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Mumbai uncooperative housing society

I remember reading about the cooperative societies of Mumbai as a kid in social studies. The concept was evolved, apparently, to help middle class folks get affordable housing.

I did not really encounter this epidemic called cooperative housing societies in my initial years at Mumbai. I first stayed as a paying guest with this aunty at Nutan Nagar, Bandra. Her matronly digs were just right for me - home food (even if veg), clothes washed, ironed and put tidily into the cupboard.

I then rented a place at Khar just before we got married. We were there for two years. Again no housing society woes.

We first encountered the mafia when we decided to buy a tiny place at Pali Naka, Bandra. We came across an evil and unhelpful cretin while buying the house. He and his cronies really hassled the gentleman who was selling the house to us. The transaction got delayed. Our first bank loan application fell through and the bank kept back the ten thousand Rupees we had paid as application fees. Money we could ill afford to lose. And I can't begin to describe our trauma at the possibility of losing the place.

Five years later we decided to take a larger rented place. Our plan was to rent our existing place to narrow the gap.

Well the trauma is back and how. The evil secretary has been replaced by another old clown. I checked with him about renting our house and he said there would be no problem. Now that I have gone ahead and taken the place he says that we can't rent out house. When pushed he said that there is some resolution passed years back by the evil secretary saying people can't rent out their houses. I asked him to show it to me and he said he can't show it. Why? Even the government shows stuff under RTI.

Reasoning with them is a lost cause. I have swallowed my pride and tried to sweet talk them. But the old clown goes on and on like a freaking stuck record. He seems to be quite keen to drag this on and on.

What is really ridiculous is that it is our house and we are willing to go ahead with the legal requirements - registered agreement, police NOC - but no, that won't work for this guy. In other words I cannot decide what to do with my house in this supposedly free country.

I don't know what people get from causing harm to others. We are losing out money here as we have to pay our loan EMIs and the rent. But does he care? No. So why call it a 'cooperative' society?

This is the most ridiculous system I have come across. How can a group of unrelated people interfere in other people's property? They take money from the buyer and seller when a purchase happens. They take a higher maintenance if one rents out a house. And what does one get in return? Pure harassment.

I just can't figure out the reason from their existence. The claim of 'affordable housing' is a joke. Bombay has the most expensive housing in India after all.

Plus this leads to unconstitutional policies where people are not allowed to rent out/ sell to Muslims, single people or even non vegetarians at times.

Hitler would have approved of this fascist system.

Any practical suggestions on a way out?

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