Housing Society Problems and Solutions: Two Share Certificates for an Amalgamated Flat
Shirish Shanbhag 09 May 2024
There are times when owners choose to buy two adjoining flats and, for habitual convenience, merge them into a single flat (or a duplex flat if situated on separate floors). Amalgamation of flats is common but should be done only after seeking permission from municipal authorities. In most such cases, the amalgamated flat will have a common entrance, which will allow it to be considered a single flat with a common share certificate.
This week, we will take a look at an example where the owners of an amalgamated flat want two separate share certificates. While this is possible, doing so requires that the amalgamated flat is no longer merged but one that has two separate entrances, kitchens and bathrooms. 
Two Share Certificates for Amalgamated Flats
Question: We have two registered sale agreements with the builder with two different flat numbers. But this flat is a combined flat (amalgamated flat) with only one common entrance for both flats. Both agreements are registered with the sub registrar office with payment of stamp duty and registration charges. Please guide on the below-mentioned questions:
1. Can we have two separate share certificates issued by the cooperative housing society (CHS/Society) for the flats. 
2. Whether on one share certificate, the first holder can be the husband (with wife as co-member) and in the second, the wife could be the first holder (with the husband as co-member), irrespective of the fact that both sale agreements are registered with the husband as the first holder. 
Answer: Although there are two agreements, if the flat has one entrance and one kitchen, it will have only one share certificate. If you want two share certificates, then kindly have two separate entrances as per areas of the agreements, with two separate kitchens and bathrooms, even if both flats are interconnected.
You will also have to get this floor plan approved by a municipality architect. Once done, you will be able to have two share certificates for the flats. 
If both agreements have the same order of names (i.e., the husband first), then to reverse the order, they should separately do a gift deed, gifting each one his/her share to the other. This is the only way to change the order of ownership in one of the sale deeds, and they will have to pay 1% of the flat's market value, as stamp duty for such a gift deed.
Member Repeatedly Asking for Same Set of Documents
Question: A member in our CHS has been repeatedly asking for certain documents for the past 14 years. Fortunately, we have all the acknowledgements wherein documents were hand-delivered to him. Further, in 2020, we sent all required documents to him via registered post, for which we have saved the proof of delivery. Yet, he is time and again harassing the Society office bearers by repeatedly asking for the same set of documents. Please advise.
Answer: Society's documents are to be provided at a cost, as prescribed under the bye-law no 171. All charges are to be paid in advance by the member and only then should the Society give the requested documents to the member. 
Since he is asking for the same documents repeatedly, keep a copy of the documents that he has requested in a separate file. Every time he requests the said documents, ask him to pay the charges in advance and then provide those to him on payment.
Assuming he resides in the Society, ask him to collect the documents from your CHS office. If he insists that the documents be sent to him by post, you should charge him the packing and postage charges, plus the transport charges to and from the post office in advance, along with the document charges. 
As a member, he is entitled to request any document from the society (even repeatedly), but under bye-law 171 the society has to impose charges for the same.
We will not be answering queries posted in the comments. Only questions sent through the Moneylife Foundation's Legal Helpline will be answered. If you want to seek guidance or ask questions to Mr Shanbhag, kindly send it through Moneylife Foundation's Free Legal Helpline. Here is the link: https://www.moneylife.in/lrc.html#ask-question
Distribution of Shares in a Housing Society 
Question: Our Society was registered in 2022 and has adopted the model bye-laws of 2014. It has also collected a share subscription of Rs500 from each member. On receiving the share certificate recently, I found that it is issued for five shares of Rs 100 each instead of 10 shares of Rs50 each. Is the Society correct? If not, what course of action would you advise? 
Answer: Your Society has done wrong by issuing five shares of Rs100 each. Make a complaint against your Society to deputy registrar of cooperative societies under bye-law no. 174(A)(xxii) with a photocopy of your share certificate. The deputy registrar will ask your Society to issue 10 shares of Rs50 to each member.
Disclaimer: The guidance provided in these columns and on our Legal Helpline is on the sole basis of the facts provided by the reader/questioner and does not amount to formal legal advice in any form whatsoever. 
(Shirish Shanbhag has an MSc in Organic Chemistry, a Diploma in Higher Education, and a Diploma in French and has completed his LL B in first class in 2021. Before his retirement, he was a junior college teacher at Patkar College from July 1980 to May 2012, teaching theoretical and practical chemistry. Post-retirement in 2012, he started providing guidance and counselling to people on several issues, specifically focusing on cooperative housing society-related matters. He has over 30 years of hands-on experience in all matters about housing societies and can provide out-of-box solutions for any practical issue.)
1 month ago
Appreciable answers to both the situation!
As a President of one Rahwasi Sahkari Sanstha Maryadit, Indore (MP) I always read your answers.
I salute to your dedication for the community.
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