PAY TRANSFER FEES AS PER LAW INSTEAD OF DONATING
The unlawful concept of ‘donation’, employed by the cooperative housing society’s managing committees, to facilitate the transfer of a flat by a CHS member, urgently need to be examined at length, points out GAJANAN KHERGAMKER
Each time, a cooperative housing society member wants to sell his property anywhere in Mumbai, he is bullied into paying up way beyond the officially ‘legal’ transfer fee of a maximum of Rs 25,000. The excess he pays ranges from Rs 5,000, in case of small societies to as high as a few lakhs of rupees, depending on the size, status and level of moral accountability of the society in question.
The cooperative housing societies and their managing committees, charging the fees, are spurred by a skewed sense of logic in their acts of demanding donations. “If a member is getting a good price for his flat, it’s because we’ve collectively maintained the society and the common amenities too. Why then, should the member be reluctant to ‘donate’ something for the society that he’s lived in for years? He pays only voluntarily and as a gesture of goodwill,” is the regular rejoinder of managing committee members ‘charging’ donation fees. Any argument, however illogical, is permissible in a democracy but only in the context of a debate and within socially-approved parameters. The managing committee members have even evolved ways to elbow outgoing members into paying up the excess. In several cases all over the city, society’s managing committee members refuse to provide the no-objection certificate for the purpose of sale and transfer to the outgoing member.
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