Housing societies are again in news, after banning domestic workers earlier, now a case of stopping tenants entry has come to the fore. All this under the name of COVID
By Varun Singh
First it was domestic workers, drivers now the wrath of housing societies is being faced by tenants of rented properties
A few days ago, a Mumbai based housing society barred its tenant from entering the building. The housing society had a demand that the tenants provide a COVID test report to enter the building.
The tenants including women, had to wait outside the gate for close to four hours. There were several doors knocked including that of police and finally after a report from doctor the tenants were allowed.
There are many such cases which are coming to the fore. Earlier many housing societies had barred the entry of domestic workers .
Finally the state government had to intervene and reprimand societies for such restrictions.
Square Feat India got a legal opinion on whether housing societies can stop tenants from entering the building? Especially when they have a legally signed leave and license agreement with the landlord in place.
Adv Rakesh Singh says ‘No’, housing societies cannot stop tenants from entering the building.
Singh explains, “There is nothing in law or by laws governing society under MCS Act 1960 or rules made thereunder wherein tenants can be stopped by office bearers of society to enter society.”
What about societies using the reason of the ongoing epidemic for not allowing tenants.
Singh on this elaborates, “Even after the epidemic diseases act read with disaster management act has come in to force, the society does not get any such authority to stop the tenants from entering society and consequently their premises.”
He points out, that there is no such circular or government resolution by state of Maharashtra giving such authority to societies.
Societies have already faced the ire of the government for not allowing domestic workers earlier.
Singh said, “In fact it was because of such high handedness on the part of office bearers of society concerning domestic workers and drivers entry in to society premises that state of Maharashtra addressed to all Registrar of Cooperative Housing societies on June 26, 2020 wherein Registrars were directed to inform coop societies to allow maids/domestic help and drivers to enter society and to ensure that no coop society act against these directives.”
In the end Singh says, “Any act of society not permitting tenants from entering the society and consequently their premises is grossly illegal and punishable under the law of the land.”
This summarily answers the question that a housing society cannot prohibit a tenant from entering the building where he or she has legally rented an apartment.