“Article 155 of the Housing Code of the Russian Federation explicitly states that the owner is not exempted from paying for housing and communal services if he does not live in his apartment,” lawyer Dmitry Yemelyanov explained to Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
It clarifies that for the owners of the utility bill, housing and communal services will consist of several types of expenses:
– payments for consumed communal resources (electricity, water, heating, sewage, waste disposal);
– monthly fees for review;
– general household expenses distributed among all owners of residential premises (lighting of general-purpose premises and adjacent territory, heating, etc.).
“In accordance with article 157 of the Housing Code of the Russian Federation, the final payment for housing and communal services is formed based on the readings of metering devices. If there are none, the payment will be determined from according to the consumption standards established in a particular region”, adds the lawyer.
At the same time, there are quite legitimate ways to save on utility bills. There are a number of options available to significantly reduce your housing costs.
1. Installation of individual and intelligent meters. Payment will be made solely on the basis of meter readings. If the owner plans not to be in the apartment for a long time, it is allowed to seal the meters. This can be done as long as there are no debts for housing and communal services.
2. Control over the number of registered people. Some types of payments are charged based on the number of registrants in the apartment. If you write from the housing of those citizens who are not related to it, the amount for housing and communal services can significantly decrease.
3. Benefits and subsidies. According to Russian law, all low-income citizens of the Russian Federation are eligible to apply for benefits. This is a type of cash back, which the state returns to all citizens who pay their utility bills in a timely manner. Beneficial categories of citizens can reduce their spending on housing and communal services by a significant amount.
4. Denial of Unused Services. In many flats, an important item of expense is the payment of an urban telephone, a collective antenna or a radio point. If the landlord does not live in his apartment, he may refuse these services.
5. Recalculation. If the owner does not live in the apartment, he can require the management company to recalculate. This is possible in situations where there are no metering devices in the dwelling, and the owner is absent for more than 5 days (but not more than 6 months). To take advantage of this opportunity, you need to visit the Criminal Code and write the appropriate application, attach documentation confirming the actual absence of the apartment.
The “Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 354 “Rules for the provision of public services” from the moment of adoption assumed the possibility of recalculation. However, in practice this was not applied, since there was no mechanism specific for recalculation. That is why on November 16, 2022 2023, all citizens of the Russian Federation can exercise the right to recalculation in case of temporary absence from their homes,” added the specialist.