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How to Transfer Land, House or Apartment in West Bengal Co-Operative Housing Society and Take Action if Society Denies Transfer

How to Transfer Land, House or Apartment in Cooperative Housing Societies

Transferring property in cooperative housing societies can be a daunting task, especially, since most Societies ask for innumerable documents and delay approval. Further, some societies also seek exorbitant amount in transfer money. If you need to know the law behind housing societies in West Bengal, check this post here: https://advocatechenoyceil.com/2014/02/19/co-operative-housing-society-west-bengal-rules/

Steps to Transfer Property in Cooperative Housing Society

  1. To transfer house, land or apartment in Co operative society in West Bengal you need permission of the Society as provided under Rule 131 (3) of the WBCS Rules 2011 r/w Section 92 of the WBCS Act 2006.
  2. However, if the Society is asking for donation amount more than 0.5% (prescribed under Order No. 2522 dated 23rd June 2003 of the Cooperation Department) of the Sale Value from either the transferor or the transferee then you should write to the Society and state that you cannot pay the amount as it is illegal.
  3. If the Society rejects the proposal for transfer then you may refer the dispute to Registrar within 30 days from such refusal.
  4. If the Society does not even respond to your proposal for transfer then you must write to them again within 30 days and seek their reply. If they still fail to reply or grant transfer then you must immediately appeal the matter to the Registrar. The limitation period to appeal to the Registrar (when Society does not reply) is 60 days from the date of application for transfer to Society.
  5. If the Registrar fails to grant permission to transfer the house, flat, land or apartment then you may also appeal to the Co operative Tribunal within 30 days from the date on which the order of the Registrar is communicated as provided under Third Schedule of the WBCS Act 2006.

Alternate Course if Society Asks for Donation to Transfer Membership

  1. Further, you may also pay the donation amount asked for by the Society (in excess of 0.5% of the sale value) upfront to allow the transfer to occur smoothly and thereafter you may apply to the Registrar and seek recovery of the amount with interest.
  2. However, you must apply within 3 years and preferably immediately after transfer has been completed.
  3. Please note that when you pay the amount seek receipt for the same and before paying the amount send at least one letter to the Society objecting to paying the amount so that you can prove later that you paid the donation money under duress, distress and coercion.
  4. Always keep notices, receipts and letters forwarded and received from the Society. Always try to send letters by registered post or speed post with A/D so that you can track the delivery of such letters.
  5. Once the transfer has been completed and if you have paid excess donation amount then you may immediately refer the dispute under Section 102(1) of the WBCS Act 2006 to the Registrar or Deputy Registrar of Co operative Societies, West Bengal in written format for recovery of the amount. You may appoint an advocate or any person to apply on your behalf.
  6. Do check whether your Society is registered with KMAH or RTAH or any other district Registrar and send the written complaint to such Registrar.
  7. The limitation period for filing any dispute, except for disputes regarding recovery of money is three months (90 days) from the date on which cause of action arises.
  8. For recovery of money the Act does not prescribe any limitation period but in essence it must be within three (3) years, as soon as possible.
  9. Further, under Section 102(3), the Registrar may admit disputes after the limitation period by condoning the delay if sufficient cause is shown.

Important Points for Transfer of Property in Housing Societies

  1. Please note that the Consumer Court or any Civil Court or the Writ Jurisdiction of the High Court does not have any jurisdiction to try any dispute referred to under Section 102(1) of the WBCS Act 2006.
  2. Once the dispute has been lodged, the Registrar himself may decide the dispute or appoint an arbitrator or board of arbitrators under Section 103(3) of the WBCS Act 2006 to decide upon the dispute.
  3. Normally, the dispute should be decided within 6 months from the date of receipt. If extension is provided, such extension should not exceed 6 months and the matter must be decided within a year.
  4. Further, the plaintiff or complainant has to submit or deposit fee within 15 days from the date of Registrar’s decision to refer the dispute to an arbitrator or board of arbitrators. The Fee to be deposited shall be decided by the Registrar depending on the nature of the dispute. Failure to deposit fees shall result in rejection of the dispute and the dispute would also stand to lapse.
  5. The Forum of arbitrators or arbitrator can pass interlocutory orders or stay orders for preservation of property and will give each party an opportunity of being heard.
  6. The decision, order or award passed by the Registrar or Arbitrator is final and cannot be challenged in any Court except for want of jurisdiction as provided under Section 145 (4) of the WBCS Act 2006.
  7. However, appeals lie to the Cooperative Tribunal within 2 months from date of award or 2 months from the date of knowledge about the order.
  8. It is to be noted that you can also claim interest on the amount paid under distress and you may also claim costs for the proceedings.
  9. Under Rule 174(1) of the WBCS Rules 2011, any sum recoverable under an award in any dispute shall by the awardeee as Public Demand upon requisition of the awardees as provided under Second Schedule of the WBCS Act 2006.
  10. However, if the award is not regarding recovery of money then the award shall be enforceable by any court as the decree of the court upon an application by the awardee as provided under Rule 174(2) of the WBCS Rules 2011.

Calcutta High Court allowing Recovery of Property Transfer Donation Money

In Dover Co-Operative Housing v State Of West Bengal and Ors (2007) 3 CALLT 522 Hc, 2007 (3) CHN 508, the Hon’ble Calcutta High Court held that:

“Sections 32, 49 and 92 to 94 of the Act, we find that both the State Government and the Registrar of Co-operative Societies have been vested with the overall power of supervision over the affairs and working of a Co-operative Society under the Act and if it appears to the State Government or the Registrar that any of the Co-operative Societies registered under the Act had contravened any of the mandatory statutory provisions, it can suo motu pass necessary direction for rectification of such illegal act notwithstanding the fact that the aggrieved party has not referred the dispute to arbitration in terms of Section 95 of the Act.”

“According to Rule 142(2) of the West Bengal Co-operative Societies Rules, a Co-operative Housing Society may raise such fee or donation as may be specified by the State Government from time to time by notification for according consent for transfer by a member of his land, house or apartment to another person having eligibility to become a member of the society. There is no dispute that until the year 2003, no such notification was issued and in the notification of the year of 2003, the societies were for the first time permitted to accept by way of such transfer-fees an amount equivalent to 0.5% of total consideration money. Therefore, prior to issue of the notification of the year 2003, a Co-operative Society was not authorized to accept any amount of money by way of transfer-fees.”

The Court further held that:

“Rule 142(2) in the proper perspective, we find that up to the year 2003, nothing was specified by way of notification authorizing a Co-operative Society to raise by way of fee or donation any amount for according consent for transfer and therefore, up to the year 2003, a Co-operative Society was authorized to accept “nil” amount of money for giving consent and from the year 2003, for the first time, the State Government has authorized the societies to accept something as transfer-fees or donation for the above purpose by limiting it to 0.5% of the consideration money.”

The Court further held that:

“Writ petitioner complained before the State Government as well as the Registrar drawing their attention to such illegality committed by the society and on that basis, the State Government took decision directing the Co-operative Society to refund the amount and such order was sought to be implemented through the Deputy Registrar, Co-operative Society, which was the subject-matter of the writ application. The writ petitioner alleged inaction on the part of the State Government in implementing its own decision and prayed for direction upon the State to enforce its decision against the Society.”


  1. I am a member of a HIG housing cooperative society in Action Area 1 of New Town. I need money for education of my son, therefore, I want to sale my share, I have applied to the society and resolution has been taken it that done as per cooperative law. Can society fix a date of one month for completion of sale, and in case of failure to sale/transfer of my share of land within the date what action the society can take in connection to sale/transfer of my share. Whether society can force me to sale my share below the of valuation done by the land registering authority ?

    1. No, there is no such provision. However, land can have fixed stipulation for developing building within a specified time. What kind of housing cooperative is your society? If board resolution has not been passed in accordance with law then you can also challenge the same.

  2. i am going to purchase a membership in a HIG housing co-op at new town kolkata ,total cost of the land is 6 lakh and till date expenses made by the society 2 lakh so total cost of land and other expenses made by the 8 nos member till date is Rs 8 lakh .so per head contribution cost is Rs 1 lakh. also sale /transfer price is fixed with the outgoing member is Rs 15 lakh .my quaries is that which price should be shown during transfer /sale of membership either it will be cost price Rs 1 lakh or actual transfer price of Rs15 lakh or any amount like to show by the transferee and transferor with mutual understanding/ .is there any rules for showing transfer price .

    .please inform


  3. we have made a group of 8 member to purchase a co-operative society ‘s all 8 membership at new town ,kolkata .is it possible to transfer of all 8 nos membership in favour of our group within 3 month. or what is the procedure to complete the total transfer and required time period.

  4. i want to transfer my west bengal co operative housing socities membership .so what is the proccedure and transferor ,transferee s duty.

  5. we have a registered housing co-op society at new town ,kolkata and land alloted by HIDCO consisting 8 members. out of which 4 are board member. now most of the member wants to sale there share immediately .some one told us that we may allow transfer /sale maximum 4 member in a year . in the bye laws 3/4 th of the member will take any decision in the board.can we allow 5th member to transfer his share . please give me a guide line how may allow transfer all of 8 share and what is the procedure and time required . can we co-opt board member from the new member in this special circumstances before completion of one year of membership.

    1. Transfer can be allowed after one year. There is no restriction on number of members unless the by-laws restrict to 4. If new members are ready the society may verify the credentials and allow transfer. If any doubt arises then contact DRCS

  6. Sir, one of my relative sold his membership to me and we have submitted all documents to DRCS, after many correspondence in the month of jan 2011 they informed orally as per rules 2011 the chairman can issue the letter for transfer of membership and I paid the money time to time. But so far DRCS has not send letter to the society. Mutation of the society has been done by NKDA and waiting for registration for individual flat. Whether any problem will arise, please advise. We will be highly grateful to you sir.
    LK Mukherjee, salt lake

  7. Hello Sir:
    We have a house in Calcutta in the Benia pukher road (Now Hare Krishna Konar Road), the house is under the Wakf Board.
    My question to you is that: Is it possible to convert the house from the Wakf Board to a normal thing, so that we can apply to get a sanction plan and make it a better structure (like two storey building, etc).

  8. Sir,
    i want to buy a property in a housing co-operative society, situated in a non- municipal area of west bengal, what are the charges/ fees i have to pay, including stamp duty and registration fee? what is the rate of stamp duty for such transaction?

  9. Sir,Do you have the list of places/areas notified for equitable mortgage in west bengal ? I could not find it online

  10. Hello,
    Thanks for writing such a wonderful article. It would be of great help if you provide a guideline for a situation when a co-operative is asking for a huge sum of money for transfer of membership & is also not ready to give any receipt for the same. A solution from you would be greatly acknowledged through which the transfer process is not hampered and the co-operative takes an amount for the same which is as per Government Rules.

    1. I have already mentioned how to tactfully handle the situation. However, you have to negotiate with the society. Today, most societies are acting illegally. At least try to get a receipt so that you can later claim the amount before the Registrar after you have taken possession over the flat.

      1. In this case I am the transferor & I am paying the transfer fees. I have some dues towards the society, so the transferee is going to make that payment along with the transfer fees & pay the rest to me. We have a transfer agreement between us wherein the demand made by the society is also specified. The secretary of the society has demanded the amount which is way way beyond the 0.5% of the sale proceeds. What to do? Please advice.

  11. What are the steps and documents required to buy a second hand flat from a cooperative society? Please suggest. Its very urgent.

  12. Dear Sir,
    Could you please provide me the circular on which basis a Secretary of Housing co-operative Society can issue N O C in place of ARCS for changing name in regard to water,electricity bill etc.
    Nilmoni Chatterjee

  13. Where can I get a copy of Order No. 2522 dated 23 June 2003 for payment of 0.5% of sale value of flat/apartment to a housing cooperative as transfer fee / donation.

      1. Hello Chenoy Ceil.

        Thank you so much for Nice Informative article .

        I am in process of buying a membership HIDCO Cooperative society . The plot i am relating to
        is not yet registered. I am going to have agreement with one of the member of the plot among 7. And I Have below questions.

        1) Is that all other 7 members concerned/ signature / Authority is required.
        2) Is That agreement is sufficient to have the 1/8th share of the property under the HIDCO rule.
        3) What are other important process i need to take care.


        1. Hello Ajay,
          Thank you for your commenting. You need permission of the society for transfer of membership. Fill out forms that shows your identity to the society, affidavit and copy of the agreement with the seller. Provide all these documents to the society and await their approval.

  14. Dear Sir,
    I had appealed to my cooperative society to transfer my membership of a share to a transferee, and the cooperative had accepted the transfer. But, the transferee, refused to purchase the share because of monetary problems. Will my membership be cancelled? I haven’t got any money from the transferee. And the transferee didn’t sign or write any letter to the society requesting his membership of the share. VERY URGENT

    1. As long as the new member has not paid how can be become a member as such? What are the bye-laws of the society regarding such an event? In any case, if you had applied for transfer of share and the society accepted then it amount to cessation of membership. However, you can seek the value of your share or interest refund from the Society if they fail to accept you as member. Further, the society is not supposed to accept the transfereee as a member unless he has paid all liabilites to society or undertaken to take over all liabilities of the transfereor. Did you not enter into an agreement with the buyer? You can also claim the amount from the money from the transferee if the person has failed to comply with the terms of the agreement. If nothing else works, raise a dispute with DRCS. Good luck.

  15. In a cooperative housing society registered under WBCS Act, if a member sells his allotted plot of land without approval of the cooperative society, is the registered conveyance deed valid? What is the recourse with the cooperative society in such case?

    1. Hello Ranjeet,
      Well, under WBCS Act, it is not valid. However, you can request the Board to approve the registered deed retrospectively. You just have to make the application to the Society with all necessary documents and pay the requisite fees to get it approved. If they deny, you can then approach the Registrar.

      1. I was keen to know the recourse with the cooperative society to deal with the defaulting member in such situation , not the available remedial measures in favour of the member at fault. The query is from management side of the cooperative. We seek your legal opinion in this regard. Thanks.

        1. Hello Ranjeet,
          You can deny membership based on the bye-laws of the society. However, any decision should be intimated to the Registrar. Based on your bye-laws if there is mode of expulsion, then it can also be approved by the board management and defaulting member can be expelled. However, any remedial measures should be approved by majority and also intimated to the Registrar.

  16. my son who is now an NRI wishes to transfer his share holding in a cooperative housing society wishes to gift the share to his mother who is a resident Indian. The flat has not yet been completed. the Society is asking that the total amount paid till date should first be deposited with them by the donee and then they will after a few days refund the same to the donor. is this justified?

  17. sir ,
    i am a member of an lig co-operative group.One of my member is from higher income group.He wants to transfer the ownership to his daughter,who is from lower income group.We have got our C.C..What should we do?is it possible for him to transfer to his daughter?Can we face problem if Hidco comes to know about his high income?

  18. In case of LIG cooperative society membership share purchase, is it mandatory that the transferee has to be the low Income group? What is the limit of low income group? If anybody is a member of LIG cooperative society, what would his membership if he suddenly got died and his son’s income is higher than LIG limit and his wife also died?

  19. Can any member sell his share of a registered co-operative society in new town before the society”s land is registered.

  20. Sir,
    I am a member of a HIG Co-op.Housing Society. I tendered my resignation from my membership on September 28, 2016, duly received the application by the Secretary of the HIG Co-op.. Society. It is more than 35 days past the Co-op. Society has not called any BOD meeting for taking a resolution to accept my resignation on my medical ground,( CLL,). What action I should take?

  21. Sir I am going to buy a flat from newtown kolkata AA1 which is under co operative society from one of 12 nos member flat. The co operative accepted my letter and give me approval letter and inform me previous member resignation accepted and my application accepted.The flat is already completed and they got only cc certificate from NKDA.Individual registration not done. Now the co operative society tell me during registration that the flat I want to registry I have to do it individually and registry cost benefit is not applicable to the flat as I am not the initial member. Now I am confused is it true because at the time of sell deed they told me that I will get the benefit.

  22. Sir, I want to transfer my LIG Cooperative Flat at New Town to my colleague due to financial hardship. My colleague is to be paid the value of the flat in three years but asked me to take action for change of membership in the meantime. If membership transfer within six or twelve months, whether he can claim the flat ignoring payment clause. I have not yet registered the flat till now.

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