Are Byelaws A Must To Run A Housing Complex?
All apartment associations are registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, or relevant state legislations. On the other hand, resident welfare associations (RWAs) frame their own guidelines or rules relating to the day-to-day functioning of an apartment complex. Convincing members to act in the interest of the society is no less than a challenge because all members know their rights but few realise their responsibilities.
Importance of byelaws
The managing committee of the apartment owners' association frames byelaws to ensure proper maintenance of the premises and to resolve the issues faced by residents.
What should the byelaws include?
- The RWA must consist of at least 10 members.
- Under the byelaws, all owners have to pay the monthly fee imposed by the RWA. The byelaws also state the deadline for payments, fee and fine. The byelaws also mention the names of persons in the management who can sue and be sued in case of an issue.
- Byelaws should also have details about the method to enroll new members, qualification of membership, restrictions and other conditions, apart from rules on eviction of members.
- The byelaws should have particulars about how the business has to be carried out by the association.
- The affairs of the association have to be governed by a board elected through a simple majority in the annual general body meeting.
How to make model byelaws for a housing complex?
The first step is to make a draft model byelaw for the association members and get it approved by the general body. Register the RWA. On its successful registration, the byelaws become effective for the RWA.
Any RWA can amend the byelaws in a duly constituted meeting, which can be approved by 2/3rdmembers. Note, even if a member holds two apartments in a society, his will be counted as a single vote. After the new byelaw is declared, it becomes valid.
Procedure for amending a byelaw
- An annual general body meeting has to be held.
- A resolution has to be passed by a majority, with three-fourth of the members present.
- The two-third of members should not be less than one-third of the total members in the society.
- Every change in the memorandum of the association should be filed with the registrar within a month.
- Upon satisfaction that the amendment does not contravene any act or rules, the registrar will register the amendment, and issue a certificate of registration.
Are these laws binding?
Although any registered RWA has legal validity, if there is any law that may impinge your fundamental right, you may take the legal recourse.
For instance, many apartment societies had banned keeping pets in the society. But, the Constitution of India says that an apartment can't ban the keeping of animals in an apartment, with Section 11 (3) mentioning about the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal Act, 1960. It is also against Article 51 A (g) of the Indian Constitution wherein, it is the duty of every citizen to have compassion towards animals, living creatures and improve the natural environment.