Resident Welfare Association - Role, Power and Rules of RWAs

Resident Welfare Association - Role, Power and Rules of RWAs

12 Apr 2021    RWA

Every Residential Society has a Resident Welfare Association (RWA). As the name suggests, its primary intention is to work towards the overall welfare of all residents of a particular residential society.

At the same time, there are several rules, responsibilities, and roles in place for ensuring the smooth functioning of a specific area. In this write-up, we will examine what the resident welfare association is and its functions in India. 

What is a Resident Welfare Association (RWA)? 

Resident Welfare Association is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which takes care of the interests and welfare of a residential society or colony in a city.
 

Resident Welfare Associations are registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Every state in India may have a lot of amendments that differ from one another and keep changing with time as well. When a building is registered under the Societies Registration Act, the RWAs are governed by certain constitutional documents and cannot work as per one's own will. 
 

The documents mainly ensure that the RWAs have special powers, but these powers are also checked for a requirement. This can be sued and can sue, as well. For all the legal purposes, this is a legal body that has the power of exercising all the rights.
 

Several aspects are to be taken care of in a particular society where the RWA or the role of the RWA's president plays an integral part and is crucial. The role of the resident welfare association is to look into improving the amenities and shared facilities, looking after the condition of the internal roads, street lights, drainage, water harvesting, overall cleanliness, and civic amenities like electricity and water. 
 

In the more prominent societies, the RWA may have to do much more work. For example, the role of resident welfare associations in major societies also includes looking after and managing commercial activities within the society premises in bazaars, shops, transportation, or banks in that particular area.

 

Residents Welfare Association (RWA)

Governed by: 

Societies Registration Act, 1860

Financial year: 

April 1 to March 31

Selection of members to the governing body: 

Through election during the general body meeting. 

Responsibilities: 

Maintenance of the finances, premises, and records of the society and implementation of the necessary rules. 

Role of RWA officeholders

Every RWA would have its president, general secretary, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, finance advisor, and several executive members. The powers and functions of RWA Functionaries are listed below briefly:
 

President

  • Presides over all the meetings of the general body and governing body.

  • They have the right to vote on a draw.

  • Supervising all the works done by various office bearers.

  • May operate the society’s bank accounts.

Vice-president 

  • Assist the president in all their duties.

  • Act like a president in the president’s absence.

General Secretary 

  • Responsible for representing the society in private or public office.

  • Maintain the records of the concerned society and members.

  • May operate the society’s bank accounts.

Secretary 

  • Play the role of the general secretary in their absence.

  • Assist the RAW's general secretary whenever required.

Treasurer 

  • Collection of gifts, subscriptions, grants-in-aid and donations from the members and the general public.

  • Maintain all the necessary account records of the society's funds. These particular funds are required to be maintained in a specific bank.

  • Operating the resident welfare association’s bank account.

Executive members 

  • Assisting in the society’s daily works.

  • Filing the list of office bearers with the Registrar of Societies whenever needed, as per Section 4 of the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

Powers of Resident Welfare Association (RWA)

The RWA solely decides the subscription amount for all the residents of the society. Although all the residents can ask for the RWA membership, the RWA has the right to refuse such memberships after communicating a proper reason. 
 

The RWA also has the power of terminating the membership of any resident owing to her/his death, for the failure of paying the subscription fees, in case they conduct something against the interests of the society, in case the majority of the RWA members demand his/her termination on some valid ground. 
 

Also, this is the responsibility of the RWA to operate and implement all the necessary initiatives and policies within the Resident society. RWA membership is open for all the residents of the concerned society, and they can apply for the same.

What is the financial year of a Resident Welfare Association? 

The financial year followed by a RWA begins from April 1 to March 31.

Funds of a Resident Welfare Association (RWA)

The funds of a particular RWA are to be retained in a scheduled bank. The account can be operated by the president, treasurer, or the general secretary of the RWA only. A qualified auditor needs to be appointed by the governing body and shall audit all the RWAs accounts.

How are the RWA members selected? 

The society's governing body is elected for a specific period while in the meeting of the general body. The residents can specifically raise their hand during the meeting for electing a person. The final list of office bearers of RWA should not be less than seven. They must be attested by three outgoing bearers and, after that, filed with the registrar of societies.

Amendments to RWA rules 

The Rules of RWA can be amended. Amendments are welcome in the Memorandum of Association and such rules are to be carried out following the procedure laid down under Section 12 and 12A of the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

Is RWA mandatory for every housing society? 

As per the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, a resident's welfare association (RWA) must be established in a housing society within three months from when a majority of the houses have been booked. If a developer does not take the necessary steps to form a RWA for such a society, the legal owners of the Residential society have the right to create such a body.

Are the Resident Welfare Associations given some statutory powers? 

No, RWAs are voluntary associations and these bodies have considerable authority and power; this cannot impact your right over your property. In comparison, cooperative housing societies have more control.
 

However, this has to be affirmed that the Resident Welfare Association does not possess the right to infringe on the right to any homeowner's speech or privacy. An RWA exercises its power or restraint in building/society maintenance or functioning or any workshops held in the society premises.
 

Conclusively, a Residents Welfare Association (RWA) is an important organisation which looks after the interests and welfare of the society. After going through this entire write-up, you would indeed have an idea about all the necessary facts associated with a Resident Welfare Association. If you live in a residential society, this information can prove a great resource to you.

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