December 28, 2016
With more people opting to live in apartments and gated communities, the harassment that they are subjected to by the societies that maintain the apartments are also seeing a rising trend in Coimbatore.
In a recent scenario, Umayul Shree, a resident of the Sunnyside Apartments near Peelamed, complained that she was repeatedly harassed by the Sunnyside Owners’ Welfare Association. After being subjected to constant harassment in her four- year stay here, over small issues, Umayul vacated recently. However, before she could vacate, the society members reportedly forced her to pay Rs 2,000 as “shifting charge”.
“There is no such charge in any other apartment. Yet, they did not allow me to shift without paying. However, when I paid the money, it was marked as ‘sponsorship’ in the bill,” she said.
She complained that there was no proper storm water drain facility in the apartment, leaving her house flooded in the deluge last year. “Most of my furniture was destroyed in the flood,” she complained.
Condemning the actions of the society members, S Kanagasundram, Technical Convener of the Licensed Building Surveyor’s Association said that most societies were involved in such tactics, bypassing tenants and owners.
“This is a case of tenants versus owners. But in some cases, even the owners are harassed by the societies if they do not fall in line with what they say,” he said, adding that the society members were illegally collecting excess money from residents. “I have also faced similar issues at my residence and have sought the help of the police,” said Kanagasundaram.
He complained that since local authorities were not checking the actions of the societies including the maintaining of accounts, violations were happening in all the apartments.
“There are more than 100 apartments and gated communities in Coimbatore with more than 1,000 societies, according to the local authorities. Though it is difficult to monitor all of them at the same time, scheduled checking can bring down violations,” he told the Covai Post.
Reacting to the claims, a senior official from the district administration claimed that regular checks are done by various departments and violators are fined. Meanwhile, a senior police official said that residents should approach the police immediately when they are harassed.