Changes in utility payments from autumn 2022: Penalties are reduced, certificates are canceled

The Housing Inspectorate will monitor the quality of home repairs more closely.  Let's hope that roofs and pipes will leak less often.  Photo: Kirill ZYKOV/Moskva Agency

The Housing Inspectorate will monitor the quality of home repairs more closely. Let’s hope that roofs and pipes will leak less often. Photo: Kirill ZYKOV/Moskva Agency

After mobilization and referendums, the changes in the housing and communal services sector, which have already entered into force this fall or will soon begin to take effect, have somehow faded into the background. And, by the way, there are a lot of them. Of course, everyone has already heard about the increase in tariffs for “communal” from December 1, 2022 (on average by 9% across the country). But this is not the only innovation. We have compiled a “communal memo” for those who save every penny.

Mobilized will not be fined for debts

The mobilized and their families will be exempted from penalties for debts for utility and housing payments, as well as major repairs. The changes were approved at the end of September by the State Duma, and on October 4 – by the Federation Council.

Penalties will not accrue until the mobilized person ends his military service. The specific mechanism – where and how to apply, if you need to appeal or clarify something, should be worked out by the regions.

An important point: the mobilized are not exempted from paying for housing and communal services as such. For them, only penalties are canceled in the event that a debt for a “communal apartment” arises.

The law will enter into force as soon as it is signed by the president and published.

Penalties will be less

We continue the theme of debts for the “communal”. But now let’s talk about changes not only for the mobilized, but for everyone. By a decree of September 23, the government adjusted the rules for calculating interest on debt for housing and communal services.

For starters, the main thing: debtors will pay less. In any case, until the end of this year.

And now the details (it will be difficult, but we will figure it out). This is not the first time the rules for calculating fines have been changed this year. The background is like this. According to the general rule, which was in effect until February 2022, the calculation formula is tied to the key rate of the Central Bank. But on February 28, the rate soared to 20% per annum. And it turned out that the fines for a great life suddenly almost doubled overnight (before that, the rate was 9.5%). They decided to take pity on the citizens, and the rate for calculating penalties was fixed at 9.5% (as it was on February 27). But in the end it turned out bad again. The rate gradually decreased during the year, now it is already 7.5%, and penalties are calculated based on 9.5%. And now a new scheme has been approved, which will be valid until the end of this year: the rate that is less is used in the calculations – either 9.5% or the current one (see “KP Reminder”).

The innovation applies to debts incurred from August 1, 2022.

“Discounts” for overhaul – without references

The fate of beneficiaries who are entitled to full or partial compensation of contributions for overhaul is simplified. Officials were obliged to request the necessary information from the relevant authorities themselves. And do not drive the elderly and the disabled for information.

We are talking, for example, about disabled people of groups I and II, war veterans, in most regions – unemployed and single pensioners over 70 years old, etc. who are over 70 years old, and 100% – to those who are over 80. Provided that the person lives alone and does not work. Either lives with relatives, but they all do not work due to age or disability.

An important clarification: this benefit is introduced at the regional level, so somewhere it is, but somewhere it is not. Another point: it is necessary to write a statement to the social security authorities. And the third: the benefit in the form of reimbursement of expenses assumes that you must first pay the receipt, and then the money will be returned to you. Unfortunately, many pensioners of the “Soviet temper” do not understand such a scheme: how is it – the benefit is due, but the bills for major repairs come. But at least some of the problems will be removed – you don’t even have to go for information.

Reminder "KP"

Reminder “KP”

A photo: Dmitry POLUKHIN

Under the supervision of the housing inspectorate

And one more change in the field of overhaul. State housing inspectorates have the right to control those regional operators (that is, local companies) that conduct it. A resolution to this effect was signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin at the end of September.

Inspectors are also required to conduct scheduled inspections: how contractors comply with deadlines and current regulations. And if necessary, involve construction supervision specialists who will inspect the houses being repaired.

Why is it important? Complaints that after the overhaul the roof began to leak even more, and for some reason the sewerage broke through when replacing the heating pipes, is a common thing. Until now, the overhaul operator himself had to control his contractors. For some reason, he doesn’t always succeed. Also, the control function was assigned to the residents themselves. Their representative – usually a senior in the house or porch – signs the act of acceptance of work. But the “representative of residents”, as a rule, is not a professional in construction and utilities. And even if he is very conscientious, he cannot always correctly assess what the repairmen have done.

Now the tenants at least have an additional instance where they can complain about a careless overhaul. As well as a chance to lure building supervision specialists.


You are our incredulous

The Supreme Court ruled: you and I are not required to prove to public utilities that we have verified the meters.

With the notorious verification of water meters, a strange situation has developed. Since 2020, a law has come into force, according to which a record in the special federal information system “Arshin” serves as proof of verification. Companies that carry out verification are required to enter information into the system.

Everything seems to be great. Citizens no longer have to run to the house management – take papers testifying to the verification. Oftentimes, this is actually how it works. Yes, but for many management companies no “Arshin” is a decree. They demand to bring a paper certificate of verification – period. Otherwise, they charge a fee, as if there were no meters in the apartment. They refer to another document – the Rules for the provision of public services to owners and users of premises in apartment buildings and residential buildings.

In theory, the rules should have been brought into line with the law of 2020 – as a normative act of a higher level. But apparently they forgot. And there remained the requirement to provide housing residents with a copy of the certificate of verification or another similar document.

The Supreme Court came to the aid of the citizens. Its Board of Appeals found the paragraph of the rules to be contrary to federal law and canceled it in September 2022. True, for this one persistent Muscovite (thank you, unknown hero) had to go through all the judicial instances – up to the appellate board of the Supreme Court.

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