Bye Laws: The Constitution of your Apartment Association
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 However, most States in India (Maharashtra in 1960, Gujarat in 1961, Karnataka 1960 and so on) have repealed this act and have created their own Co-operative Societies Act.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:
- 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).
- The Managing Committee should submit the form mentioning the new law to be brought into force.
- The Committee should also submit four copies of the existing bye-laws along with the resolutions passed by the Annual General Meeting.
- 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.