If we see the residents of a housing society as a small community, the management committee or MC is the governing body for this community. Although not entrusted with the wide-reaching powers of an elected government, their roles, functions, and responsibilities are very similar to our elected representatives. The management committee is responsible for the overall upkeep of the community, its assets, and improving the lifestyle of its residents.

What is a management committee?

A management committee is a group of people who are entrusted to run a housing society. In a cooperative housing society, the management committee is elected by the members of the general body during the annual general meeting. The election rules can differ as per the model bylaws. 

Typically, the number of members in a management committee depends on the number of units. To qualify, a candidate must be above 18 years of age, a resident of the housing society, and must have cleared all dues to the complex within three months of nomination. Every committee must have at least one woman. Since there is no ban on re-election, MC members often have a very long tenure. 

Importance of a management committee

As the governing body of a housing complex, the management committee holds a vital position in enacting different policies, managing finances, and ensuring the general upkeep of the society. 

Management of the complex: The key function of the MC is to ensure the smooth functioning of the various maintenance activities of the complex. This includes regular cleaning, asset management, landscaping, and general beautification. The MC also periodically undertakes reviews, repairs, and renovation of various assets, such as gym or playing equipment, lifts, walkways, or other common areas and facilities. 

Collection and utilisation of funds: The MC uses various avenues to collect funds, including parking fee, maintenance charges, and non-occupancy charges, to maintain the reserve and sinking fund for the complex. In addition, the the committee may also collect funds from residents for a special purpose. These rates and charges are fixed by the MC from time to time and in accordance with the society’s bye-laws. The committee may also opt for alternative sources of collecting revenues. These can include charging different vendors or leveraging different marketing or branding opportunities in the complex.

Vendor management: A housing complex can have multiple vendors, including produce stalls, grocer, food or beverage stalls, maintenance or civil work suppliers and more. The MC is responsible for selecting a suitable vendor as per need and in ensuring their continuation if required.

Ensure compliance: While the MC does not have the legal authority to pass any legal sentence on the residents of the society, it can impose fines and penalties if there is a breach of the society’s bye-laws. These powers are important in ensuring that residents follow certain agreed-upon rules and regulations. Common regulations pertain to maintaining cleanliness or discouraging unwanted behaviour, such as littering or damaging society assets.

Ensuring harmony and positive spirit: In case of a dispute between residents, MC members often act as mediators. Their responsibility is to settle disputes amicably or to pacify all parties involved so that a resolution can be formed. However, the MC’s role goes much beyond keeping general peace in the community. They can also play a more active role by fostering a positive spirit by arranging events like society-wide competitions or celebrations like festivals or carnivals.

Ensuring safety and security: In gated communities, the MC is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of residents. This can include allowing and tracking visitors or to formulate policies to safeguard residents. In special circumstances, like a pandemic, the MC may also impose specific restrictions like wearing masks in public places. Such measures are taken to ensure the safety of all residents.

Providing additional facilities: The MC may also arrange for additional facilities within the complex, such as the provision of play areas and equipment, or the availability of medical staff on the premises. These facilities can be extremely important in improving the quality of life of the residents. 

In short, the MC manages all operational, financial, and administrative functions in a housing complex. As we see the emergence of more and more well-planned gated communities across Indian cities, MCs can be seen as the micro-governmental bodies, responsible for maintaining or improving the general standard of living conditions within the complex premises.