The members of a cooperative housing society can approach the consumer forums to get some relief in grievances against their society officials if their grievances are not being attended to by the representatives of the Registrar’s office. The housing sector is covered under the term ‘service’ under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (CPA). Therefore the services rendered to the members by a housing society falls within the ambit of the CPA, 1986.
Furthermore, the provisions of the CPA, 1986 are in addition to and not in conflict with any provisions contained in any other Act. This means that the provisions of the CPA are added remedial avenues provided to the consumers by the laws of the land. In view of the above, any dispute that comprises a housing society and any member with respect to rendering of any services such as allotment of house, possession of house, maintenance services in relation to housing complex etc are covered by the CPA, 1986 and a member can approach the Consumer forums to claim compensation and damages against the housing society for rendering deficient services. In the case of Secretary, Thirumurugan cooperative Agricultural Credit Society v. M.Lalitha, (2004) 10 CLA-BL Supp, the Supreme Court held that a member of a cooperative society can approach consumer forum as a consumer to redress his grievance against a cooperative society.
A housing society is part of the cooperative sector and this judgment is also applicable to cooperative housing societies.