Observing that a housing society cannot shirk its responsibility of necessary maintenance only because the owners have given the house on rent, the state consumer commission has ordered a housing society in Deonar to pay Rs 55,000 as compensation and carry out repairs and waterproofing of two-row houses.
“It is hereby declared that the opponent [society] has committed deficiency in service as well as unfair trade practice,” Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission said.
The commission also refuted the society’s claim that the leakage persisted as the tenants had kept plants on the terrace and were watering them. “Admittedly, complainants were the members of the society…. it was the duty of the society to carry out repairs and also to take care of proper maintenance of the row houses owned by the complainants,” the commission said.
Worli residents Latikaand Prakash Chanderkar had moved the district consumer commission against Madhuban Co-Operative Housing Society Ltd in 2017. However, the district commission rejected their complaint in 2018. Subsequently, they moved the state commission.
The complainants submitted they had purchased two-row houses and had been regularly paying monthly service charges including repair and maintenance charges. Complainants contended that in March 2017 they noticed major leakage in the ceiling above the kitchen, bathroom, toilet, and slabs of the first and second floors. They informed the housing society which had carried out waterproofing of all the other units in the colony. The complainants alleged that the society did not fix the leakage and waterproofing of their row houses. They also said that they sent the society a notice on March 2, 2017, but they did not receive a reply. Reminders were sent, but no action was taken.
Complainants alleged that by not carrying out repairs in spite of taking maintenance charges amounted to deficiency in service as well as unfair trade practice.
The housing society denied that it had not carried out any repairs. On the contrary, it took a stand that since there were many complaints from the members about the leakage, it had carried out a structural audit in December 2014 and repairs were in progress.
The commission said, “We have carefully gone through the letters sent by the complainant to the opponent [society] from time to time as well as other documents and we find considerable force in the contention advanced by the appellants (complainants).”
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