Difference between RWA, AOA and CHS

The housing societies use the terms such as ‘Resident Welfare Association’ RWA, ‘Apartment Owners Association’ (AOA), or ‘co-operative housing society’ (CHS) terms. Quite a few times, there is not sufficient clarity about these terms. Let us look at the simple perspective for these terms.


The name of the body may not signify much. For example an RWA may have rights of AOA.

RWA or ‘Resident Welfare Association’ is a term used more generically. RWA can be formed by any group of residents in any geographical area. A RWA is created relevant ‘society act’. On its own, RWA has control only over its members. RWA has only the powers given to it by its Bye Laws. Sometimes it may have some support from the government agencies as a community organization. An example is sector 32 RWA which can be formed by the residents of independent houses of sector 32 to manage their affairs

AOS is a body which is actually a society and which also conform to the state ‘apartment act’. AOA has specific powers and responsibility given by the state ‘Apartment Act’. It has control over all the flats even if all the flat owners are not the members.

CHS is registered under the co-operative society act of the state. It has rules and regulations to manage a housing society. By definition, all the flat owners are members of a housing society.

AOA and CHS are specific constructs which are available for house owners or apartment owners to manage the apartment society.

So what is the difference between AOA and CHS? A body can either be AOA or CHS. Normally, it cannot be both. An owners’ body has an option to form either a CHS or AOA. A CHS is normally formed prior to the construction of the flats and AOA is typically formed after the construction. But this is not a must.

The typical scenario is a few people (subject to minimum no of people) for a co-operative housing society and they construct houses and apartments. A CHS member first become a member and then pays for the apartments / house. The land is typically owned by the CHS and CHS appoints developer/ contractor to build the houses or the houses are built by the members themselves.

On the other hand for the AOA scenario, the builder / developer get the lands /license and then the builder sells the flats / houses to individuals. The individual owner come together to form a RWA and then upgrade the society to AOA.

An RWA which is neither AOA nor CHS, does not have any ownership of the land or the common areas and does not powers given either by the apartment act or the co-operative society act.

We would like to clarify that for an individual situation, legal expertise may be required for specific clarifications.

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+1 #1 SC Talwar 2014-11-07 14:38
:sad: U have no hang of act pertaining to RWA's in condominiums. A reason that greedy bureaucrats have got away making illegal acts such as Haryana Societies Act of 2012


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