Housing and utilities



The term housing and communal services (housing and communal services) is of Soviet origin. In a broad sense, it means all infrastructure that allows people to live or be comfortably in buildings. This includes energy supply, water supply, ventilation, elevators, garbage disposal, and much more.

In the Soviet years the state was engaged in all this. But now people have the opportunity to unite and independently organize their own way of life. Someone does it well, but someone is mired in papers, laws, court hearings.


It is constantly spoken about the crisis in the sphere of housing and communal services, and it arose largely due to numerous myths. People simply do not understand what they are facing, what their rights and responsibilities are.

Housing and utilities

The way to manage a house is not necessary.

This myth debunkes the Housing Code of the Russian Federation in Article 161 paragraph 2. It says that the owners of both residential and non-residential premises in an apartment building do not just have to choose how to manage their house, but even have to do it. These functions can take over the management company, HOA, and you can leave direct control.

The voice of one tenant does not solve anything.

In relation to an apartment building, all decisions are taken at general meetings of the owners. Every voice is important, it can become decisive and tilt the scale to one or another solution. People think that nothing can be changed in the housing and communal services system. However, it is possible to influence the controls. If you do nothing, then nothing will change.

The increase in tariffs is carried out by management companies and housing department.

Establishes water tariffs and regulates them Government of the Russian Federation. There is the Federal Tariff Service, which determines the retail price of electricity and gas for resource suppliers. Above this bar, resource-supply companies can not set a price for their goods. Housing and public utilities are only intermediaries between service providers and end-users. By law, these organizations can not receive financial profit. In fact, they are the closest to the consumer. And all the price increases seem to emanate from these organizations. In fact, they most often just broadcast changes from above. In the change of tariffs, these organizations are not interested in anything.

The organization of HOAs will lead to an increase in utility tariffs.

Many owners are therefore afraid to form HOA, fearing a rise in tariffs. But, as already mentioned above, tariffs are set higher and regulated by the Government. The bodies of local self-government act in accordance with the established norms. In this regard, HOA can only act within the strict rules.

Light bulbs in the entrance must be changed by the tenants themselves.

The rules stipulate that all small repairs of public places should be carried out by a management company. It’s about replacing those same bulbs, as well as mailboxes, broken windows, door handles, handrails and door closers. Keep the house at your own expense and constantly engage in minor repairs to the tenant is not necessary. The management company already receives payment from him. In her charge is the elimination of a variety of malfunctions associated with electrical engineering. This is not only the replacement of light bulbs, but the replacement of plug sockets, switches, circuit breakers and circuit breakers, minor electrical wiring repairs and so on. All this applies to auxiliary rooms.

If there is no partnership, the city authorities must answer the pipes in the basement.

Pipes in the basement are considered common communications. Consequently, the owners of the house are responsible for them. The Housing Code states that from the moment of privatization, the owner undertakes to keep the common property in the house, to pay for its repair and maintenance in a timely manner.

Non-residential premises in an apartment building belong to common property.

Residents can make mistakes, considering non-residential premises in their home as common property.But at the same time extensions and built-in premises for some reason are considered personal property. Such non-residential premises can be independent objects owned by certain people. The construction of such premises can be envisaged at the design stage of the house, and their purpose is not related to the common property. So this can be the property of a very specific person.

Chairman of the HOA can apply for a loan against the security of apartments.

Unfair chairmen can try to implement such an idea. However, enthusiasm will quickly fade away – these people do not have any rights and powers to carry out such transactions. The decision to take a loan can be taken only on the basis of a general meeting of tenants.

Own staircases tenants should clean themselves, in accordance with the established schedule.

This belief was brought up in us for years. Charter to wait from some virtual housing office cleaning the porch, the tenants themselves set the schedule, remove the garbage and wash the floors. For decades, everyone is used to it. However, legally, this situation can develop only with one rare condition. Residents should monitor the condition of their entrance, if it is expressly stated in the service agreement. It should be clearly stated that the HOA does not clean the entrances and public areas. If the treaty does not say so, it should prescribe the frequency of cleaning and the list of places for it. And if not, then these parameters are taken from the “Rules for the provision of public services to the owners of apartment buildings”, that is, the law comes to the aid.

Housing and utilities

The board of HOAs may include either employees of the management company or representatives of local authorities.

All members of the partnership, the board including, should be the owners of the premises in this house. It is the general meeting of such people who chooses their rule on the basis of the rules of the Housing Code. So an outsider, not being an owner in the house, simply has no right to enter the board of the HOA and even more so to become its chairman. Tenants often think that the chairman and the whole board are crooks who want to be enriched at the expense of rent and high tariffs. However, it is worth remembering that these people were chosen by the owners themselves, and nobody canceled the law either. Any offense will be opened at the first check.

Water and light may be absent from time to time.

This situation can not be considered normal. There are norms with prescribed maximum deadlines for possible lack of services. If the time frame is exceeded, you can already safely request an allocation. So, for example, cold water must be present around the clock. Electricity may not be a maximum of two hours. Loss of the same frequency or voltage is generally unacceptable. All these norms are determined by Government Decision No. 354 “On the provision of public services to owners and users in multi-unit buildings”. There, in the annex, all the norms for gas, hot water, and heating are prescribed. If there is a disabling of some service, then this is not a problem for the tenant. The responsibility lies entirely with the management company.

With a dark elevator with an unpleasant smell in it you have to put up.

From the point of view of logic it is clear that such a situation is wrong. Ideally, the elevator should have normal lighting and be clean. There should not be any smells of urine in it. In the management agreement for an apartment building, it is usually indicated that the elevator should be washed every day. It is forbidden to stick ads, to make inscriptions. All these employees of the management company should be rubbed and scraped off. You can not put up with the disgusting state of your elevator. You have to fight for your rights.

р Rusty water can flow from the tap, which can be explained by bad soil.

According to the Federal Law “On Water Supply and Sanitation”, organizations that carry out cold water supply on the basis of a centralized system are obliged to provide the end user with drinking water. Here the sanitary norms, setting the norms of color, smell, turbidity and taste, come into play. Water can not be rusty. Its undesirable color and smell indicate that it’s time to change either the indoor pipes, or the urban water purification system. The soil here obviously has nothing to do with it, but the management company has something to do.

No one is responsible for the residence of foreign residents, utilities for them must be paid for by the rest.

The perpetrator, in the person of the CC, HBC or HOA, can obtain data on people who are temporarily resident in the dwelling, who are not registered there permanently. Then it is quite feasible to draw up an act on the establishment of the number of such citizens. On its basis, the performer can control the number of people living in the dwelling. And if the premises are not equipped with water meters, light, then draw up an act on the use of these resources by the established number of citizens. One copy is transferred to the owner and within three days the act is sent to the internal affairs bodies or to the sphere of migration control. Residence at the place of residence without registration in accordance with the Code of the Russian Federation entails an administrative penalty. So with the numerous illegal immigrants who do not pay for utilities, you can and should fight.

If the time is not to submit a meter, the fee will be charged according to the regulations.

This is quite an obvious point of view, but it is only partially true. Of course, it is better to file testimony in a timely manner, as well as make payments. If the consumer does not give an indication of his meter for the billing period (usually a month), then in the next six months the fee will be charged based on the average monthly consumption. And only then, if the testimony does not appear, the fee will begin to accrue according to the regulations.


The maintenance of housing and maintenance is the same.

The means allocated for the maintenance of housing include expenses for carrying out work to keep the house in a suitable condition, as well as spending on the elimination of emergency situations. Usually it concerns a small repair with the replacement of parts, cleaning, garbage removal, sanitation of the basement, testing of in-house equipment. A minimum list of such works and services is approved by a government decree. The current repair involves more serious work. It can be a replacement of the access door, repair of the entrance, installation of new sun beds in the basement.

A common house water meter is not needed, the water flow does not depend on it in any way.

If the house does not have a house-building meter, the house will be charged according to the consumption standards. For today it is 250 liters per day per person. If the owners of premises believe that they actually consume less, then they should think about installing individual accounting systems. But in order to achieve real savings, a homeowner’s counter is still needed. Its installation will resolve the disputable issues that may arise between the management company and the suppliers regarding the volumes of consumption. It is advantageous for the owners to equip their premises and houses as a whole with accounting systems. They will not save themselves, but they will be able to motivate residents to economically consume resources.

The management company may charge additional payments for the renovation of the building and without the prior consent of the tenants.

Payments can only be accrued based on the decision of the general meeting of tenants to carry out repairs. If 2/3 of them are against this, then no additional payments can be collected. But if we are not talking about the usual cosmetic repairs, but the basic life support systems, whose breakdown leads to a malfunction in the functional of the building and a danger to the tenants, then the owners are obliged at the general meeting to decide on the repair and the sources of its financing.The work will be carried out by the management company, indicating the volume of the estimate.

The fact of rendering inadequate quality of municipal services is impossible to prove.

The owners of dwellings sometimes face a situation when they receive services of inadequate quality, and all their claims are ignored by the management company or the HOA. In fact, the procedure for establishing the fact of providing poor-quality public services is simple and as specific as possible. The time for conducting the audit is appointed no later than 2 hours after the receipt of the complaint from the consumer. If the HOA or CC does not conduct the audit at the specified time, the consumer has the right to draw up his own certificate of quality control of the services provided in the absence of the executor. The document is signed by two consumers and the chairman of the council of the house (if there is a CC) or the chairman of the HOA or the cooperative.

The overhaul charge will be entered in a separate line.

No one guarantees that this money will be used for the intended purpose. The funds received from the owners for the capital repair fund can only be used for these purposes. The use of money for other purposes, including for economic expenses, is not allowed to pay. Control over this is carried out by the financial authorities. Articles 172 and 186 of the Housing Code define a system for monitoring the filling of the capital repair fund. An important role is played by the bodies of state supervision, as well as councils of apartment buildings, boards of HOAs, housing cooperatives, housing and communal services. Local authorities should monitor the development of funds, take work, signing acts.

All tenants will contribute to the capital repair fund.

As a result, the rent for housing will increase for all. Capital repairs will not have to be paid to the owners of those premises that are recognized as emergency, in houses to be demolished or reconstructed, to housing on land, against which a decision has been made to seize state property. Until then, the board is appointed, and then it can be used for demolition or resettlement. The balance of the funds must be returned.

Doing house management is a simple activity.

This myth appeared in the 1920s-1930s. It is believed that this occupation is unworthy of a true intellectual and professional. Some even believe that people are engaged in housing and communal services only because they know nothing else. However, many came to this sphere from other areas – from science, construction, the army, medicine. Those techies and humanists who worked in the HOA for at least a year, with confidence, debunk the myth. Managing an apartment building is not an easy task. The manager has to be an economist, a psychologist, an engineer and a market expert, a lawyer and a cost estimator, a builder and a personnel officer. Are there so many universal specialists who can cope with such diverse tasks? How much should they pay then? Obviously less than the managers get.

In real estate management, you can earn good money.

Having read several chapters of the Housing Code or Government Decree No. 354 on providing communal services to tenants of apartment buildings, the illusion of easy earnings will disappear. In addition, the manager will always be under the sights of the tenants. Many will probably suspect him of stealing – this is human nature. And recruitment agencies offer such a level of salaries that there is little willing.

Housing and utilities

Provision of utility services is a lucrative business.

It is worth recalling that this sphere is one of the most socially oriented. The authorities can understand – it is impossible that housing and communal services are the main part of the consumer basket. On the other hand, it turns out that most of the multi-apartment buildings are serviced according to municipal tariffs dictated from above and not always economically justified. And management companies have to work in market conditions, paying, including the work of contractors. The income level does not stimulate business much.When managing residential buildings of economy class on profitability, one can not speak.

The state compensates low-income citizens with high tariffs for housing and communal services.

There is a law according to which the total payments for an apartment can not exceed 22% of the total family income. Otherwise, the owners are entitled to a subsidy. In practice, it is rather difficult to obtain it by collecting all the necessary documents. Especially elderly people suffer, who may not have their own rights, and it’s just hard for them to stand in endless queues. They prefer to eat worse, but pay on time for the apartment.

The housing legislation details all the issues.

The new Housing Code appeared in 2005. It was a generally progressive document, which, however, did not escape the contradictions and mistakes. Almost every year the State Duma adopts amendments, but they not only do not eliminate the problem, but new issues are borne. Each amendment is so incomprehensible that it hardly covers the hole in the Code. And taking into account the general lack of system of housing and communal services and domestic legislation, the appearance of such specialization as a lawyer-dweller is not surprising. An ordinary person can not understand the laws, regulations and acts anymore. Initially, the authorities tried to protect the interests of citizens, but everything turned out exactly the opposite. The latest standards are so strict that law-abiding organizations simply can not work normally. And arrogant businessmen continue to ignore the law, scraping the owners.



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