By Rahul Sarkar
Roles and Responsibilities of a Society Management Committee
By Rahul Sarkar
The Managing Committee of a housing co-operative is its nerve centre, steering the society towards a wholesome, efficient and harmonious existence. Whether it is financial management, member grievances or day-to-day affairs, the MC has to run like a well-oiled machine to create the best living conditions for the residents.
We have put together a comprehensive guide with checklists in this article so that you can be well-informed and prepared for the myriad roles you may have to assume as part of the MC.
What are the core duties of the Managing Committee?
Once the registration and selection of the first committee have taken place, the regular functions of the MC include monetary transactions, daily management, obligatory membership servicing and compliance with the laws.
- To collect society charges, including but not limited to property tax, water charges, lift/parking/service charges, non-occupancy charges, repair and maintenance charges. These rates are fixed by the committee from time to time (on the basis of proportion stated in bye-laws) upon discussion with the members;
- To raise funds and deposits from the member;
- To decide the rates of contribution, manage and collect Reserve Fund and Sinking Fund;
- To fix the rate of insurance premiums to be paid by members in case if there is a commercial use of the flat;
- To collect interest from defaulting members;
- To insure the property of the society.
Duties towards the members
- To consider and decide resignations from members/office-bearers and record nominations and revocations that may follow after;
- To issue allotment letters of flats once a member buys them and make available to members the papers of the society;
- To take required action once a membership ends;
- To refund shares and associated interest if and when due in case they have been acquired by the society;
- To review complaints registered by the members and take necessary actions to resolve them;
- To organize events, festivals and special days to encourage camaraderie and friendships among the members.
- To authorize a Committee member to attest any document that bears the seal of the society, such as lease agreements, deed of conveyance, share certificates, etc.
- To look after the lift operations, manage and instruct service staff about their duties and take care of their compensations and accommodation (if any).
- To maintain, inspect the property of the society and carry out renovations, repairs as and when needed.
- To review and finalise vendor applications for services needed in the society, e.g. produce stalls, dry cleaning services, etc.
- To regulate parking
- To supervise compliance of bye-laws and society rules by the members and suggest fines or penalties in case if a consistent breach is found
- To review the Secretary’s report on inspection of flats
- To hold election of a new committee in a timely manner, to elect new office-bearers, consider their resignations and replacements
- To organise and recommend general body meetings and hold annual/special general body meetings
- To hold a Committee meeting at least once a month
- To execute a deed of conveyance of the land and building/s;
- To approve the audit rectification reports of statutory and internal audits and to forward them to the authorities concerned;
- To scrutinise tenders received for construction work and to submit the same along with the committee’s report to the meeting of the General Body and to enter into a contract with the contractor;
- To enter into a contract with the Architect of the society in case of redevelopment;
- To ensure that the Society is affiliated to Housing Federation and its subscription is regularly paid.
What are the duties of the Chairman?
When the managing committee is elected, the Chairman is at the helm of all affairs for five years and is expected to keep a watch over all activities of the Committee. The chair is accountable and answerable for any malfunction during his term and has the final decision power in all matters. Here’s what the chair does:
- He presides over all the meetings of the Committee, determines the quorum and reviews the agenda of every meeting beforehand.
- He has the power to allow or bar any issue from being included in the meeting agenda but like a democracy, he has to have a reason for doing so.
- When it comes to voting, if there is an equal number of votes for or against a matter, the Chair decides to cast a decisive vote, i.e he has two votes.
- He is the Signatory for bank operations out of joint authority.
- He is the final authority on ballot decisions, expenditure approvals, acceptance of procedural decisions, committee nominations, proxy attendees in a meeting, and disciplinary actions.
- The Chair is responsible for initiating community building activities and maintaining a healthy and progressive environment in a co-operative.
What are the roles and responsibilities of the Secretary?
The job of the Secretary comes with responsibilities that can sometimes seem daunting, but once you get to the brass tacks, the role is quite rewarding and engaging.
The Secretary is required to maintain immaculately the accounts, records and registers of the society, including the Cash Book, Ledgers, Sinking Fund/Investment Register, Audit Register, Nomination Register and The Minutes Book.
Additionally, he is in charge of membership files, plans of construction, bank account statements, society statement of accounts, annual reports, election documents, vouchers for expenses, member applications/complaints, among others.
b. Organizational activities
- The Secretary is responsible for organizing meetings and recording the minutes.
- He must liaise between the Chair and members with respect to the meeting agendas, check the quorum and ensure that the items on the agenda are carried out completely.
- He must issue share certificates to the members on time, deal with resignations, expulsions, and cessations of memberships.
- He must carry out the conduct of election thoroughly in the manner prescribed in the bye-laws.
- He should produce records of the Society before different authorities concerned with the working of the Society with the consent of the Chairman.
- He must bring to the committee’s notice any breach of the rules/laws or default cases and be present at disciplinary hearings.
- He must finalise the accounts of the preceding year, prepare the receipts and payments Statement, the Income and Expenditure Statement for the year and the Balance Sheet as at the close of the year.
- He is responsible for the functioning, recruitment and compensation of the service staff, including watchmen, lift-operators, cleaning crew, vendors, etc.
c. Communication & Correspondence
- The Secretary must issue notices and agenda of all meetings of the general body and the committee.
- He must issue a letter of allotment of flats, prepare and issue demand notices/bills for payment to the Society’s charges, issue a notice of repairs to be carried out in flats.
- He is in charge of all types of communication and applications received by the society from members, vendors and be the go-between for the committee and the members.
- He deals with communication with the authorities, including correspondence with the Co-Operative Registrar, correspondence on common electric supply, property taxes including Non-agricultural taxes.
- The Secretary must inspect the property of the Society and visit flats for inspection after prior notice to the members.
Even though running a co-operative can be a challenging task,it is by no means insurmountable. A well-integrated and proactive MC is the key to a thriving co-operative.