Govt moves to regulate housing maintenance charges

As a measure to bring in better accountability in maintenance charges collected by the apartment associations in the city, the state government has issued a circular that urges apartment associations to register themselves under The Karnataka Co-operative Societies Act, 1959. In the wake of increasing complaints on financial misappropriation by apartment associations, the Registrar of Co-operative Societies has said – in a circular dated November 30 – not to register under the Karnataka Society

Registration Act, 1960. This Act does not have specific regulations regarding the financial practices undertaken by the associations. “The societies which fall under the Karnataka Apartment Ownership Act, 1972 are not to be registered under the Karnataka Societies Registration Act, 1960,” states the circular, as the latter provides registration for promotion of charity, education, science, literature, fine arts, foundation, maintenance of libraries, reading rooms, public museums, galleries and so on, but not for financial practices.

Referring to the circular, M K Aiyappa, Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Karnataka State said, “All the apartment complexes, associations or societies charge for maintenance and indulge in other financial activities, but there is no proper regulation if they do not register under Karnataka Cooperative Societies Act, 1959 or Karnataka Ownership Flat Act, 1972.” The move is important, as the apartment associations can now approach an authorised body to conduct enquiries, if there are any complaints related to financial aspects.

Welcoming the move, M S Shankar, secretary, Forum for People’s Collective Efforts said, “This has been a long pending move and we welcome the directive. Most apartment associations are not indulging in any charity related work or welfare, but are collecting maintenance charges only to look after themselves.” “Residents living in apartment complexes own an undivided share of land. They cannot enjoy privileges on the entire complex, as per their desires,” said Shankar.

Aiyappa added that some of the apartment associations have already registered under the Act, but for those not registered, it is mandatory to do so under the Karnataka Co-Operative Societies Act or Karnataka Flat Ownership Act, to bring in financial accountability.

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