From March 1, Russians will pay for the consumption of utilities for general house needs (ODN) in a new way. The standards for accounting for hot and cold water, electricity and heating in common spaces – landings, entrances and elevators – will change. In addition, before April 1, new payments for housing and communal services will come – with the recalculation of ODN for the past year. The rules will affect everyone differently: for some, the one-time fee will be significantly higher, for some it will be lower, and for some it will hardly or not change at all. What to expect – understood “Izvestia”.
Why rent will increase in March
Until 2022, homeowners in Russia could pay expenses for common house needs in two ways. If the house has common metering devices (not individual), then according to actual consumption. We are talking, for example, about the light bulbs in the entrance, the water with which the cleaners wash the floor, the operation of elevators and so on. The amount was divided among all tenants in proportion to their living space.
In rare cases, if there are meters, but the tenants did not vote for payment after the fact, or the house is too old, the payment was calculated according to a certain method and distributed evenly throughout the year.
Photo: Izvestiya/Mikhail Tereshchenko
However, even last year there were restrictions: even if the house has common metering devices, the amount per consumer could not exceed the standards. They, in turn, are established by regional authorities. When actual consumption went beyond these limits, the management company paid the difference.
But the rule has ceased to apply since September 2022 – now the owners must “close” the entire volume of ODN. That is, for those who paid after the fact, and for those who paid according to the norms, the standard figures will no longer be the boundary that cannot be exceeded when calculating payments. Both those and others will begin to recalculate the rent at least once a year – in the first quarter, if the owners themselves do not want otherwise.
Photo: Izvestiya/Zurab Javakhadze
– In 2017, the legislator abolished the concept of ODN and introduced a new one – KR on SRI (communal resource for the maintenance of common property). And at the same time, he provided for the final distribution of this CD on the SDI for all residents according to the readings of the meter. However, in order not to create tension in society, for the first time the legislator forbade the distribution of a resource amount per inhabitant that exceeds the established standards. The procedure for their distribution in excess of the standard was introduced only five years later, in 2022 resolution Government of the Russian Federation of February 3, 2022. Its entry into force was widely discussed in September last year, ”Sergey Sergeev, head of the Utilities, Energy and Property Management practice at the Arbat Moscow Bar Association, explained to Izvestia.
In other words, in February-March 2023, the first recalculation of utility bills under the new rules for the entire past year should take place. The total amount depends on the region: if the standards were greatly underestimated, a significant amount may appear in payments at a time, if they are too high, vice versa. If they tried to bring the standards closer to real ones, then the difference will be small.
“The changes will be felt by all residents of apartment buildings. Exceptions are possible only if smoothing administrative decisions are made in some regions,” Sergeev added.
Photo: TASS/URA.RU/Vladimir Andreev
Experts emphasize that this is not about increasing housing and communal services tariffs, but only about paying for what was not paid before. In order for the calculations to be as accurate as possible, residents need to take readings from apartment meters and send them to the management company in time. ODN is calculated using a simple formula: the total readings of the house minus the individual readings of all residents.
According to experts, such a measure will allow management companies not to pay for owners, and this, in turn, will improve the quality of services: organizations will free up funds. Previously, they often took money intended for the maintenance of common property in order to pay off suppliers of water, heat and electricity. But it is incorrect to combine ODN and CR on SDI, Sergey Sergeev emphasizes. In the first case, resources are paid, in the second – minor repairs, equipment repair, cleaning, and so on.
In a building where tenants pay their bills responsibly and on time, the payment for ODN will be as transparent as possible. If the consumer has not given the figures, he will be charged a standard that is close to real consumption. But if he deliberately underestimated the readings (“twisted” the device or transmitted false data), all other residents will have to pay for the water and electricity he actually spent.
The management company can recalculate not once a year, but once every six months, quarter or month. Residents must vote for it and apply to the organization. In the latter case, the monthly rent may increase slightly, but the annual adjustment will no longer be necessary.
How will housing and communal services standards change in March
There remains one more category of tenants who cannot pay ODN after the fact, because for some reason there are no common metering devices in their houses. For example, this is a dilapidated and dilapidated housing, preparing for demolition. For them, the standards remain in force, but from March 1, the calculation will change.
Photo: Izvestiya/Zurab Javakhadze
According to Ilya Dolmatov, director of the Institute for Economics and Regulation of Infrastructure Industries at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, a calculation method is now used, which is based on design characteristics: for example, equipment capacity, unit costs, and so on. Often such calculations do not coincide with what actually exists.
“Revising the regulations always means we want to be more fair. It consists in the fact that the calculated values reflect the actual indicators. Current innovations are associated with the introduction of a new method – the method of analogues. It consists in the fact that you, in fact, take a similar object (house) with the same characteristics, look at how much it spends on meters, and use these figures to set a fee for those houses that do not have meters. And with the calculation method, you can make a mistake, because it is not very clear how in fact, – he explained to Izvestia.
According to Dolmatov, the analog method is designed to remove the imbalance that occurs when the standards are understated or overstated, and bring the numbers closer to real ones. But these changes will affect a small percentage of Russians.
– There are a number of features related to the fact that the previously established standards have a validity period of three years, and in order to revise them, it is necessary to make appropriate calculations. But this does not mean that they will now be reviewed and refined throughout the country. Most likely, there will be some point examples, and it’s not a fact that from March 1 – they can be in the middle of the year, and at the end, or even from the next one. These are not tariffs that are indexed everywhere all at once,” the expert said.
Photo: TASS/Donat Sorokin
How not to pay for garbage collection on vacation
At the same time, residents of apartment buildings can save on garbage collection if they are absent for more than five days. These changes also come into effect on March 1.
In order for the payment to be recalculated, you need to write an application to the management company and attach evidence: for example, a tourist voucher, train and plane tickets, or a travel certificate. You can use the measure within a month after returning home.
In addition, in Russia they can reduce the cost of housing and communal services for garbage collection. It is proposed to calculate the cost of the service based on the actual waste produced, and not according to the standard. Owners of several apartments in which no one lives can be completely exempt from paying. The initiative was sent to the Ministry of Construction by members of the profile committee of the State Duma.
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