Anyone buying from a housing society member has to apply for transfer of membership by paying transfer fee, admission fee, share money etc.
Societies are formed and registered to promote economic, social and cultural interests of its members. A society formed in Delhi with an objective to provide its members open plots under plot housing, dwelling units or flats (whether in a multi-storeyed building or otherwise) in a complex under group housing is referred to as a group housing society. Co-operative housing societies (‘housing society’) in Delhi are governed by the Delhi Co-operative Societies Act, 2003 (Act) and rules made therein.
Upon allotment and handover of possession of land by the government authority to the housing society, its management committee enters into arrangements with architects, builders etc, for development of the project on the plot in accordance with the terms and conditions of allotment.
After completion of construction/development, the apartment/dwelling unit/plot of land is allotted to the members of the housing society. Members are thereafter required to make payments the apartment/unit/ plot and other dues/charges as levied by the management committee. By virtue of their allotment, the members become owners of immovable property allotted to them.
One of the important questions that arise is how does transfer of membership in a housing society take place? The answer to this question is embodied in Section 91 of the Act, which explicitly states that a member of a housing society who has sold his plot or apartment shall cease to be member of the society from the date of sale of plot or flat to any person. However, certain conditions are required to be fulfilled for transfer of membership.
First, the instrument of sale/ conveyance/transfer must be registered. Second, the buyer has to apply for transfer of membership by paying transfer fee, admission fee, share money etc as per the by-laws of the housing society. Once the application for transfer of membership is filed by the buyer, management committee of the housing society shall decide such application within 30 days of the receipt of application. However, if the management committee refuses to grant membership, the aggrieved person may file an appeal before designated registrar of housing society and the decision of the registrar in this regard shall be final.
The other important question is, what happens to the share of a member in the event of his death and how does transfer of property take place? In such a case Section 28 of the Act comes into operation which provides that on the death of a member, a society shall transfer the share or interest of the deceased member to the person nominated by him, from amongst his blood relatives and only in case where no person is nominated by a deceased member the share of such member shall devolve upon the heir or legal representative of the deceased member. The same has been upheld by the High Court of Delhi in the year 2008 in the case of Mayurdhwaj CGHS Ltd. Vs Registrar, Cooperative Societies and others.
A member can also nominate more than one person and he/she shall as far as practicable specify the share to be transferred to each nominee. Such other person nominated may only be his father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter or spouse. Further, a member may, at any time, cancel or change his nomination.
However, it is important to note, that persons so nominated or legal heir/legal representatives of deceased person becomes entitled to such shares/ interest only if they are qualified to become members and qualification of membership depends on provisions of the Act, rules and bye-laws framed by the Housing Society.