Maharashtra has nearly two lakh cooperative societies, with over 50 million members. These co-operative societies, including cooperative housing societies, are governed by the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960. Enacted on January 26, 1962, the law provides a comprehensive framework for registration, membership, incorporation of duties and privileges of cooperative societies throughout Maharashtra. On February 13, 2013, the Maharashtra government enacted an ordinance amending the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, as mandated by the centre. The modifications came into effect from February 14, 2013.
Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act 1960: Sections that apply on housing societies
Section 1, clauses (5), (6), (7), (8), (10), (10-ai), (10-aii), (10-aiii), (13), (14), (16), (17), (18), (20-A), (21), (24), (26), (27), (28), (29), (29A) and (31)
Sections 3, 3A, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 20A, 21, 21A, 22, 23, 25, 25A, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41 and 42
Sections 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 71A, 72, 73, 73ID, 73C, 73CB, 73CC, 73F, 73I, 75, 76, 77, 77A and 78A
Section 79, 79A and 79AA
Section 80 to 89A
Section 91 to 100
Section 102 to 110
Section 145 to 148A
Section 149 to 154
Section 155 to 168
See also: All you need to know about RERA Maharashtra
What is a cooperative housing society under the MCS Act 1960?
According to the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, the objective of a housing society is to provide its members with open plots, flats and apartments along with common amenities and services to its members.
Types of housing societies under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act
Tenant ownership housing society: These are housing societies which have the objective of allotting plots or flats on a land parcel that is held either on leasehold or freehold basis by the society, while the houses are owned by the members.
Tenant co-partnership housing society: These housing societies have the objective to allot flats to its members where both, the land and building, are held either on a freehold or a leasehold basis by the society.
Other housing societies: These include the house mortgage cooperative societies, house construction cooperative housing societies and premises cooperative societies where all the units are offices or commercial set-ups.
MCS Act 1960 rules for registration of cooperative housing societies
A housing society cannot be registered under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, unless it consists of at least five persons of different families or at least 51% of the total number of flats that are qualified to become members under this Act join the registration proposal of the housing society.
Allotment of plots, flats or houses through draw of lots in cooperative housing societies
The law specifies that allotment of land, flats, house or other dwelling units should be made by the committee of a housing society to the members, strictly on the basis of draw of lots, except when there is a contract to the contrary. Every member of a housing society to whom plots, flats, houses or other dwelling units have been allotted, should be issued a certificate of allotment by the cooperative housing society under its seal and signature. Such certificate has to be issued when all the dues are duly paid by the member.
Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act: Limit on membership in housing societies
A housing society should not admit to its membership people exceeding the number of flats or plots. However, a plot owner’s cooperative housing society may admit to its membership an organisation of flat purchasers, in case the plot owner had constructed and sold flats as per the prevailing rules, in place of the original plot owner member.
The share or interest of a member in the loan-stock issued by a housing society is not liable to attachment or sale under any decree or order of a court for or in respect of any debt or liability incurred by the member.
Who is a defaulter under the Maharashtra Cooperative Housing Society Act?
In case of housing societies, a member, who defaults on due payment to the society within three months from the date of service of notice in writing, served by post under certificate of posting, demanding the payment of dues, is known as a defaulter.
Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act: Rights and duties of CHS members
Under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, a member of a CHS has the following rights and duties:
- He must be issued a certificate of allotment by the cooperative housing society.
- Members are not eligible to be appointed, nominated, elected, co-opted or become a member of a committee, if they are a defaulter.
- The member of the society has to pay the dues of the society within the stipulated time.
- The member will have to vacate the flat when required, for redevelopment of the building.
See also: Laws pertaining to AGM of housing societies, in Maharashtra
Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act: Voting rights of CHS members
- One member of the society has one vote.
- Associate members will have the right to vote, with the prior written consent of a member.
- Provisional members have no right to vote.
- In case of joint members, the person whose name stands first in the share certificate, will have the right to vote. In his absence, the person whose name stands second, will have the right to vote.
Members of cooperative housing societies in Maharashtra may transfer their share, right, title and interest of their property in the society by way of registered documents.
Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act: Transfer of interest on death of a member
On the death of a member, the society will transfer the share, right, title and interest in the property of the deceased member to a person on the basis of testamentary documents or succession certificate or legal heirship certificate or document of family arrangement. The society will admit the nominee as a provisional member after the death of a member, till the legal heir is admitted as a member in place of the deceased member.
In case of a cooperative housing society, no transfer of share or interest of a member or the occupancy right, except the transfer to his heir or a nominee, can be effective unless:
- The dues of the housing society are paid.
- The transferee applies and acquires membership of the cooperative housing society.
The transfer of share or interest in respect of leasehold properties will be governed by the terms of the lease.
See also: Maharashtra Rent Control Act: Everything you need to know
Cooperative housing societies in Maharashtra have a charge upon the share and interest of a member, even past and deceased, to the extent of dues payable by him to the society.
Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960: News updates
Maintenance charges to be as per flat area, under Apartment Act
July 15, 2021: Maintenance charges are applicable according to the area of a flat under the Maharashtra Apartment Owners Act. However, the same rule does not apply to housing society flats registered under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, the deputy registrar of cooperative societies, Pune city zone, has ruled.
This is because in case of cooperative housing societies, the land and the building are controlled by the society and the maintenance charges are distributed equally among all members, irrespective of the area of their flats.
Cabinet approves amendment in Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act 1960
May 6, 2021: The Maharashtra government has approved a proposal to amend the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960, to ensure that members of cooperative societies do not lose their voting rights during the next elections. Under the provisions of the law, a member must attend at least one cooperative society meeting every five years or he will be considered as ‘inactive’ and lose his voting rights. Currently, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has halted the operations of a number of cooperative societies across the state.
Cooperative housing society members are ‘jointly and severally’ responsible for all decisions of MC
January 2021: The Maharashtra government in January 2021 notified that all elected members of the managing committee (MC) of cooperative housing societies established under the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960, have to execute a bond holding them ‘jointly and severally’ responsible for all the decisions the committee takes. Under the MCS (Amendment) Rules, 2002, a new form, M-20, has been inserted, whereby elected members of the managing committee have to declare they are jointly and severally responsible for all the acts and omissions detrimental to the interests of the society.
Registrar cannot direct housing society to issue NOCs to its member: Bombay HC
July 2019: The Bombay High Court in July 2019 ruled that a deputy registrar of cooperative societies has no power to direct a cooperative housing society to issue no-objection certificates (NOC) to one of its members for improvement and change of use of his premises. Acting on a complaint lodged by a member, the deputy registrar, on July 9, 2019, directed a Mumbai housing society, Shree Raghunandan Cooperative Housing Society, to issue necessary NOCs to the member for joining four tenements and converting use of the premises from residential to commercial. “It is clearly a dispute between a member and the society, which would require adjudication before some other forum,” the HC said.
When was the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act 1960 enacted?
The Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act 1960 was enacted on January 26, 1962.
Who is the final authority in the society?
Under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act and the byelaws, the final authority rests with the general body of the society.