WHY A CO-OPERATIVE HOUSING SOCIETY IS BETTER THAN APARTMENT OWNERS ASSOCIATION?
1. The builder is interested in using the increased FSI which will be awarded by the govt. for that area at any time in future. If the ‘Society’ is formed, then upon the transfer and conveyance of land in favour of the Society, the increased FSI will be owned by the Society and the builder shall not have any right over it. But if it is an Apartment, then the builder owns that increased FSI and can use it anywhere. Thus, the builder will keep taking advantage of every increase in FSI throughout in the future.
2. In an Apartment, the builder retains the ownership of the open spaces which are not included in the saleable area. Example – Terrace or any open parking/stairs space which is not included in the saleable area. But in case of Society, the builder cannot retain any right on any of these areas and has to hand over everything to the Society. The Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act also provides for the ownership of an individual Apartment in a building and to make such Apartment heritable and transferable property.
3. Bye-laws and Rules of ‘Society’ are binding on all the residents and nobody can act as per his/her whims. Hence, if the Society decides to ban any objectionable commercial activities in the flats such as noise-making music classes or using the flat for catering or courier activities etc or not to rent out to bachelors etc, then all the residents have to abide by it. But if it is an Apartment, then owners can violate the Apartment Rules and the Apartment Body can just file a case in the Civil Court. However, while the Society disputes are resolved in a separate Court i.e. Co-operative Court dealing with Society matters and hence they are fast resolved whereas, the Apartment matters have to be taken to the normal Civil Court and hence they typically take years and decades to resolve.
4. When the building contemplates redevelopment after 25-30 years, the Society’s decision will be final and hence the Society members will have negotiation power with the builder at that time. But if in case of an Apartment, the consent of every Apartment-owner is required and hence it goes into an endless delay due to lack of a common decision acceptable to everybody. There are many instances in Mumbai wherein finally the dilapidated buildings had to be forcefully vacated by an eviction order from Court since they became unlivable. Thus, while the decisions are taken on a ‘majority’ basis in Society, the Apartment goes with rule of ‘Acceptable by Everybody’. So if the builder has retained even one flat in an Apartment, he will play a veto card in his favour at the time of redevelopment.