Everything you need to know about RWA

  • March 27, 2024
  • Dushyant Sharma
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The Resident Welfare Association (RWA) is an association which is elected by a society’s residents. As the name implies, RWA works for the ‘welfare’ of the society and protects their rights and interests. Every residential society has its very own RWA. Without RWA, where would the residents go for their concerns or complaints? It is really crucial for a society to have an RWA. 

 

RWA has several rules, responsibilities and roles to ensure smooth functioning of a residential society. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about RW from its definition, members, RWA registration and more.

What is a Resident Welfare Association (RWA)?  

Resident Welfare Association, or simply RWA, is a Non Governmental Organization (NGO) which takes care of the interests of a resident society or a colony in a city, and also works for its welfare. All the RWAs are registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860. RWAs are governed by certain constitutional documents and their members cannot work as per their own will. The documents provide RWAs with special powers which are also checked for a requirement. An RWA can sue as well as be sued. An RWA is a legal body and comes with certain powers to exercise all the rights granted to it for legal purposes.

 

The role of an RWA is to improve the amenities and shared facilities, look after the internal roads’ condition, make sure street lights & drainage are working properly, maintain overall cleanliness and ensure all the residents get access to civic amenities like electricity and water. In prominent societies, RWAs have to do much more work. For instance, in major societies, RWAs also need to look after and manage commercial activities within the residential societies boundaries, in shops, banks, bazaars, etc.

Role of RWA officeholders 

Each and every RWA has a president, general secretary, vice president, treasurer, secretary, finance advisor and several executive members. We have mentioned the powers and functions of RWA functionaries below:

President 

  • All the meetings of the general body and governing body are chaired by the President.
  • The president is granted the right to vote on a draw.
  • He supervises all the activities of various office bearers.
  • He may also operate the bank accounts of the society.

Vice-president 

  • Vice-president has to assist the president in all his duties.
  • In case of the absence of the president, the vice-president must serve as the president.

General Secretary 

  • The general secretary is responsible for representing the society he’s a part of, in private and public offices.
  • He has to maintain the records of the concerned society and members.
  • He may also operate the bank accounts of the society.

Secretary  

  • In absence of the general secretary, the secretary takes up his place.
  • The secretary assists the RWA’s general secretary whenever necessary.

Treasurer

  • He is responsible for collecting gifts, subscriptions, grants and donations from the members and the general public.
  • All the account records of the society’s funds are maintained by the treasurer.
  • All these funds are maintained by him in a specific bank account of RWA which can be operated by him.

Executive members  

  • The executive members of RWA assist in the society’s daily activities.
  • They are responsible for filing the list of office bearers with the Registrar of Societies, as per Section 4 of the Societies Registration Act, 1860, whenever necessary.

Powers of Resident Welfare Association (RWA) 

The subscription amount for all the residents in a society is solely decided by the RWA. All the residents can apply for membership under RWA, but the RWA has the right to refuse such memberships by providing a reason for the same. Upon a resident's death, failure to pay the subscription fee, conducting something against the rules of the society, in case the majority of the RWA members demand his/her termination on some valid ground, the RWA can terminate such a resident’s membership.  


All the necessary initiatives and policies concerning the resident society are implemented by such society’s RWA. All the residents of the society may apply for RWA membership if they are interested.

What is the financial year of a Resident Welfare Association?  

RWA follows a financial year which starts from April 1 to March 31.

Funds of a Resident Welfare Association (RWA) 

RWA’s funds are retained in a scheduled bank account. This bank account can be operated by the president, treasurer or general secretary of the RWA. For auditing the RWA’s account, a qualified auditor is required to be appointed by the governing body.

About RWA Registration

To register as an RWA, it is necessary to apply for RWA Registration. RWA Registration is a process of registering a Resident Welfare Association (RWA) under the Societies Registration Act, of 1860.

 

Documents Required for RWA Registration

Memorandum of Association (MoA): The MoA of RWA must include the following details:

  • Name of the RWA
  • Area of Operations
  • RWA’s Aims and Objectives
  • Income sources
  • Rules and regulations that govern the RWA
  • Process of amendment of the MoA and rules

Rules and Regulations: The rules and regulations of RWA must include the following details:

  • Criteria for RWA’s membership
  • Rights and duties of all the members of RWA
  • All the powers and functions of the office-bearers under RWA
  • Procedure to be followed for conducting meetings and elections of RWA
  • Process to be followed for the dissolution of the RWA
  1. Officer-bearers list: A minimum of three office-bearers viz. The President, Secretary & Treasurer should be a part of RWA. The list of the officer-bearers must contain their names, contact details and addresses.
  2. Proof of Address: A copy of the address proof of the RWA’s registered office is required, such as an electricity bill and telephone bill.
  3. Proof of Identity: Identity proof of all the RWA’s office-bearers like Aadhaar card, PAN card, voter ID card, passport, etc. is necessary.
  4. Fee for Registration: The fee of registration for RWA differs from one state to another. You must pay the prescribed fee alongside the RWA registration’s application.

How are the RWA members selected?  

The governing body of the society is elected for a specific period of time while meeting the general body. The residents can raise their hands during the meeting for electing a person. The final list of RWA’s office bearers should not be less than 7. The list has to be attested by 3 outgoing bearers and then get filed with the societies' registrar.

Membership Rules for RWA

For the RWA membership, following rules are applicable:

RWA can reject or deny membership of any person and provide in writing the reason for the same.

  • This writing application is given to the concerned person.
  • If a person works against RWA’s aims and objectives, he can get terminated by RWA.
  • Failure to attend three successive meetings will lead to the individual’s termination. This can be done with the need of providing a written notice.

Amendments to RWA Rules

The rules of RWA can be amended. The same can be done in RWA’s MoA and such rules must be carried out following the procedure laid down in Sections 12 and 12A of the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

Is RWA mandatory for every housing society? 

A resident’s welfare association (RWA), as mentioned in Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, must be established in a housing society within a period of 3 months from when most houses have been booked. If a developer fails to take the necessary steps to create RWA in such a society, the residential society’s legal owners are granted the right to create RWA.

Do the Resident Welfare Associations have some statutory powers? 

No, a resident’s welfare association is a voluntary association which has a considerable power and authority over decisions of a society. However, an RWA cannot impact your right over the property. Compared to RWA, cooperative housing societies have more power and control. RWA has no right to infringe any homeowner's speech or privacy. The restraint or power exercised by RWA is for building or society maintenance or workshops which are held on the society premises. 

RWA Limitations

An RWA holds power in the society’s maintenance, membership of residents and record keeping. However, RWA’s power has some limitations which are mentioned below:

  • RWA is not authorized to have any commercial transactions or possess a property.
  • Officially, RWA cannot be the owner of anything of the society.
  • RWA cannot interfere with any resident’s ownership rights.
  • It is not allowed to file any legal proceedings before the Cooperative Societies' Deputy Direct Registrar (DDR). 
  • The association is not allowed to take any measures that would result in curtailment of privacy, unwarranted damage or inconvenience to the resident, or the right to residents' free speech. This is irrespective of whether the society’s resident is a member of RWA or not. 

Ground Reality of RWA

The RWA’s main goal is to work towards the common welfare of all the residents of a society. However, many times disputes arise between the society’s residents and the RWA members. Some common complaints which are received by RWA members are mentioned below:

  • Keeping too many flowers and different plants on the balcony
  • Arguments related to the society’s parking space
  • Throwing garbage on the road
  • Misusing the Whatsapp group of the society for unprofessional messages
  • Intrusion into the common area

Conclusion

The Resident Welfare Association (RWA) is a crucial body for any society as it looks after the interests and welfare of the society’s members. RWA plays a major role in improving the amenities and shared facilities, looking after the internal roads’ condition, making sure street lights & drainage are working properly, maintaining overall cleanliness and ensuring all the residents get access to civic amenities like electricity and water. In prominent societies, RWAs have to do much more work. For instance, in major societies, RWAs also need to look after and manage commercial activities within the residential societies boundaries, in shops, banks, bazaars, etc. If you need assistance in RWA registration, get in touch with Registrationwala now!


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Dushyant Sharma
Author: Dushyant Sharma

Hey there, I'm Dushyant Sharma. With the extensive knowledge I've gained in past 8 years, I have been creating content on various subjects such as banking, insurance, telecom, and all the important registration and licensing processes for various companies. I'm here to help everyone with my expertise in these areas through my articles.

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