Home ArticleThe byelaws that govern housing societies
The byelaws that govern housing societies

The byelaws that govern housing societies

Contrary to their nomenclature, these laws are not enforced by any statutory authority.

Every institution, private or public, have rules and regulations to manage its affairs. A residential society is no exception. However, the rules and regulations that govern a society are different from the statutory laws that are applicable to other institutions, social or commercial, in the sense that they neither vest arbitrary powers in the executives nor do they invoke penalties.

The rules of the societies, called byelaws, are binding on each member of the society. But contrary to their nomenclature, these laws are not enforced by any statutory authority.

What are society byelaws?

In simple terms, the bylaws can be defined as the guiding principles to run a housing society. Though statutory, these laws are, in a sense, flexible as they have inherent provisions to meet the exigencies of individual societies. They provide a broad framework under which every housing society is governed and come into force the moment it comes into being.

These bye-laws are evolved on the basis of state’s Co-operative Societies Act and hence are universally applicable to all housing societies. The rules and regulations that the Act lays down govern the functioning of a housing cooperative, right from the time of its constitution.

While the bye-laws are framed on the basis of a legislation, a society is free to adopt various modify and at times amend them in accordance with its requirements in keeping with its structure, and membership. But these modifications and amendments can be effected only at the time of registration, that too, subject to the consent of the Registrar.

Though exhaustive, these bye-laws are not meant to be a panacea for all the problems a society might face, nor are they meant to be comprehensive enough to deal with any eventuality conclusively.

Hence, a society is at liberty to modify or amend its bye-laws to accommodate its special needs as it evolves rather than rely solely on the bye-laws in keeping with the provisions of the law. If the pre-existing bye-law proves inconsistent to deal with a situation, the society reserves the right to amend it.

There can be any exigency for which a society can either resort to changes in the rules or bend them to suit its needs. For instance, a society does not have the required for general body meeting. It can either scale down the strength of its members rather than not meet at all.

Another example: Supposing your society followed a per square feet rule to arrive at a monthly maintenance charge. But it underwent redevelopment and now wants to apply a hybrid maintenance calculation. In such a case scenario, the amendment is necessary.

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