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One of the most common complaints you will hear from the tenants is that they face difficulties to rent a house because they are not being refused by the housing societies. It is a common problem in the metros where tenants are being refused by owners due to various reasons – for being single, or for owning pets, etc.
The most common victims are the bachelors. Most housing societies disallow their members from leasing their properties to bachelors. So, even if the owner wants to rent the house out to a group of singles, the housing society will not give the owner a no objection certificate (NOC).
Apart from bachelors, other people have to suffer as well. Keeping pets, such as dogs and cats, are not allowed in many housing societies as the members fear that they will dirty the society or harm the children.
The chance of being welcome as a tenant may also depend on your food habits. People with certain meal preferences have been denied tenancy. In some cases, people belonging to a certain religion have also being denied permission by the housing society.
By-laws of societies
According to legal experts, the housing societies can frame their own laws. The laws are called by-laws of an apartment/housing societies and these rules and regulations govern day-to-day functioning of the housing society and are crucial to its smooth running.
These guidelines are typically framed under the Co-operative Societies Act. It provides specific guidelines for a society to be registered with the municipal corporations, its governance structures, common area maintenance rights, dos & don’ts for owners and tenants, accounting practices and various other covenants related to leasing/ purchasing a house within the society.
The Co-operative Act grants flexibility to societies to add regulations of their own. The housing societies have the right to enforce their rules. For instance, if the housing society has made a rule for tenants, which forbids them to park their vehicles in the parking slots allotted to members, then they have every right to enforce it.
Challenge the prejudice
Individual societies are legally empowered to deny tenancy based on their bye-laws. In many cases, such bye-laws are interpreted in a certain manner in order to deny tenancy. However, the societies have no constitutional right to do so.
Housing society regulations don’t have the same stature as constitutional law. Every Indian citizen has the right to reside anywhere in the country and discrimination is not allowed on the basis of religion, caste, sex, eating habits or marital status.
If they are being denied tenancy on the basis of any of above reasons, tenants have all the right to file a police complaint against a housing society. Even the society member can also take legal help by approaching the cooperative or the civil court concerning his objections.