.

2. Interpretations

The meaning of the nomenclature, i.e the exact definition of commonly used terms (common areas, sinking fund, active member) is given so as to legally distinguish common usage of words in the context of a housing co-operative.

3. Area of operation, objectives, affiliation

To define the locality of the society within a municipality and to define the main objects of the society as well as declare it as Member of the Co-op Housing Federation of the District / Ward / Taluka, the District Central Co-operative Bank of the district.

4. Raising of funds and their utilisation

Cooperative society bye-laws lay down rules on modes of raising money such as issuing shares, taking loans, voluntary donations & deposits, etc. and explains how to issue shares to members and limit of liability for the society. The ways in which the funds are utilised are also described, such as reserve fund, repair and maintenance, emergency fund and training fund. 

5. Rights & duties of member

This section describes the eligibility, conditions, and procedure of obtaining membership in a society distinguishes between active, non-active, associate, and nominal members. The rights of members elaborated under bye-laws of the society include the right to inspect records, get a copy of RWA bye-laws, right to Occupation of Residence, conditions for and acceptance of Resignation by Members, procedure for Nomination by a Member and its revocation / revision, procedure and requisite documents for Transfer of Shares and interest from a member to another in the Capital/Property of the Society, Transfer of Shares and interest of the deceased Member, and rules on Exchange and Sub-letting of residences.

6. Responsibilities and liabilities of members

This section details the duties of the member, including applying for permission to make additions and alterations in a flat, allowing examination of flats and report about repairs, not to cause inconvenience to other members. It also entails the grounds for expulsion from the society and its procedure, circumstances under which a person ceases to be a member and the follow-up action taken by the society, rules on holding multiple flats, liability limited of members to unpaid amount on shares.

7. Society charges

Bye-laws of society describe the composition and break-up of the society charges, including  Property Taxes, Water Charges, Common Electricity Charges, contribution to Repairs and Maintenance Fund, expenses on Repairs. Operation and Maintenance of the lifts contribution to the Sinking Fund, Service Charges, Car Parking Charges, Interest on the defaulted charges, Repayment of the Loan, Installment and Interest, Non-occupancy Charges, Insurance Charges, Lease/Rent, Non-agricultural Tax, Education and Training Fund, Election Fund, and any other charges.

8.Duties and powers of the society

These are rules specific to the common seal and incorporation of the society as holding the power to acquire, hold and dispose of the property, to enter into contracts and other legal proceedings. It also pertains to having a charge on the shares and/or interest of a Member, policy for allotment of flats and cancellation of flats, handing over possession of flats, society’s duty to carry out Structural Audit,  allotment of parking lots and its restrictions, marking of parking lots and their eligibility, along with payment of charges for parking of vehicles.

9. General Meetings (First General Meeting, Annual General Meeting & Special General Meeting)

This section gives detailed and specific rules on how to conduct society meetings, including general, annual and special body meetings. Rules regarding the agenda of the first general meeting, the duties of provisional committee and its handover to newly elected committee,  the functions of the annual general body meeting, rules for special general body meeting, period of notice and quorum of a general body meeting, voting rights of members, recording of the minutes of meeting, holding of the adjourned General Body Meeting, among others are explicitly stated. 

10. Management of society affairs

Rules under this category include opening up of bank account for operations, strength (in numbers) of the Managing Committee, guidelines for Election, First Meeting of new committee, duration of holding office, conditions for cessation of membership of the Committee, and Resignation of Committee Member/Office bearer. There are detailed lists of all the required functions of the Managing Committee, Chairman and Secretary of the society.

11. Book-keeping

Detailed lists of maintaining books of accounts, records and registers are specified, including but not limited to cash books, ledgers, Sinking Fund, Investment, Nomination, Loan Registers, Minutes Books, Applications for membership, resignations, correspondences received from within the society or from external agencies related to property tax, conveyance, electricity, vouchers and counterfoils of share certificates and issued cheques, periodical statement of accounts, audit memos, election papers, service staff payment records.

12. Profit distribution

Rules on how to distribute funds (after paying interest on loans/deposits and after making such other deductions) are prescribed clearly in bye-laws of cooperative society . The allocation includes percentage of amount to be deposited in the Reserve Fund, in dividend of shares to shareholders, compensation paid to office-bearers, and towards Common Welfare Fund. 

13. Writing off dues

This section prescribes the conditions under which the Society is allowed to write off its irrecoverable charges due from the members, the expenses incurred on recovery and the accumulated losses.

14. Society accounts audit

The basic procedure for conducting an annual financial audit of the society is described in detail, including the appointment of a registered Auditor/CA, the timeframe to conduct the audit and the steps for completing an Audit Rectification Report before Annual General Meeting

15. Conveyance, redevelopment and repair/maintenance 

This section gives details of getting the deed conveyance under society’s name through an advocate and proceeds to list rules on renovation and repair. Member’s contributions towards repair are stated, along with the procedure of inviting tenders from architects/ developers, and a step-by-step guide to the entire redevelopment process is given. Guidelines on emergency planning schemes, disaster management and response machinery are prescribed as well.

16. Other miscellaneous matters

Minor yet important rules regarding day-to-day operational activities are mentioned in the bye-laws of residential society . These include sending and displaying notices on general meetings and their resolutions, how to fix the Notice Board and what to display on it, penalty amounts for member breaches against the society, regulating the services, amenities as per members’ convenience, fixing timings and rules for use of common areas such as parks, staircases, etc, making available spaces for members to install solar energy electrical systems, making  copies of the documents required by the members and the charge per page. 

17. Committee redressal of member complaints

Based on the complaint type, the society bye-laws give a list of relevant authorities to approach. They describe the types of complaints handled at the Society’s General Body Meeting. Other than that a variety of complaints are handled by the Registrar, Co-operative Court, Civil Court, Municipal Corporation/Local Authority, Police or the District/State Federation, depending on the nature of the grievance. 

Differences between Old & New Housing Society Bye-Laws

Do I have to adopt a new set of housing society bylaws if my society is newly registered? True, your society would adhere to the old model bye-laws. If it was previously registered, the year is 2009. Bye-laws have been newly modified following the 97th Constitutional Amendment and MCS Amendment Ordinance, 2013. This includes cash on hand limits, active member provisions and duties, maintenance rates, AGM, society election tenets, and so on.

Several MCs look for the procedure for adopting new bylaws, while others simply look for bylaw amendments.

Records and Books to be Maintained by a Cooperative Housing Society

Rights and Duties of Tenants in Housing Societies

Swimming pool rules in a residential society

FAQs on society bye laws

Why are bye laws so important

Bye laws in housing society are very important to ensure proper maintenance of the apartment complex and to resolve issues faced by residents in the housing society in an effective manner.

What are the bye-laws of a society?

Bye laws of a society are rules framed by cooperative housing society to control the actions of its members and self regulate their activities.

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15 thoughts on “Bye Laws – Co-operative Housing Society Rules and Regulations

  1. We have 28 flats and 6 shops in our building. Each flat is of 787sq.ft carpet area were as 6 shops are having different carpets areas (2×203 , 2×259 , 2x 281). shop owners are contesting that they are not using Lift , water services therefore their maintenance should be lesser than residential.
    we would like to know how much we can charge from shop owners. can we divide total expenditure into 34 members ? or what is the law ?

  2. Can a cooperative society hold annual or special general body meeting at any time in day or night? If there is rule on this, please advice. Thanks.

  3. two years not held AGM or audited balance sheet then committee is participate in election or not. Complaint in registrar office then committee distribute balance sheet & agenda circulate for new committee appoint. Members rights against committee for disqualifing old committee members participate in election

  4. We r following bye laws adapted in the yr 2003 which was the first change after 1987 of our soc formation.Afterwards how many changes have taken place.How the changes are applicable/compulsory.Which bye laws copies to be considered for the ref?

  5. In our co-operative housing society, there are 14 flats for residential (almost all flats are of same size) &
    There are 6 commercial shops (different size of shops)

    I wanted to know that how should we take maintenance charges from all?

    1)- Per unit (flat & shop) same charge for all? (Residential+commercial)
    2) Per Square feet per unit (residential & commercial)
    3) If as per the above 2nd point, then the charges that residential have to pay…can we charge double maintenance (double of residential) from commercial ??
    (Eg;- Residential charge= Rs 4 per square feet.
    Then commercial charge= Rs 10 per square feet)
    According to By laws of housing cooperative society what can we charge to the commercial shops and residential?

  6. Can an active estate agent broker become a committee member in a cooperative society?

  7. Our society charging maintenance/service more than Flat owners, and it is changing commercial for electricity and water cahrges more than just flat owners by the concerned authorities

  8. Can co-op Society charge any interest on any contribution others then Maintenance charges and any decision about society regarding collection of fund , committee members has right without any metting.

  9. Can senior citizens, parents of owners residing full time in society be considered for nominations

  10. @Salim,
    Water Charges are as per number and size of water lines provided. If no water connection to shops, society should not charge them. Please refer Bye-Laws.

  11. Require model Bye laws for North Goa are they separate or can they use the Bye laws of Maharashtra???please advice

  12. A cooperative HB society land is allotted by the Govt.
    A member buys a flat on GPA which is registered with registrar as per prevailing norms of sale/purchase. The New GPA holder is inducted as a member in 2010.
    Now for execution of conveyance deed in the year 2019 the society seeks a legal opinion based on the complaint of 2008 by one of the affected membr wherein the society has already stated that they have nothing to do with the disputes among members.
    The Society pays Rs 25000/- to the advocate for the legal opinion.
    Now the expenditure is being passed on to the member.(purchaser)
    Is it legal and in order and what procedure is required to be adopted. The bye laws do not suggest anything. Also there is no precedence.

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