Savings on the purchase of real estate turns into huge spending on housing and communal services
The word “apartments” in Russian is used without really delving into its essence, but meanwhile apartments from the point of view of the Housing Code Russian Federations have a certain legal status and bring a lot of problems to their owners. They are attracted by the price – on average, 30% cheaper than apartments, but then the cheapness can come back to haunt other expenses. Residents of one of the large residential complexes in the north-west of the capital turned to the editorial office of MK. The management company does not manage, the elevator almost killed a pregnant woman, but there is no one to complain to: this is a non-residential fund!
Photo: Daria Atamanchuk
The story began quite simply: the owners of apartments in one of the new residential complexes did not sign their agreement to increase the payment for house maintenance and immediately received a “response” from the management company.
— The rugs at the entrance suddenly disappeared, after them the guard and the cooler were gone… The cleaning lady of the house told the tenants that “in your building they were now ordered to clean once a month.” In the building, for a moment, there are 33 floors … – says Olga Petrovna, a resident of the house.
According to her, the change is abrupt and unexpected – before that there were always foot mats, and water boilers, and night security rounds of houses, and concierges at the entrance. Only now, after the two buildings announced their refusal to agree to an increase in tariffs, it was there that the “service package” was significantly reduced, and they began to “shake off” money from the owners with threats for unreasonably high utility bills. At the same time, residents received receipts for utilities, in which the numbers shocked everyone, and, according to residents, they do not give any explanations on tariffs and charges.
However, the lack of foot mats is a trifle and only the tip of the iceberg. It is much worse that in the house, according to eyewitnesses, it happened that “a little fall” … elevators.
– There was a terrible story: recently a pregnant woman experienced a couple of floors of free fall, after which the police and an ambulance were called … Happiness that they escaped with fright, without consequences for the health of mother and baby. An initiative group of residents of the house has now been created to draw attention to this problem. I don’t even want to think that something irreparable must happen in order for the problem with faulty elevators to be finally resolved,” the resident of the house shares.
“Free fall” is a truly shocking precedent. As Alexei Zakharov, First Vice President of the National Elevator Union, noted in an interview with an MK correspondent, there is no direct threat to life here, but the situation is alarming.
— In modern elevators, a catcher system is installed, which jams the movement, and the safety unit protects it from falling. But this can lead to a hard landing. The maximum distance it can fly down is 10 meters. So what is happening is not too dangerous, but it is still necessary to take action in this situation,” the expert explains. – The best option would be a written appeal to the management company. They have an elevator service organization they interact with. If they ignore it, you should contact the housing inspector in Moscow or the Moscow region. And the next step may already be an appeal to Rostekhnadzor, the state supervision of elevators.
The management company shrugs its shoulders to all the questions of residents. And in response, you can only hear: “Your application has been accepted. In progress.
“In January, I received a bill for 16 thousand rubles for 36 square meters, one girl lives. I categorically do not agree to pay for services not rendered. I paid everything according to the counters (7 thousand rubles) on February 12, 2023, sent an application with a request to recalculate and explain the amount charged. They call like collectors every day and every hour demanding to pay the bill in full, threatening to sue and cut off electricity and water. When you ask to justify the tariffs, they answer that they are not obliged to report to us about the tariffs. And when you come to them, they pour a lot of water, something about maintenance of the buildings,” says a resident.
Her neighbor adds her own story in the same genre:
“In the past month came a bill for 25 thousand for 42 square meters. meters – this is no longer climbing into any gate! And it is useless to argue with them.”
Meanwhile, the solution to the situation is not so complicated: the thing is that the apartments in this building have the status of apartments, which, in turn, are marked as non-residential premises. Well, in the literal sense of the word, the law is not written to them. As an expert in the field of housing and communal services Vladimir Ryazansky explained in an interview with an MK correspondent, neither the Housing Code of the Russian Federation nor the relevant rules and tariffs apply to apartments – in fact, management companies receive carte blanche for any arbitrary choice.
– There is a very simple position: if you bought cheap, pecking at advertising, be prepared to deal with the consequences. Apartments are always cheaper than apartments, even in the secondary market, not to mention new buildings. At the same time, the owner of all common property is the developer or a person appointed by him, therefore, the general meeting of owners does not even have the right to change the management organization, as apartment owners can do. The situation is stalemate. You have to understand: this is actually an apart-hotel, well, a hotel. And the owner has the right to set any tariffs for the maintenance of this hotel at any level of internal service.
Andrey Tyutyunin, head of the national public organization Right to Protection, gives the same explanation: “Apartments are formally considered non-residential, although they look like apartments. For non-residential premises, in principle, other (increased) tariffs for everything, and even management companies wind up for their services beyond the expectations of buyers. This is one of the reasons why apartments are cheaper than apartments when buying, all other things being equal. Payment for utilities in apartments is carried out in accordance with an agreement that the apartment owner concludes with a management company, HOA or another form of management.
Well, in practice, it turns out that the management company is completely controlled by the developer. Meanwhile, when buying apartments, you need to be prepared for one more pitfall: since apartments are non-residential, you won’t even be able to get temporary registration there, let alone registration. So such real estate is suitable only for those who are already happily registered somewhere. In addition, a tax deduction does not apply to the purchase of apartments – the opportunity to return 13% of personal income tax after the purchase of housing.
A bill providing for a change in the legal status of apartments was submitted to the State Duma of the Russian Federation back in 2021 year. It was assumed that legally apartments would be equated with living quarters in apartment buildings. However, this legislative initiative was not developed.