We all know that water percolates from top to bottom. It reduces the life span of the building. The neighbour from whose flat leakage originates is hardly bothered as leakage does not affect him.
The poor member residing on the lower floor pleads, appeals, screams but hardly does it affect the member residing above his flat.
His submission that his furniture is getting spoilt. False ceiling is likely to fall, the paint is peeling, walls have become wet, There is a probability of electrical shocks due to water percolating into wall are just ignored by the member residing above. The submissions being made by the society in such matters almost falls on deaf ears.
Forget about repairing the flat and stopping the leakage, Member residing on the above floor literally does not allow the society representatives or the representative of the members residing below to even allow the contractor to enter his flat.
Some societies have passed resolution that the expense on leakage of flat specifically internal leakage will be shared equally by all the three parties namely, one share by the member from whose flat leakage is originating, one share by the member residing below that is the sufferer ( dukhi atma ) and one share by the society. Idea of sharing by the society is to ensure an element of support to the sufferer besides an element of fear on the member who is resisting carrying out leakage.
As regards external leakage or leakage from the terrace the same is the exclusive responsibility of the society.
Here, I would like to add that the members are short-sighted at times due to vested interest they oppose sharing of expenses. Let’s take an example
We know that leakage will result in contribution of expenses by the members residing on the lower floors. Say the society collects Rs. 1,000/- per member per month for repair and maintenance. The members on the top floor also pays Rs. 1,000 for repairs. Terrace repair contribution for resolving the leakage problem would be say Rs. 5,00,000/-. Why should the hefty expenses be incurred by all when more benefit is likely to accrue on a selected few? This is the logic of members residing on lower floors.
The aggrieved member much against his desire has to approach lawyer for such matters. Obviously his lawyer will think in terms of the welfare of his clients and will take the fight to a different level. He will advise his client to approach Bombay Municipal Corporation and write to the Bombay Municipal Corporation to issue notice to the society as well as a member residing above his flat. He may also advise his client to draw the attention of the Bombay Municipal Corporation to the irregularities and illegalities in the cooperative society. We have been given to understand that the Bombay Municipal Corporation itself is not following laws framed by the Bombay Municipal Corporation then how are Cooperative Societies supposed to follow the said laws100%? Nitch area, drying space area are merged and misused by many members of a cooperative society which is an open secret.
Terrace repairs is the responsibility of the society. But in reality members residing on top floors have to contribute extra is the unwritten rule for repairs of terrace. Alternatively suffer in iisolation. Members in general body meeting will say just put tar by spending a few thousand rupees rather than repair the terrace.
In one matter of internal leakage Bombay High Court has also advise all the parties to resolve the issue amicably. That too after telling the cooperative society that the court would be forced to appoint an administrator to sort out the issue of leakage.
We are herewith annexing a few newspaper articles and judgements on leakage related matters.
Compiled and Shared by
Sampat’s Law Firm
Advocate Vinod Sampat
Advocate Heena Vinod Sampat Advocate Dharmin Vinod Sampat Advocate Mithil Vinod Sampat