Elections are important – be it national level or for your management committee. An apartment complex or housing society is the exact prototype of a city or country on a smaller scale. Like a state, the demography of apartment complexes and housing societies spans over a broad spectrum. The issues an apartment community has to solve are reflections of what plagues our society at large. Consequently, it is of great importance to ensure the members of the management committee are competent enough to take up leadership roles in managing their mini states. To conduct association election in apartment communities there are several bye laws. With the rising trend of apartment living, even the government has actively taken initiatives to craft laws and model bye laws to set a guiding principle for apartment communities for all administrative activities.
When is election in Apartment Complexes held?
The original date for conducting elections was August 14. However, it is hardly maintained and elections are often organised later in the year. The scheduled time coincides with the apartment complex or housing society’s Annual General Meeting. The tenure of a management committee is 5 years. Ideally, elections are to be held on or before the completion of tenure of the preceding management committee. A special General Body Meeting is held to announce the results of the election.
During handover from builder to residents of any apartment complex or housing society, the Chief Builder or Promoter is liable to conduct a general meeting of all residents/tenants and constitute a provisional body of administrators. This body stays in power till the time a proper election in apartment complex is conducted to democratically choose the members of the management committee. The onus to craft detailed election procedure rests on the management committee. They are in turn, liable to inform every resident/tenant of the electoral rules. Election procedures are a significant segment in Association bye laws.
The obvious question arises – Who can be nominated as a candidate in the election in apartment complexes?
- The candidate must be 18 years and above.
- The candidate must be a resident of the housing society or apartment complex.
- The candidate must clear his dues to the society or complex within three months of nomination. However, under special circumstances a defaulter can be allowed to stand for the elections.
- Previous committee members are eligible for re-election.
- The candidate must not be convicted of immoral activities for at least six years prior to filing the nomination. An elected candidate stands the risk of being disqualified as a management committee member, if such a conviction is issued after the elections.
- The candidate, if an associate member, should be able to produce a no objection certificate from the original member to confirm his candidacy.
- The candidate should not be found to flout the provisions of the bye laws or the laws of the state governing apartment complexes or housing societies.
Needless to mention, election in apartment complexes and housing societies also requires time and effort to organise and execute as the general election. Apartment complex and housing society elections are no child’s play either. To avoid confusion or misinformation, it is advised to start rolling the ball three months prior to the election. Every resident, owner or tenant, eligible for voting must be acquainted with the rules and regulations governing the election.
Nominations have to be finalised and a time of 90 days to be given to nominees who have outstanding dues to the Association. Failing the clearance of dues, the nomination is liable to be cancelled.
Every unit has the right to register one vote. Therefore, owners of multiple properties in the same premise, can cast as many votes as the number of properties they own.
A Returning Officer, who is bound to be an unbiased third party with no involvement in the elections, must be appointed to ensure transparency in the elections and adherence to the rules and regulations of the election.
Election can either be conducted as a show of hands or by secret ballot, based on the consensus of the majority of members of the apartment community. In case the recovered share capital is over 10000 INR, voting must be done by secret ballot.
Post election, it is the duty of the outgoing Secretary to hand over charges to the incumbent management committee.
Important dates to keep in mind and published for all residents to see while conducting elections :
- Declaration of date of election, not less than three months before the election.
- Start and end date of filing nominations.
- Date of publication of received nomination list.
- Date of scrutiny of nominations; usually the next day after filing of nominations has ended.
- Date of withdrawal of candidature.
- Date of final publication of nominees and allotment of electoral symbols.
- Venue declaration of the polls.
- Date, time and venue for counting votes.
- Date of declaration of election.
Constituting The Management Committee
An important aspect of organising the elections, is knowing how many members are needed to form a complete, functional management committee. Based on the number of units, management committees are bound to fulfill a certain quorum. Recent amendments to the law, makes it mandatory to have at least one woman in the management committee or RWA.
No. of Members
|Strength of The MC||Quorum In MC|
51 to 100
|101 to 300||8||1||9||
301 and above
Clean, free and fair elections are vital to the society’s health. It is necessary to give every resident in the society to take up the responsibilities of the premises of their residence. It is important to understand the value of being a proactive resident. Initiative must be taken to contest management committee elections. Since there’s no legal ban on re-election, often the MC members remained unchanged for several terms, bringing in stagnation in the development of the complex.
Also, read about Pet Laws for Apartment Dwellers in India.