Q & A

Owner’s associations

Are the Owners Association of apartments voluntary organisations? Particularly in view of the fact that (i) there is mostly an agreement between the Builder and the Owner that such an association will be formed under his auspices and that the maintenance of the apartments will be handed over to them (ii) Bye-laws of the Association stipulate that membership is obligatory (iii) The Association is Registered under the Society' Registration Act (iii) the so-called General Body decides the monthly Membership dues and they become compulsory (iv) once the members start paying, the payments become a precedent.


Though the forming of an Association or Society is voluntary in nature generally, there is a difference in so far as ownership of apartments is concerned. The difference is primarily due to the inevitable need of a body or committee to oversee the maintenance, upkeep and proper usage of common amenities and facilities which are provided for the benefit of all the apartment owners/occupants.

Whether stipulated under the agreement with the builder or not, as per Sec. 12 of The Tamil Nadu Apartment Ownership Act, 1994, which is applicable where there are five or more apartments or three or more floors of construction, the apartment owners are bound to form a society under the Tamil Nadu Co-operative Societies Act, 1961 or Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975 or form an association of apartment owners under the Tamil Nadu Apartment Ownership Act. Since there is no authority constituted yet as stipulated under the Apartment Ownership Act, the associations can presently be registered under the other two acts.

The funds of the society can be utilized only for the objects set forth in the Memorandum. The General Body can determine, based on the projected expenses, the monthly maintenance charges payable by the apartment owners proportionate to their ownership of undivided share in land. It may not become a precedent as the General Body can always modify the charges based on surplus or shortfall of the previous year.

Send in your questions to propertyplus@thehindu.co.in. All questions must have a full name and address. The replies here are general and readers are requested to seek independent legal advice.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 11:38:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/homes-and-gardens/q-and-a/owners-associations/article6552840.ece

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