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Flat transfer: can a co-op society insist on succession certificate?


I am a 70-year-old woman living with my only son in the US. My husband and I jointly purchased a flat in Mumbai’s suburbs from a builder in 2012. The flat purchase agreement was registered through power of attorney (POA).

My husband died before the co-operative society was formed. When I asked the society to issue me a share certificate, its managing committee insisted that I submit a succession certificate. But, getting that involves a very lengthy procedure, many visits to the court and payment of stamp duty, etc. I want to know if the said society can insist on a succession certificate.

Also, what is the easiest way to get a share certificate directly in my name?

Alternatively, if my son executes a release deed in my favour, affidavit, or indemnity in favour of society, will it suffice ?

—Name withheld on request

We understand that you and your husband had undivided equal share in rights, title and interest in the flat.

As per the relevant provisions of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960, on the death of a member of a society, the society shall transfer share, right, title and interest in the property to the person or persons who are entitled to inherit it based on testamentary documents or succession certificate or legal heirship certificate or family arrangement document. The provision mandates the document based on which the transferee claims inheritance and/or succession to the flat. Therefore, the society has the right to insist on a succession certificate.

While you may apply for the succession certificate or for probate (incase if the deceased has left a will within your knowledge), you can approach the society for admitting you as a provisional member in the interim until and unless the succession certificate is obtained by you.

As for the share certificate, you may apply to the society by submitting necessary forms enclosing your agreement for sale/sale deed in respect of the flat by virtue of which you along with your deceased husband is joint owner of the flat.

You may execute a release deed with your son in your favour which has to be duly stamped and registered in terms of the applicable laws relating to it.

Aradhana Bhansali is partner, Rajani Associates.

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