Model Bye-Laws of Co-operative Housing Societies

June 28, 2019
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 ‘Model Bye-laws”. 

Model Bye-laws are rules formed by societies to self-regulate their activities and to control the actions of its members. These bye-laws are provided and approved by higher authorities (government bodies, legislative authorities). Model bye-laws of a co-operative housing society 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 operating a co-operative housing society, 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.

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.


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.

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.

Raising of funds and their utilisation

These 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. 

Rights 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 these bye-laws include right to inspect records, get a copy of 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.

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.

Society charges

Bye-laws 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.

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.

General Meetings

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. 

Management of regular 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.


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.

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. 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. 

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.

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

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.

Miscellaneous matters

Minor yet important rules regarding day-to-day operational activities are mentioned in the bye-laws. 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. 

Redressal of member complaints

Based on the complaint type, the 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. 

Why should you know about the model bye-laws?

The answer to any question you have about the functioning of your society can be found in the model bye-laws. 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 is necessary. Model 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.

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15 thoughts on “Model Bye-Laws of Co-operative Housing Societies

  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. 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

  7. 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.

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

  9. @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.

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

  11. 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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