Juhu resident's book demystifies co-op housing society bye-laws

Queries from hassled residents that Harmohinder Kumar Verma would receive at the architectural magazine he edited, inspired the book

For the 25 years that Harmohinder Kumar Verma worked as editor of an architectural magazine, he spent a part of his time answering readers’ letters on issues related to the rule of cooperative housing societies.

Harmohinder Kumar Verma says he has based his text on Supreme Court and high court verdicts, but presented in simplified language. PIC/DATTA KUMBHAR
Harmohinder Kumar Verma says he has based his text on Supreme Court and high court verdicts, but presented in simplified language. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Seven years ago, he began to put it down on paper, and, this July, he released Cooperative Housing Societies Bye-laws Made Easy. “We would get a lot of mails from residents facing issues with their cooperative housing societies, and we even created a special section to carry them,” said the 70-year-old resident of Juhu.

One of the most recurring questions Verma received was the feudal-lord-behaviour of the managing committee. “Residents forget that they are equal owners. They should be able to demand their rights. The committee should be aware of the Laxman Rekha and not cross it. Government bye-laws are complicated, and the language is technical. The layman cannot understand it, and would have to get a lawyer to decipher it. Everyone cannot afford that. That’s why I decided to explain the subject in simple language,” said Verma, who runs www.aidecworld.com, a site on architecture, interior design, engineering and construction. He has created a separate section for similar queries.

The text of the book, available for purchase online at Rs 95, is based on Supreme Court and high court verdicts, rewritten in simplified language. The top three questions, according to Verma, include manipulation of balance sheets by the managing committee, parking space issues, and attitude of management committee members.

“The laws mention that the managing committee cannot misbehave with residents. But, how many residents come together and raise the subject? The only resort is filing an RTI, as the co-operative housing societies come under it. All you have to do is register a complaint and you will get a reply within a month,” he added.

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