Apartments are currently being registered under Travancore-Cochin Literary Scientific and Charitable Society Act. “Not registering apartments under the Kerala Apartment Ownership Act, 1983, amounts to injustice to flat owners. It is enacted for the purpose of providing ownership of individual apartments in a building and to make such apartments heritable and transferable property,” said advocate Jacob Mathew Manalil. He said that when it comes to disposition of the property, the Act will ensure that the flat owner gets the amount equivalent to the undivided share of the property.
Meanwhile, the All Kerala Apartment Owners’ Apex Association said that though it is mandatory for individual associations to file annual financial reports and conduct annual general body meetings, no agency is checking or monitoring these aspects.
“In Kochi there are over 500 housing associations. I don’t think even a 10% of them stick to the rules. It is high time that government steps in and enforce the rule. Though there is a check for exploitation of flat owners by building contractors and estate agents, once building is completed and possession handed over to the association it becomes free for all affair. Vested interests in management committees are taking undue advantage of the weakness of members. There is no uniform bylaw and each association is adopting bylaws as per their needs. That is why single women and bachelors are finding it difficult to get accommodation in apartment complexes,” said V K Shankarankutty, president of the apex body.
He said that annual financial reports are to be submitted within the prescribed time limit and annual general body meeting to be conducted and adopted before the report is submitted.
Government should ensure that accounts are audited either by registrar’s office staff or panel of auditors appointed by the registrar.
If any adverse remarks and financial fraud is detected, the registrar should be able to take over the administration of the society and expenses such as salary and other expenditure of the administrator will be borne by the society.