• Deemed membership

After the death of her husband, the Co-op. Housing Society(CHS) has been regularly raising bills for more than 11 years in the name of his wife. Payments have also been regularly made till her death. The couple has no children.
After her death, the society realises that she has not been admitted as a member of the CHS, even though she has applied for the transfer of shares by a letter. Would she be treated as a Deemed member?
Further, she has filed a nomination during her lifetime and this nomination has been accepted by the CHS. Would the nomination filed by her be treated as valid?
Asked 2 years ago in Property Law from Mumbai, Maharashtra
1)when was application for transfer made? was it placed before the managing committee? 

2) If the decision of the Committee/General Body Meeting as the case may be, on the application for transfer of shares and /or interest in the capital/property of the society is not communicated to the applicant within 3 months of its receipt, the transfer application shall be deemed to have been accepted and the transferee shall be deemed to have been admitted as a member of the society as provided under Section 22(2) of the Act. 

3) if nomination has been accepted by the society and placed on record in nomination register maintained by society the nomination filed by her would be valid
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23354 Answers
1222 Consultations
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1) the society has been grossly negligent in discharge of its duties .The nominee/s need to apply for membership and for transfer of shares and give some declarations as provided under Byelaws 34. The Hon.Secretary of the societycan seek  additional information. The Hon. Secretary need to place the application  in the meeting of the Managing Committee called after submission of application . resolution has to be passed admitting member 


2) in the present case society has merely accepted letter and issued maintenance bills in her name . further society has also collected nomination form from said lady . in other words society has accepted her as member 

3) society should have collected nominal entrance  fees from the wife . you have not mentioned whether any resolution was passed by MC or not admitting wife as member . please clarify 

4)  please note that transfer made in violation of act and rules would be illegal .
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23354 Answers
1222 Consultations
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Hello,
1) From all the descriptions you have provided the society has transferred the membership and accepted the nomination made by the wife albeit without following necessary procedures laid down in law.
2) By virtue of the society issuing maintenance bill in the widow's name the society had accepted the transfer.

3) That the nomination has not been returned or any objections raised around it would mean the nomination was accepted as well.

4) That the society failed to fulfil the formalities of admitting the member does not defeat her membership as by virtue of the lack of action the society has granted them.
5) Though there is a nominee the legal heirs can stake claim on the rights in the share of the widow without children.
S J Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
1954 Answers
65 Consultations
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1. The matter can also be argued differently,

2. What is the recorded outcome of the letter written by the lady seeking transfer of shares of her husband in her name?

3. Was it rejected for non compliance of required formalities like applying in particular way?

4. If it was accepted, then she can be treated as a deemed member and her nominating other person is valid,

5. If the said letter was rejected, then she can not be claimed to be a deemed member,

6. Sending Bill for maintenance in her name did not entitle her to be a deemed member of the society or its shares holder.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12131 Answers
233 Consultations
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1. The widow's ignorance of law for complying with the required formalities, can not shown as a ground for claiming her deemed membership,

2. It is not the duty of the society to remind/chase the non member occupants to comply with the formalities to become a member of the society since there may be some other claimant also later on,

3.My above views can be the arguments to be forwarded by the society in case the matter reaches the Court and the querist must be prepared with the counter arguments to lay his claim on the said property as a nominee.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12131 Answers
233 Consultations
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if death of her husband is duly intimated to the society then it is responsibility of the society to take action. it is general practice that on the death of a person his property devolves in his heirs. in your case his widow is legal heir. her intimation about death of her husband is enough for transfer of right into her because this type of transfer does not need stamp or fee. her application is sufficient to prove that proper notice is given and she is by default member of the society because legal heir is bound to bear all liability and has right in respect of property which he inherited.
Shivendra Pratap Singh
Advocate, Lucknow
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41 Consultations
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