Apartment Resident Rights: The Dos & Don’ts of Society Life

With gated community starting to become the most preferred choice of property investment, it becomes important for everyone to be aware of their rights as a Resident. While there are multiple instances of issues that have been settled by courts, it is always advisable for residents to be well-aware of their apartment resident rights that will have your back in case of a violation.

This blog will cover the essential rights you must know as an apartment resident to ensure that you prevent conflict and enjoy a safe and healthy stay in your housing society.  

Apartment Resident Rights

What are the present apartment resident rights?

The following cover the major areas of apartment resident rights:

Membership Rights:

  • Every apartment owner is obliged to be a member of the apartment association which is formed for the welfare of the people.
  • If it is a joint membership, the first person named in the title document will be the member.
  • All tenants who are staying in the apartment on a rented basis are termed as associate members. 
  • A resident has the right to get the list of members and management committee.
  • Residents and tenants shouldn’t be discriminated against by the members, the association and other Community stakeholders.

Payment Rights:

  • One of the most principal apartment resident rights, under which tenants have the right to get proper receipt for the deposit, rent and maintenance paid.

    One of the ways in which residents can secure this is by digitising the Bill Generation & Collection mechanism with a system like ADDA for all their accounting and payment related errands.

Privacy and Safety Rights:

  • A landlord cannot enter the rented premises as per his wishes. He must provide a prior 24-hour notice to the tenant and visit during reasonable hours.

    To know more about this, click here.
  • Visitor logs of residents cannot be checked without prior information in exceptional cases.
  • Management Committees cannot bar residents from keeping legal animal companions within their units.

Right to Amenities:

  • Tenants and residents have the right to invite guests and use the common area or the society’s amenities like swimming pool, gym, clubhouse etc.

    However, do check with your Association if they are to be informed beforehand in case facilities are used by the guests of Residents. On the other hand, Associations cannot bar essential amenities like water, electricity, waste disposal, car parking to a Resident in case of non payment of Dues.
  • A tenant is fully allowed to utilize the lifestyle services provided by the society management staff, provided all their Dues to the Association is cleared.

Eviction Rights:

  • A unit owner cannot be evicted unless they are held responsible for gross misconduct, criminal activities or other actions as upheld by the law to be harmful to other citizens. However, an eviction can only be applicable if it stands in a court of law.
  • Apartment resident rights allow the landlord or the management to evict the tenant or resident if they have failed to pay the rent consecutively for more than 2 months, has sublet the residence to someone else without permission, grossly violated society’s laws or if the owner themselves wants to occupy the residence. Our blog on Discrimination in housing societies talks more about this.

Right to complain:

  • The apartment owner cannot impose any illegal restrictions on the tenant like denying late entry, banning pets, charging unnecessary charges under false pretext etc.
  • A resident has the right to get attended or addressed about his complaints and grievances. When faced with any kind of harassment from the owner or management the resident has full rights to file an FIR, file a petition against them in the civil court or report to the Registrar of Societies.

Parking Rights:

  • Residents have the right to get a parking badge or sticker on the vehicle. The resident must be given parking space for their vehicle as per their apartment resident rights.
  • The resident has every right to park inside the society premises. If you want to know more about parking spaces in housing societies, click here.

Visitation Rights:

  • Tenants and residents have the rights to invite guests and are responsible for the actions of their visitors/guests.

Cleanliness:

  • Residents and tenants should ensure that they maintain cleanliness in the common areas.
  • The Management Committee is liable to ensure the Common Premise is always hygienic and all repairs and maintenances of Common spaces is up to date.

Evolution of Apartment Resident Rights

Housing societies, tenants/residents and homeowners are governed by a variety of laws and rights to maintain harmony in an apartment management system. Every housing society is controlled by a framework of rules called the bye-laws. However, bye-laws are framed differently by different societies depending on their state and community. Present-day apartment resident rights and duties have evolved over decades, going through multiple amendments and rulings imposed by the government.

A central Rent Control Act was passed by the legislature in the year 1948. It regulated the rules of letting out a property and ensured that neither the landlords nor the tenant’s rights were exploited by the other.

The Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 was passed in the state of Maharashtra. It provided detailed laws for registration to membership, liability of members and incorporation of duties and privileges of the co-operative societies across the state.

Apartment owners leasing out their units can also refer to the Model Tenancy Act 2020 to understand more about the owner – tenant legal relationship. It was drafted with the objective to reduce the trust deficit between tenants and landlords by clearly delineating their obligations and ensuring speedy redressal of disputes. To understand the key features of this Act, click here.

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