Apartment Owner and Resident Welfare Association – What are they and their key difference
Becoming a homeowner or property owner ticks a huge milestone in one’s life. However, it also involves an understanding of a handful of legal processes including home registration, obtaining NOC, occupancy certificate, etc.
Having said this, the one question we are often asked is the difference between the Apartment Owner Association (AOA) Act and Resident Welfare Association (RWA) Act; and which of these two acts should a society follow.
In our quest to find all about AOA and RWA and their impact on society, we posed a smattering of questions to an RWA member based out in Gurgaon whose responses can be found below.
Q: What are the prime preambles of the AOA (Apartment Ownership Association) act and RWA (Resident Welfare Association) act?
AOA – A voluntary body formed by the owners of an apartment complex. It is responsible for enforcing regulations, building and amenities maintenance, etc. An Owner Association is bound to follow the rules and regulations of the respective State government’s Act and the owners can provide the builder with a power of attorney to register the association. While a registered AOA can enjoy few legal benefits, the association doesn’t need to be registered mandatorily.
RWA – It is also a voluntary body whose roles, rules, and responsibilities are established solely for the welfare of the residents. It is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. However, RWA does not hold any legal authority or power.
Q: The difference between the AOA and RWA acts. Which of the two-act is beneficial for a society?
The HAOA 1983 (Haryana Apartment Owner Association) is a special Act for Apartment Owners, where the HRRS (Haryana Registration and Regulation of Societies) 2012 is a general Act for all sorts of societies.
Q: In case of any dispute, what are the legal remedies applicable to residents in case they are following these two acts.
Under the HAOA 1983, one can approach the Town & Country Planning Department, file legal cases, and approach RERA – Real Estate Regulatory Authority of India.
Under the HRRS 2012 Act, one must approach the District Registrar, Firms & Societies, then the State Registrar, and finally the Registrar General (RG) who is the final deciding authority. Once the RG gives a ruling it cannot be challenged in court.
Q: Which of the two acts should a society follow during the formation of the committee and why?
Maintenance is handed over by the builder under the provisions of the HAOA 1983 to the RWA/AOA, hence the committee is formed at this stage itself.
If an AOA/RWA wishes, it may register itself under the HRRS 2012 Act. It is not mandatory to do so, but since everyone registers, there is a misconception that it is mandatory.
*Kindly note that the above answers are in accordance with the laws applicable to the state of Haryana.
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