Your property-related legal queries answered by Rank Associates, a law firm that primarily deals in these matters

I live in a 132-flat complex in Chennai.  This year, the residential association has started to buy water from tankers, and the costs have been passed on to the residents. About 20 residents refused to pay, saying they were not consulted but they have used the water. Please advise us about what action the association can take to collect the charges.

G. Sankaran, Chennai

The affairs of the apartment complex have to be managed as per the terms of the bylaws and decisions taken at the general body meetings. A majority of the members present in such meetings (subject to quorum) can take decisions that can be implemented by the committee. It is not necessary that all the owners have to consent. The bylaws have to be looked into for the possible action that could be taken against defaulters and whether the same requires approval of the general body. If the default continues, a civil suit has to be filed against the defaulters for recovery.

My maternal grandfather died, leaving behind two daughters. My mother is still alive but her sister died 10 years ago, survived by her husband only and leaving behind no will. Her husband gave the power of attorney to a person with a criminal case pending against him. He also drinks heavily and is not trustworthy. Can her husband give the POA to somebody else for the purpose of disposing of the plot by sale or otherwise?

(Name held back)

It appears that your mother’s sister did not leave behind any children. In the absence of any issue to a female Hindu dying intestate (without a will), any property inherited by her from her father will devolve on the legal heirs of her father and not on her husband.

Therefore, your mother’s sister’s share reverts to your grandfather’s remaining legal heirs, namely, your mother.

Your mother’s sister’s husband will not have any right in the property and, therefore, the appointment of an agent by him will have no effect at all. However, to prevent the agent from creating any third party interest using the POA, it is advisable to initiate suitable legal action immediately to assert the rights of your mother.

As a Karta, I want to make my will for my HUF and HUF account. I also have savings from my salary. Will this require two wills?

Capt R Bakhshi, New Delhi

You can bequeath your individual and HUF assets in a single Will. While dealing with the properties and assets of the HUF, you have to confine yourself to your share in the HUF.