In the housing and communal services sector, more serious fines will appear for some, and more understandable tariffs for others

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Unscrupulous resource supply organizations, which suddenly turn off our hot water and electricity, will begin to pay fines tenfold. And it is proposed to link the amount of payment for the maintenance and maintenance of communal property not to the wishes of the Criminal Code, but to the technical documentation for the MKD

В сфере ЖКУ для одних появятся более серьезные штрафы, для других — более понятные тарифы

Several news items related to the housing and communal services sector deserve special attention. First, the President of the Russian Federation signed Federal Law No. 116-FZ dated May 29, 2024 “On Amendments to Article 7.23 of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation”.

As the telegram channel “Laws of Construction” notes, since June 9, new fines have been in effect for the provision of substandard utilities, which have been increased tenfold for unscrupulous resource supply organizations (RSO). We are talking about illegal shutdowns of hot water supply or heating in winter, prolonged suspension of electricity services and similar violations.

The penalty system is now two-stage. For the primary violation of the timing and quality of the supply of municipal resources, fines will amount to 10 thousand rubles for officials and up to 50 thousand rubles for legal entities. Fines of up to 30 thousand rubles and up to 100 thousand rubles, respectively, will be levied for each subsequent violation.

Secondly, the State Duma Committee on Construction and Housing and Communal Services has prepared a bill that amends the work of the Criminal Code. According to the authors of the document, after its adoption, the management of newly built ICMS will become more efficient.

As experts explain, the amendments proposed to the Housing Code of the Russian Federation establish: the temporary Criminal Code, with which the developer has concluded a service agreement, should begin full management of the MCD a year after the house is put into operation. Now the term is three months, but during this time not all apartments manage to pass to the owners, which complicates the process of managing communal property.

In addition, the approach to setting tariffs is changing. Now the amount of the fee specified in the contract between the Criminal Code and the developer has no financial and economic justification, and therefore the tariffs for owners often turn out to be overstated.

According to the new rules, the amount of payment for the maintenance and maintenance of communal property will be tied not to the wishes of the Criminal Code, but to the technical documentation for the MKD. The technical documentation will also include an instruction manual for the operation of an apartment building: it will contain recommendations for the maintenance and repair of communal property, the service life of individual elements, and so on. Based on this information, the Management Company will prepare management tariffs.

В сфере ЖКУ для одних появятся более серьезные штрафы, для других — более понятные тарифы

Photo: Anton Vergun/TASS

What do developers think about the proposed innovations? Do they see any dangers in accepting them? And most importantly, do they consider the problems that made them think about the new rules to be real?

Elena Komissarova, General Director of BEL Development Group

“Indeed, the procedure for determining the cost of the management company’s services at the stage of purchasing housing in a new building is an acute issue in the field of residential real estate. The owners of MKD apartments face an already established tariff for management and operation when buying a home, and many owners mistakenly consider the tariffs opaque and overpriced. Any management company, when calculating the tariff, primarily relies on the initial technical documentation, as well as on administrative and business expenses within its own business processes. In each agreement between the owner and the Management Company, a separate application should contain the most transparent interpretation of the tariff. At the same time, the Management company must be customer-oriented and promptly provide owners with justifications and comments if they have questions about the tariff. Unfortunately, owners do not receive feedback in all segments, and this certainly affects loyalty. The adoption of the bill may significantly limit the Criminal Code in attracting the resources necessary to provide high-quality operation, for example, when choosing a range of specialized service providers. Nevertheless, this approach will prevent the establishment of an unreasonable amount of operating fees if we are talking about an unscrupulous management company. The bill also increases the validity period of the house management agreement concluded by the developer with the Criminal Code. Currently, it is three months, now homeowners will be able to independently choose a new criminal code only after a year. The temporary nature of the management of new buildings is fully justified. Immediately after putting the house into operation, the owners carry out repairs, and the developer eliminates claims that are identified after the acceptance of apartments. The current three-month deadline is too optimistic. Practice shows that the majority of residents finish repairs and move in no earlier than six months, and the house becomes fully occupied in an average year. During this period, the work of the management company affiliated with the developer is the most effective solution in terms of eliminating defects. In any case, the issues of housing and communal services are the most sensitive and socially significant for the population, in this regard, this bill and similar initiatives require detailed study and analysis and must take into account the balance of interests of owners and the Criminal Code.”

Vera Stefan, Commercial Director of Asterus

“Extending the term to a year is really the right measure. Within a year, the developer, together with the management Company, will already have time to implement the concept of managing an apartment building, the client will be able to dive into the details, understand all the features of this concept, the need for each item and determine for himself whether he is ready to pay for these services or not. Now all developers understand that the service provided by the Management Company to residents after buying an apartment and settling in is one of the most important components of the product. Accordingly, the selected management company is a partner who provides a service that affects the quality of the product and the reputation of the developer in the market. Therefore, the management company is often involved as a consultant even at the stage of project development, it is important to get an assessment of the built-in product characteristics from the point of view of their further operation: what will be difficult or expensive to maintain, clean and clean, what should be added for plant care and watering, and so on. Only for a period of about a year, the management company and the developer will be able to demonstrate to people that they have established contact and dialogue, that the developer continues to take care of the project after its implementation, that he is ready to delve into the specifics of the operation of his facility, eliminate defects or, conversely, add new services and solutions and thereby take care of residents. Three months is not enough for this. During this period, it is not always possible to transfer the keys to all owners in large residential complexes. Buyers do not have time to start repairs and even more so do not get the experience of living. Often, their opinion about the criminal Code is formed only from the experience of interaction at the stage of repair work: ordering passes, garbage collection, and the like. Therefore, a longer period is needed. Now about the tariffs: this item is especially relevant for high-comfort facilities that cannot be operated within the city tariffs. For example, in the residential complex of the business class Alia, the management team, even when launching the first stage of operation, relied not on the city tariff, but on the technical characteristics of the object and the conceived concept. Otherwise, it would be impossible to provide the promised level of comfort. The proposed amendments will make this experience widely used. As for the financial and economic justification for setting the amount of the CC fee, it certainly exists. Prices are not taken from the ceiling, they are made up of many factors. One of them is the salaries of employees and performers, which are only growing from year to year. For example, the average salary of a janitor in 2019-2020 was 45 thousand rubles, and in 2024 the expectations for a janitor’s salary are already 68-73 thousand. The guard’s salary has also increased: a couple of years ago, it was 1.5 thousand rubles per shift, and from 2023 — at least 2.8 thousand. In addition, the costs of cleaning chemicals are increasing (they are not Russian-made and have increased significantly in price), consumables, and inventory. For buyers who purchase housing of a class higher than comfort, it is important to understand that they will have to pay above the market for maintenance and operation. I repeat once again: all tariffs are prescribed in detail, otherwise the commission and the initiative group of the house will not miss them. And all controversial issues are put to the vote, and people have the right to make their choice for or against. For example, the developer has planned a lobby with a reception, therefore, it is assumed that a concierge works in such a lobby. But if the owners vote against it, the lobby will remain empty, without a concierge, despite the concept from the developer. Or, for example, common children’s rooms are now designed in some residential complexes. But not everyone wants to pay for them, which is logical, for example, for childless owners. On the other hand, when buying an apartment, the developer does not hide from the client the fact that, according to the concept, there will be shared children’s rooms in the house — this is considered as an advantage of the project. Therefore, the owner must understand in advance that the maintenance of such a room will also be included in the tariff of the Criminal Code. And in order to refuse payment, it will be necessary to submit the issue to the general meeting of owners and collect a majority of votes.”

And what do the representatives of the UK segment think? According to Denis Trotsenko, CEO of the Commonwealth Partnership Management Company, the issue of appointing a temporary management company as a developer has been discussed for quite a long time at various sites and within various associations. “Having considered the situation from the point of view of common sense, it can be concluded that the appointment of a temporary management company for three months will not bring any tangible practical benefit. This is due to the fact that the management structure of the communal property begins to form in a more or less understandable scheme and in conjunction with the owners about a year after the management company enters,” the expert emphasizes and notes that professionals have talked about this more than once.

Denis Trotsenko, CEO of the Commonwealth Partnership Management Company, “For a long time, various associations offered to fix the management period of the management company for two years from the moment of signing the management agreement or the decision of the developer. In this case, there is a single conflict, and that’s what distinguishes Russian business from, say, Central Asian business: in Central Asia, they choose not square meters, but “heads”. In other words, the number of owners is taken into account when voting, not the number of square meters. Thus, the Central Asian region, in fact, protected itself from the manipulation of square meters owned by the developer. In general, the initiative to appoint a management company for a year is absolutely sound and practical in nature and will definitely ensure a higher quality level of service for public areas, building relationships with owners, as well as developing an “object management concept” — that is, a methodology for managing the residential complex as a whole.”

But linking the tariff to the technical documentation, according to the expert, will solve the problem only by half, since the structure of the facility management and operation of its engineering systems with technical documentation is not completely stitched together. “The financial model of the facility is based on a set of parameters, such as technical documentation and complexity of engineering and technical content. Then there is the safety circuit — external and internal, the necessary services that are incorporated by the developer into the construction concept, and so on. Owners, especially in business class, do not buy meters, but a kind of ecosystem, which forms the basis for the formation of the tariff. On the other hand, it might be advisable to divide the services into basic ones, which can be really tied and fixed, and additional ones, which are required by residents in accordance with the concept. Otherwise, it will never be possible to find a compromise between the owner, the developer and the management company,” the interlocutor believes BFM.ru .

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“During numerous discussions, we came to the conclusion that it is necessary to form a minimum calculation base for tariff formation and link it to standards. This will create a system of accounting, control and formation of figures and tariffs for additional services. There are no other, more effective ways out of this situation,” sums up Denis Trotsenko.

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