Bye Laws: The Constitution of your Apartment Association

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If you are looking for sample template of bylaws for residential welfare association or apartment owners association, download from here.

Need for Bye Laws

The primary responsibility of the Managing Committee of an Apartment Owners Association (or Residents Welfare Association) is to ensure proper maintenance of the Apartment Complex and to resolve any issues that residents face in a timely and effective manner. These are not easy tasks to handle when you consider the sheer variety of challenges that confront the committee. Convincing members to act in the interest of the society is no less a challenge either as almost every resident is aware of their rights but few accept their responsibilities. So how does a Managing Committee go about its day-to-day tasks, taking clear, unbiased actions that work in the best interest of the society? What are the powers of the Managing Committee that enables it to enforce its decisions? And what makes the members of an Apartment Complex accept these decisions?

The answer to all this lies in the rules and regulations that every Apartment Complex adopts from the moment it is registered. Called bye-laws of the society, these rules and regulations govern the day-to-day functioning of the Apartment Complex. So crucial is the role of bye-laws in the smooth functioning of a society that many consider them to be the constitution of an Apartment Complex.

Registering Your Bye Laws

The Co-operative Society Act is a Central Act that helps co-operative societies to manage their affairs. However, most States in India (Maharashtra in 1960, Gujarat in 1961, Karnataka 1960 and so on) have repealed this act and have created their own Co-operative Societies Act. These Acts specify the rules and regulations that are part of a model set and usually any residential Apartment Complex association is free to adopt these bye-laws in total or modify them as per their requirement and accept them. The Act thus offers a certain degree of flexibility to societies.

What is inflexible, however, is the need to get the bye-laws adopted. The bye laws are considered so critical for the efficient working of a society that it is mandatory for an Apartment Complex Association to approve and submit them to the Registrar of Societies during the formation of the association itself. The bye-laws adopted by an Apartment Complex should have the following details:

  • the aims and objectives of the society,
  • the details of the rules and regulations that apply to members,
  • the specifics of selecting a member and office-bearers of the society,
  • details of how the association aims to help the residents of the society
  • details of how it will go about getting the co-operation of all members. 
  • information on how the society will manage its income and expenses.
  • the list the office-bearers who will be authorized to issue cheques and monetary transactions on behalf of the association. (Bye-laws usually recommend rights to three-office bearers for signing any document or monetary transaction with any two of them required to sign at one particular time.)
  • details about transfer charges, maintenance costs, penalties, etc

The bye-laws should also mention when and how the AGM of the society will be held. Usually the first AGM should be held within six months from the close of the financial year. From the second year onwards, it should be held every year after March 31 and before August 14 as per bye-law no. 95or within an extended period as per Section 75(i) of the act. An AGM can be held by giving at least 21 days prior notice to members.

Amending your Bye Laws

Once the bye-laws are adopted, the society can function forever with that particular set of rules. However, the bye-laws can also be amended by the government or the residents themselves if the need arises. For example, if the bye-law says that the tenure of the Managing Committee should be 5 years, the association can change it to 3 years or 7 years by getting it approved by the General Body and then the Registrar. The new set of amended bye-laws will become functional for the association from the date of approval by the Registrar.

An Apartment Complex Association can amend its bye-laws in the following manner:

  1. A General Meeting (annual/special) should endorse the change with a two third majority of the members present in the meeting. This two third of members should not be less than one third of the total members in the society. (The Registrar may still accept the amendment under such a condition if the reason for the low turnout is explained in writing).
  2. The Managing Committee should submit the form mentioning the new law to be brought into force.
  3. The Committee should also submit four copies of the existing bye-laws along with the resolutions passed by the Annual General Meeting.
  4. Along with the signatures of the Managing Committee, the form should have the following details:
    • The date of the meeting at which the amendment was passed.
    • The number of members in the association.
    • Number of members of the present in the meeting.
    • Number of members who voted in favour of the amendment.

 The Registrar will register the amendment upon satisfaction that the amendment does not contravene any Act or rules that guide the functioning of a co-operative society. On approval, the Registrar will issue a certificate of registration along with the certified copy of the amendment. This is proof of the amendment being successfully registered. The Registrar of Societies can, however, refuse to register an amendment of the bye-laws. The Registrar will provide the reason for the decision in writing to the association.  

The bye-laws are thus binding as well as flexible enough for the Managing Committee to manage the affairs of the association as best as possible.

You can download a sample template of bye-laws from here.


This article aims at collating and providing information on bye-laws for residential complexes for benefit of ApnaComplex customers and readers. While ApnaComplex has taken every care to ensure the information is accurate, we suggest to please use the information in the article and the template provided only as a guidance for further discussion and action with help of relevant professionals. If you need professional advise on this topic and any other property related matters, please send your request through our contact us form. You may post your questions/inputs in the Comments section below and we will try and get them answered through relevant subject matter experts.

Comments
  1. Amar Jeet

    I AM A RESIDENT OF A PRIVATE LAYOUT CONSISTING 240 SITES OF DIFFERENT DIMENSIONS RANGING FROM 2000 SQ FT TO 8000 SQ FT.Most of the sites are vacant.At present there are only 65 residents. The association was formed with mutual understanding to address the common problems without any proper election infect only few volunteered themselves to serve.My problem is the maintenance charges are common for all.This has been raised in meetings at number of times but due to poor attendance say around 15 with 7 association members, majority decides against my proposal to charge on sq. ft. basis.Any solution?

  2. sahani

    under the bye laws it states we need to inform the association the details when the tenant of your apt changes at the same time another clause says u cannot rent the apt for commercial use/ geust house . But the point is for example we have rented the same to a company who are using it for residential purposes for their visiting guests. Is it ok or can the association say this is not allowed

  3. Arup

    Typically if a flat is given out on a lease to a company where tenants keep churning and are usually visitors for few weeks, it will become a service apartment / company guest house which is commercial in nature. Associations can disallow it. However, if the flat is leased to a company where the employees of company stay in the flat for longer term it is a non-commercial activity.

    A simple method (but not fool proof) to determine commercial vs. non-commerical would be if the tenant staying the flat would change his/her mailing address to the flat. If s/he is chaging the mailing address – it can deemed non-commerical. Else, it can be deemed commercial.

  4. Harpal Singh

    Can you please share the contact numbers of the person(s) who can get the association registered e.g. Lawyer(s) or Legal person(s) with their fees what they charge and also help the association in taking the legal actions in the due course.

    Thanks, Harpal.

  5. Meenakshi

    I stay in an Apartment in 2 flats which is rented. Whereas we pay the maintenance charges of Rs700/- (inclusive of both flats), they collect the cheque under their own name and give us the receipt but without any revenue stamp, and the apartment is also not registered. And when asked to show the records they refuse and start fighting with us. I don’t know what action is to be taken??? What are the rules. Please guide me with all relevant details so that I can take the necessary action immediately

  6. Manivannan

    what to do if the owners of 5 out 8 apartments refuse to form an association ? Is there any law in chennai to force the formation of flat owners association ?

  7. jai prakash

    i am a flat owner at ranchi i am ateacher and carry out math tuition.is it legal?

  8. Gokul

    @jaiprakash, as long as your association by-laws permit and there is no objection from neighbors, there should not be any problem.

    @manivannan, you probably will have to reach out to registrar of societies.

    @meenakshi, you can first try and bring any irregularities in your associations general body meeting. If that is not possible or did not yeild results, you can approach the registrar of socieites and file a complaint.

  9. we are staying in and appartment in pune where builder has returned our one time maintainence our society members have kept that money as fix deposit of whcih we are getting monthgly interest but the society members are not ready to use that money also and are collecting rs 700 per month society formation is not legal from 28 flat members 9 flatmembers appt deed is not done what if i dont pay 700rs can they take action on us what if i as my one time maintainence back?????? pls answer all the question there is going to be a meeting in our building on Tue .

  10. Anhsirk

    I would like to know what is to be done in a situation me and few others are in.
    I had purchased a flat from a builder who is also the land owner and has developed. The land owners have also accuired few flats in the process. although the flats a have been handed over to respective owners, the builder has not completed the cellar flooring etc and is delaying in providing few amenities as promised. He has not formed an association neither is showing interest in forming an association.
    Please advise what can be done in this situation.?

  11. dolly

    We own an apartment in Hyderabad where about 7 owners have enclosed common areas in front of their main door with iron grills.There are 20 flats in all.
    we have kept our personal wooden boxes on the terrace under the water tank.But those boxes were thrown out in the open in our absence saying common areas cannot be used.
    Complaining to the self appointed committee members has not yeilded any result.No society has been formed and maintenance of rs 1000 is collected without maintaining any register.Our flat is locked as we stay in another city.What can I do?

  12. POONAM KUMARI

    Our apartment is having forty (40)flats of 1,2,3&4 BHK of different carpet areas. Some flat holders purchased two flats and made it one. Now,i want to know, what is the legal rules of the collection of monthly maintenance charges of each flat holders by the society! Is they paid equally each flat or by their carpet areas!

  13. Gokul

    @anshrik, it is best to for all the owners of your complex to come together and form and association on your own and register the same with Registrar of Socieites (or appopriate authority of your state) – instead of waiting for the builder to form. Once your have a legal association, it is easier to deal with builder and get all the pending works completed.

  14. Gokul

    @dolly, typically common areas such as terraces cannot be used to store personal items.
    Also, if there is no society and no bye-laws, you have no obligation to pay the maintenance fees.

  15. Gokul

    @Poonam, maintenance expenses typically fall under two categories – (a) expenses such as security, swimming pool maintenance, lifts etc that are common for every one irrespective of the flat size. (b) expenses such as common area electricity bill which are dependent on the square feet. So, maintenance charges are typically collected as a combination of fixed fee per flat and per sqft to take care of association expenses.

    You can refer to this article for more details – http://blog.apnacomplex.com/2010/07/20/popular-methods-of-calculating-maintenance-charges-in-apartment-complexes/

  16. Ramesh

    Myself own and curently living in an apt (since Oct 2005) banaglore. The ascoiation is pressurizing me to pay up a subscription towards membership . They always say it is due from my side . I dont want to be a member since I dont see any value add for us in it.

    Would there be any legal implications? They also say that the maintainence fee receipts will be given in the names of the previous wner in case I fail to pay up the subscription .
    Am I compelled to pay or is it my choice .

  17. Sanz

    My question to you is,

    I live in a co- op housing society apartments in Blr,

    the workers here have left unfinished stones(jelly)& cement & even garbage drums inside the building premises under our flat for couple years now.

    Is there any law or regulations that say premises should be clean & healthy environment.

  18. Maverick

    Does the RWA have any right to forcefully demolish any ‘Unauthorised’ construction on an area which DOES NOT fall in Common area. We have an Area which has been leased to us when we bought our ground floor apartment in UP Noida but on the condition that no structure can be built without the permission on the vice chairman of the authority. I agree it may not be right to build something permanenet but is it RWA’s authority or the district authority to enforce it.

  19. ALAPATI SUDHAKARA RAO

    WE ARE FLAT OWNERS OF THIRD FLOOR. TOTAL 5 APARTMENTS IN THIRD FLOOR. WE NEED TO REPAIR COMMON TERRACE FOR RAIN PROOF. ASSOCIATION ASKING MORE MONEY FROM THIRD FLOOR OWNERS FOR REPAIR AS THEY ARE THE FIRST SUFFERER IF REPAIR NOT DONE. MY QUESTION IS WHETHER WE NEED TO PAY MORE MONEY AS OUR FLAT IS IN LAST FLOOR ? OR WE HAVE TO CONTRIBUTE EQUALLY AS OTHER OWNERS?

  20. T.V.SUNDARARAJAN

    We are 18 flat owners. We are devloping our site thru developer. He will construct 14 more flats and sell after giving us 18 flats. Is it mandatory to register a welfare association ? with whom ?

  21. K.R.LUMUMBA

    IN OUR APARTMENT WE HAVE 12 FLATS OF WHICH 10 BELONGS TO BUILDER SHARE & 2 ARE OF LAND OWNER. I PURCHASED A FLAT FROM LAND OWNER’S SHARE. MY SALEDEED REFLECTS THE FLAT AREA PLUS 120SFT OF CAR PARKING SPACE.BUT NO SPECIFICATION OF IDENTIFICATION NUMBER WITH BOUNDARIES.
    BUT SALEDEEDS OF OWNERS PURHASED FROM BUILDER REFLCTED ONLY FLATAREA WITHOUT CARPARKING SPACE.BUILDER GAVE THEM CARPARKING ALLOTMENTLETTER ON 100Rs BONDPAPER WITH IDENTIFICATION No&BOUNDARIES SPECIFIED. NOW THEY ARE NOT ALLOWING ME TO PARK MY VEHICLE.IF I MOVE LEGALLY IS MY DOCUMENT VALID FOR CARPARKING? PLEASE EXPLAIN…..THANK YOU SIR.

  22. subhash

    is there any difference in maintenance fee for 1BHK & 2 BHK flats in aparment association as per law.
    Also i want know the law.

  23. Lakshmi

    Hi, Please clarify me a point. My parents has bought two apartments and registered the same in the name of we sisters before my sister got married. Now my sister got married and staying in the apartment which is registered in my name and which was rented earlier.

    I’m staying along with my parents in the apartment registered in my sister’s name. For convenient sake parents property was registered so and staying in a flat whichever is convenient to each.

    Both the flat associations are treating us as tenants which is obsolutely not acceptable. So wants to know how we can be treated as tenants. Pls advise to overcome this problem once for all.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Lakshmi

  24. Manik Seth

    WE ARE FLAT OWNERS OF SIX FLOOR. TOTAL 408 FLAT IN MY APARTMENTS.APPARTMENT HAVE COMPLEATED ON NOV-2008,WHEN WE HAVE TAKEN FLAT WE HAVE DEPOSITED ONE TIME CORPUS FOR MAINTENANCE OF THE BASIS OF BUILDUP AREA.AT PRESENTLY BUILDER ARE UNDER HIS SUPERVISION.AT THE MONTH OF FEB BUILDER ARE ORGANISE ELECTION FOR 5 POST.IT HAS BEEN PAST 2 MONTH BUT BUILDER HAVE NOT ORGANISE SAPAT GRAHAN SAMARAO.AND BUILDER ARE NOT HANDOVER MAINTENANCE SOCIETY YET TODAY. WE WANT TO KNOW THAT THIS ELECTION IS VALIDE AS PER LAW.IF ANY TIME LIMIT FOR “SAPAT” .PLEASE TELL US ACCORDINGLY.
    THANKS & REGARDS!

  25. Renga Raman

    I want the Draft Copy with By-laws of Forming the Apartment owners association. Can you provide me sir. Thanks for your help.

  26. RADHA APARTMENT

    Thanks,Vikas

  27. Biju

    I want the Draft Copy with By-laws of Forming the Apartment owners association. Can you provide me sir.

    There are 5 total apartments in 3 floors, one in ground floor and two each in first and second floor. Total 12 cents of undiveded land owned by all these 5 owners.

  28. narayana

    we are residing in a flat in visakhapatnam AP for last 8 yrs. we are paying the maintenance fee regularly without fail. recently the association decided to go for a new generator which is opposed by our owner and few others, instead asked for 24 hrs water which the association provided but went ahead with the generator and asked each flat owners a payment of 6k per flat,
    our owner refused to pay saying it is unnecessary expenditure what ever the disputes they may have. now the association has a put a notice on the board saying that they will cut our water and electricity as a means to punish our owner. my question is that does the association has authority to cut our basic amenities when we are paying the maintenance? not paying the maintenance? deliberately trying not to take the maintenance even though we are ready to pay

  29. Sunny

    I stay in a residential society in bangalore. we have a tenant in our midst who also has a flat in the society but not registered as he has some financial issues with the builder.
    This person is a lawyer and harassing the residents and the Association by filing civil suits against them on some false pretext or the other. The Assoiation is spending most of the time fighting with this guy instead of focusing on managing the society.

    Is there any provision in the law by which we can evict this person from the society?

  30. venkatesh

    I am resident of an apartment. Our builder has given position after taking away all the dues but following works uncompleted.

    1) Completion Certificate from the Corporation
    2) No Compound wall
    3) No drinking water connection
    4) No drinking water storage Tank
    5) Parking area flooring not done.

    Pl guide us how to proceed with the builder to get all the pending work done on priority.

    Regards
    Venkatesh Mannari

  31. T PADMAJA

    We are staying in a 20 year old apartment. 2 single bed room flats are clubbed and we bought that. We are forced to pay double maintenance cost. Whenever repair comes we are asked to pay double which is mandatory they are saying. We are only 3 with a kid at home but paying the maintenance charges double and everything double. Since its own flat we are unable to vacate. Can I oppose for paying the double cost for everything?? Pl suggests.

  32. Hanumantha Rao M

    My co-flat owner has kept big tree pots in the common lobby flat number 8 and 9. It is giving trouble for us to come and go.
    So, please send me how and what grounds of the act I can send letter to him.

  33. Ramesh Payal

    I am a tenant at a apartment at ITPL road, kundalhalli to Mahadevpura road Bangalore 48, Few Owners have form a body and running a society and are collecting Rs 2500/-P M as soct charges from each member. However the said Soct is not register with Registrar of Co Op soct Bangalore. I want to know the status of the Unregister soct run by few members.Kindly guid in the matter,. Thanks,

  34. sarath

    hello,
    We have a problem in our apartment. We have 6 flats in our apartment. In that now one flat alone is not paying the maintenance amount. what is the proper step to be taken.

  35. manoj

    my aparment i do not own parking place now my society 4 new parking arear i built in common parking area society is seeeling this parking area @ current market value pl tell me whether society mc can sell the the this are what will be the leagal obligation if some one takes objection later.

  36. B K CHAUDHARY

    we are in a 32 flat apartment complex with flat sizes varying with 600,800 and 1050 sqft. we used to have for
    initial 8 years rs 500/- as maintenance charges. Recently ,on the insistence of 600 size flat owners (5 only), the Association has made it as Rs 1/- per sqft
    which I opposed saying that maintenance charges are used for providing cleaning,security,common lighting etc. which are availed by all the members equally. Therefore. fixed equal amount shall be collected. I want to go to court to get direction to the association in this regard.

    Can you please suggest me as to what can be done and what is rational in collecting maintenance charges.

  37. SATYA

    our layout consists of 550 plots under a registered society .As the society was not active a welfare association was formed and almost all the plot owners have become members expect around 20 or so plot owners so far not joined the association and trials to contact them are futile. our association is a regd. one and al hurdles like ULC AND LRS CLEARANCES were obtained. now construction activity is going on at fast pace and flats were constructed in some of the plots and in future we expect more flats will be constructed than independent houses.what is the position of these flat owners regarding the membership of the association comprising the original plot owners are the buyers from them later on and subsequently becoming the members of the association by paying the prescribed fees.
    will they participate in the election process as the bye laws of the association are not modified?
    will they be eligible for full membership if they come forward to join the association?

  38. Purnima

    Well I am staying in a rented house a colony of 80 houses as i am running a small boutique of cloths from my house where my personal customer do visit to my place. Since i have been running my boutique from last 2 yrs for which previous colony association has given me a verbal permission to do.
    As of now a new comity member has been appointed and having objection to run the same and asking us to windup immediately. Now i am at a mess as this is the only source my income pls help.

  39. RJD

    Do the members of the apartment have a right to demand money for the lift which is broken down completely , when the lift was not working on my floor and they were using the lift for commercial purpose,for transporting their goods and also the servants[15 of them] which are staying in one of the flats who are working in his hotel as cooks and helpers, and stay in the apartment and use the lift from 4 am to 1 pm everyday.The aprtment does not have any registered or elected committee as such, please send me the rules and regulations for an aparments,

  40. Clintan

    This post is really nice and informative. The explanation given is really comprehensive and informative. I am feeling happy to comment on this post.

  41. Sharad

    My wife and me has two flats in building which has total 12 flats. Elevator of building is not working since last two years. Repair work will cost almost 1.5 lac. Secretary of building is staying on first floor and does not want to repair the as it does not affect him. He is influsing other flat owners and not allowing to repair the elevator. As our flats on third floor, we require lift. We are ready to bear the all repair cost but still he is insisting not to repair the lift. Other flat owners are also not much interested to repair the lift. Please advise.

  42. Lakshmi

    We are living in a 14 flat apartment. There is an individual house in the plot next to our apartment and the house owners have pet cats 7 to 8 of them. One of the flat owners in our apartment gives milk regularly to those cats. So the cats are in our apartment most of the time and makes the stairs very nasty. We asked the neighbour not to let cats in our apartment. But they have nt taken any action about it. Even the flat owner who gives milk regularly refuses to stop. Our association is also not able to take any action about it as the neighbours threaten us at they will complain to the police and the case will favor them only. Is this true? Will action not be taken if people create public nuisance through their pet animals?

  43. Utkarsh

    I am a tenent residing in an apartment complex in Bangalore. The complex has 25 flats and I have been a tenent here since 2009. Few residents have objected on me keeping pet dogs in my house and are on the verge of banning pets from the society. My pets do not cause any harm or nuisance to anybody in spite of which there are 3 to 4 residents who are campaigning against pets in the building. At present there is no bylaw which restricts pets, however can the society pass a new law in this regard? What are my options?

  44. Victor Roy

    Hi ,

    I am recently moved to a new complex at kolkata new town . where am staying as a tenant. I have agreementcopy of the rent and the police verfication is approved which with my flat owner .
    the problem is that few days before i have some problem with my car so i called a recovery truck to carry my car to workshop. one of the so called member of the society asked me about the police verfication form and said they dont have any documentation for my rented flat . they stopped that recovery vehicle and didnt allow it to go outside of the complex gate .
    now the thing is that I am trying to take my car to some local workshop to and security are not allowing to drive my car outside the gate .
    I thought society association are for the help for people living within the complex . But they are just harass with some laws am not aware .
    now what they are saying is bring my flat owner after that they can allow it . ( flatowner is most of time out of town only :) )
    Kindly suggest me some way out of it . Are this society association can enfore this kind of laws of restricting car within the complex. i just want to resolve this issue ,but they are just wasting my time .Without any solution apart which is said above.

    kindly help me out .
    Regards
    Victor

  45. mukundam

    dear sir, we are staying in 12 flats apartment in hyderabad having 4 floors . i want to know that can i put a tulasi pot beside the main door and one small box for our slippers. who will have rights in each floor common area. ( is it for all or for only floor members). pl give me a reply.

  46. Jayant Derekar

    Is there any limit for charging Non Occupancy Charges from rented apartment owners? Currently the apartment owners associationis charging NOC @ 100% of the monthly maintenance charges. Is it justified in doing so?
    The committee says they can charge @100% rate, being the Apartment Owners Association, not being a registered housing coop society.

  47. We have a complex wherein some commercial shops are there in the front.
    They don’t pay m/ce charges stating that they don’t use any facilties, but they use water, common electricity, and security etc.
    How to get over this problem.
    Pl mail me
    bala

  48. VNK Nair

    How much can be the maximum amount an Apartment Owners association can charge towards Transfer fee.

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