A Residents Welfare Association (RWA) targets working towards the welfare of the inhabitants in a housing society. These associations are important but there have been numerous instances where developers have been reluctant to hand over the maintenance to the resident's welfare association body. Lack of a residents welfare association might result in the residents of the housing societies being at the receiving end of maintenance and welfare practices that might not be transparent. For instance, you can raise your concern to the RWA if the lift in the building is not maintained well and without an RWA in place, you may not know where to raise your concerns.
As mentioned already, the residents of a flat can form an association themselves, if the developer of the project has not initiated or handed over the process after getting the occupancy certificate. The association can only be formed after a general body meeting has been conducted; wherein both the residents and the developers have taken part. When many respondents are wishing to become members, the process should be facilitated via an election.
Once formed, the rules can be made by the RWA, taking into consideration, the suggestions from the residents. These rules made by the RWA will then become the bylaws of the society and the residents should follow them. These bylaws are in place to ensure the welfare of all the residents of the society and different resident associations can have different rules. For instance, flats in Kochi will have different rules from that of villas in Cochin.
After formation, the resident's welfare association should get hold of many documents from the developer. Commencement certificates, building license, work order, land-use conversion, NOC from the water board, Airports Authority of India, electricity board, defense ministry, state fire, and emergency services, forest department, and environment and forest ministry, approval from chief electrical inspector, power sanction letter from electricity board, Sewage discharge consent under Water Act, occupancy certificate are some of these documents.