An apartment owners association is an association voluntarily formed by the apartment owners who have purchased apartments in a building project completed by a builder or owned previously by a builder. Such an association is formed for the objective of lending collective force to protect their rights and interests and ensure the able management of the building property to secure the benefit of the smooth supply and maintenance of amenities.

The apartment owners in an apartment owners association also constitute a Board of Managers which have a Chairman, a Treasurer and a Secretary who are office-bearers in the Board. This Board is in charge of ensuring the management of the association and building affairs and safeguarding the property rights of the apartment owners. Its objectives and functions are similar to a cooperative society, but its scope of powers is different from such a society.  An apartment owners association is also regulated by different laws from that of a cooperative society in India and may be registered under these laws. This article seeks to explain what a registered apartment owners association is and highlight the benefits of such an association.

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What is a registered apartment owners association?

An apartment owners association (AOA) can be formed and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

  • There is a minimum requirement of seven people to form an association with a memorandum of association required to be drafted to highlight the objectives of the association.
  • The AOA’s objective is to protect the rights and interests of the apartment owners who have formed the association and to manage the building or apartment properties. To do so, it has to be registered and possesses legal powers under the Societies Registration Act and any other law for the time being the force that regulates the activities of the association.
  • A registered AOA has certain powers and benefits over an unregistered AOA and enjoys legal recognition as an entity in the eyes of the law.
  • For an association to be registered the memorandum of association is very important with the need for the following details to be present:
  1. Name of the association
  2. Names of the residents/members and their occupation
  3. Objectives of the association
  4. The bye-laws of the association which are subject to change according to the change in circumstances.
  • The following documents are also important and are needed for registration
  1. Name of the association
  2. Address of association
  3. Memorandum of association
  4. Proceedings of the first general meeting
  5. Standard fee

Benefits of a Registered Apartment Owners Association

The registered AOA enjoys legal benefits that allow it to fulfill its stated objectives concerning its members and address its issues regarding the administration of building property legally. Here are some of the benefits of a registered AOA given below:

  • A registered AOA can formulate by-laws and rules that allow it to regulate its functions and act as an arbitrator to resolve disputes between its members. Many of the bye-laws drafted may also prevent disputes from ever arising as they secure the balance of the property rights and obligations of their members.
  • The registered association on a violation of these bye-laws having taken place is allowed to take action against the owners who violate these rules. The association can take penal action against these members and levy damages for the injury caused to neighbors, failure to pay the maintenance fee, etc.
  • A registered association can hold cultural events, charity drives, awareness programs, and other community-driven activities for the welfare of its members/building residents.
  • An AOA is tasked with securing the safety of the building residents. Thus, the association is legally empowered to restrict the entry of unauthorized people or unwanted elements into the building premises. It can restrict the entry of strangers or the exit of residents in times of situations like COVID situations if directed by the Government authorities. It is also tasked with ensuring the smooth supply of water and electricity services to the building property and the maintenance of amenities that allow the residents/owners to enjoy their property.
  • A registered AOA can take legal measures against builders for poor construction of the building property or the violation of building codes or any illegal divergence in the use of residential space. It can do so by sending legal notices to the builder, filing complaints against the errant builder in the consumer court or complaining to the RERA authorities.
  • The administration of the building property and amenities is a difficult task. For the exercise of decision-making powers of the association, the association holds member or resident meetings where proposals are initiated, resolutions are passed and decisions are made. Usually, the Chairman chairs these meetings and the decisions taken in these meetings are legally binding by the force of the bye-laws. The minutes of these meetings, apartment records, legal compliance documents, financial statements, etc. are maintained by the association office for ensuring the existence of documentary evidence of the conduct of the association and building affairs.
  • Ease of taxation and handling of finances because of the separate legal entity of the registered association. Due to the maintenance of documentation and legal recognition of the association, filing of GST, property tax returns and other related taxes is easier for the residents of the building.

In case of change of ownership of the registered apartment, such transfer needs to be done according to the law in force and the association should be notified of such change to update its documents about the apartment.

The association is also allowed to levy certain charges for the upkeep of the building property like:

  • Common electricity charges
  • Water charges
  • Contributions towards the repairs and maintenance fund
  • Car parking charges
  • Repairs and maintenance towards the running of lift
  • Property taxes
  • And any other charges that aid it in maintaining the building property.

What charges are allowed by the association to be levied legally


The AOA is a very important body that is required for the protection of homeowners and residents of a building. The collective strength of these parties allows the association to state and fulfill its objectives which is the protection of its members’ rights and interests and the administration of the building property and amenities. This association requires legal registration under the law to fulfill its objectives and receive legal recognition for doing so.

A registered AOA can take legal action to protect its interests and impose penal action on errant residents who violate its bye-laws. Also, it is easier for the registered association to comply with taxation laws and handle its financial affairs with ease. Thus, it is better and beneficial for an apartment owners association to get legally registered rather than remaining unregistered.