Paying utility bills creates a big burden on the family budget. At the same time, it only increases every year, as energy resources continue to rise in price. Therefore, each person thinks about whether it is possible to somehow reduce costs. People cannot live without heating, water, electricity and gas, so they have to pay for them anyway. But what about additional payments for using the elevator and intercom? How legal are the actions of public utilities in this matter? And if not, is there a way to jump off the hook of scammers? Let's take a closer look at whether you need to pay monthly for an intercom and how to reduce costs for its use. We will look at the most common situations that people most often face and find out their legal validity.
Why do you need an intercom
Let's take a closer look at this. Many people think that it is useless, but in practice this device performs many functions. Therefore, before touching on the question of whether it is necessary to pay for an intercom, let's look at its purpose. As you might guess, the main task is to ensure security and prevent unauthorized persons from entering the residential entrance.
In addition, the risk of terrorist attacks increases every year, so intercoms are also needed to alert citizens about an emergency. However, there is one important nuance here. The device must have a selective warning system. If there is none, then its functionality is limited, so requiring payment for the use of an intercom may be illegal. And in this case, there are good reasons to start legal proceedings and claims from the housing and communal services or the management company for damages.
If you are interested in whether it is necessary to pay a subscription fee for an intercom, then you should carefully re-read the contract concluded with the organization that installed it. The document details all the conditions of use, as well as the associated costs borne by the end user. In addition to the monthly fee, an initial fee may be set to cover the cost of equipment and installation work.
What does the law say?
So what do you need to know about this? To answer the question of whetherto pay for the intercom, you need to understand a little about the regulations. What does the law say in this case? There are several important nuances here. If the equipment is listed on the balance sheet of the Criminal Code, then you actually rent it, for which you are required to make a fixed payment every month. An attempt to evade one's obligations will be regarded as a violation of the Administrative and Criminal Codes, which is fraught with certain consequences. If installation work is carried out under a collective agreement, then each tenant has the right to independently determine for himself whether he wants to use the equipment. If you refuse the service, you can not pay for the intercom.
The most problematic option is when a multifunctional system is installed on the entrance, equipped with the ability to record a conversation and video surveillance. In this case, you will be forced not only to pay a monthly subscription fee, but also to pay for equipment, the cost of which is quite high.
Regardless of the intercom installation option, its maintenance is paid. This is stated in the following legal acts:
- Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation numbered 354 and 491;
- Consumer Protection Act;
- Housing Code of the Russian Federation.
These documents clearly state that the intercom is part of the housing and communal property, so payment for its use is included in the total bill. In some cases, the device may be listed in a separate box, resulting in tenants paying for the use of the intercomtwice. But this is only their fault, since they, by their own decision, conclude a separate agreement with the management company. Is it legal to pay for intercom? If there is an official agreement, everything is absolutely legal. Have assumed any obligations - if you please, fulfill them.
Is payment required if there is no handset?
Some pass control systems are equipped with the possibility of voice communication. However, not all people use this feature. Therefore, many are interested in whether it is necessary to pay for an intercom if there is no handset. Here, again, you need to refer to the contract. If he assumes that the tenants of a house or entrance are required to pay a monthly fee every month, then the presence or absence of a handset is not a basis for refusing to pay. As mentioned above, such actions are a violation of the law, so you will have to bear responsibility for them.
Do I have to pay if the equipment is broken?
This aspect should be given special attention. Probably, every person at least once asked the question: "Do I have to pay for the intercom if it does not work?" Unfortunately, it is impossible to answer it unambiguously. On the one hand, by signing an agreement with the management company, you undertake to pay a subscription fee for the services it provides, but on the other hand, it must monitor the performance of the equipment and carry out preventive measures and maintenance in a timely manner in accordance with the establishedterms. If suddenly the intercom stops working and no one will solve the problem, then you have every right to file a lawsuit and demand compensation from the Criminal Code for the damage caused.
But you should not say that you refuse to pay for the intercom, because in this case you may be counter-sued. To win a lawsuit, you must be completely sure that you are right, and for this you need to fulfill your obligations in good faith and not have utility bills.
What if the apartment is empty?
If you do not live in your home, but you have a valid contract for the use of an intercom, you still have to pay. You will receive monthly bills, and in the absence of payments, debt will begin to accumulate. This does not bode well, because you can be forced to recover the entire amount. How not to pay for the intercom in this case? Very simple! If you are not going to live in your apartment or do not plan to rent it out, you should simply terminate the contract with the organization that installed the equipment.
Are charges legal in the absence of a contract?
What do you need to know about this? Probably, every person at least once asked the question: "Do I have to pay for the intercom if it was installed without my consent?" Everything is very simple here. If you did not conclude a contract for the installation of equipment, no one has the right to charge a fee for its maintenance. Payments will bebe considered illegal. The owner of the apartment must apply for recalculation, and the organization acting as the owner of the intercom will have to return all the funds previously paid to it. If this requirement is not met, you can apply to the prosecutor's office or the court. As practice shows, in the vast majority of cases, the winners in such proceedings are citizens. A number of similar cases are known to have occurred in various cities throughout the country, so they are not considered something new.
What does the money come from?
This issue should be given special attention. Above, we figured out in detail that each person is obliged to pay for an intercom if he uses it. But where exactly is your money going? Any electronic device consumes electricity, the consumption of which is billed for the maintenance of common property. Therefore, the organization that installed the system does not bear any financial costs for its maintenance. The only costs are for hypothetical repairs in the event of an intercom failure, as well as maintenance, which should be carried out according to the planned schedule.
If you want to be sure that your money goes where it needs to, you can submit a request to the management company. During the round, qualified specialists must draw up a technical inspection report. However, the trouble is that not all companies do this. But in the absence of relevant documentation, you have every reason to start legal proceedings due to the contractor's failure to comply with the conditionscontracts.
What affects payments?
This aspect should be read first. It is impossible to name the exact amount, since each management company has different tariff conditions. Some proceed from the size of the living space or charge a fee in the prescribed amount for one apartment. Therefore, residents of the same entrance can pay for the use of the intercom both the same and a different amount.
But what about the timing of payments? Here everything is also ambiguous. Payment can be made monthly or for a certain period. If the contract specifies exact deadlines, then you should adhere to them, because otherwise you may be charged pen alties and even fines. Therefore, it is better not to delay payments if you do not want problems in the future.
How to avoid payment?
What do you need to know about this? Today, probably one of the most relevant is the question of whether it is possible not to pay for an intercom. And this is not surprising, because the cost of utilities is already high, so everyone is trying to save every penny. There are several ways to avoid paying. The most optimal solution would be a collective refusal to use the intercom by all residents. But for this it is necessary to convene a general assembly, as well as give weighty arguments confirming the expediency of such an action. If more than 60 percent of the tenants support you, then it will be possible to terminate the contract without any problems. At the same time, the management company or any other organization does not have the rightconfiscate keys and tubes because the owners have already paid for them when the equipment was installed. But there is also a negative side. In the event of an intercom failure, all the worries of finding a service center and paying for the cost of repairs fall on the shoulders of the residents. How much it will cost depends on the specific city. Prices for repair services vary greatly from region to region.
Rejection of the intercom in the apartment
What is the peculiarity of this process? The option described above may not suit all tenants. Some people are worried about their safety, so they don’t want outsiders to get into their porch. How is it legal not to pay for an intercom if a common decision could not be reached at a public meeting? In this case, you can refuse to use the electronic access control system yourself. To do this, you need to write an application to the Criminal Code, after which the intercom will be turned off in your apartment. But you must understand that not all organizations want to lose profits, so they are reluctant to meet customers halfway. Therefore, even after submitting an application, payments come to their account. If you are faced with a similar problem, then do not panic. The management company or housing household does not have the right to demand money from you, and any proceedings are resolved in court.
How to write an application?
In order not to pay for the maintenance of the intercom, you need to contact the office of the organization that installed it and maintains the equipment. On theplace you will need to write a statement of the established form, which must contain the following information:
- F. Acting owner;
- address where the apartment is located.
It is worth noting that all citizens' appeals are considered on an individual basis, which management companies can deliberately delay. To speed up the whole process, the application should not be submitted at the office, but sent by registered mail. In this case, the organization will have no legal grounds for refusal, and it will be obliged to satisfy your request within 15 calendar days.
What happens to the key after rejection?
Above, we examined in detail how not to pay for an intercom legally. But now, probably, the thought will flash through everyone’s head about whether it is possible to leave the key to the entrance, because without it it will be impossible to get home. As noted earlier, all components that make up the system are paid by the tenants when the equipment is installed. Therefore, even if you refuse to use the intercom, the key and handset will remain with you. Any demand to return them is illegal. In the event of a conflict situation, you should immediately notify the representatives of the Criminal Code that if your rights are violated, you will contact the relevant authorities.
Where to complain
Let's take a closer look at this. Now you know whether you need to pay for an intercom, and also figured out in which cases this can be avoided. But theory is good, but onPractice doesn't always work out the way it should. Most often, management companies do not pay due attention to the maintenance of access systems, therefore, despite the high reliability of devices, they fail sooner or later. Where to call and where to look for help if you have any problems with the intercom? First of all, you should contact the company that performed its installation and notify what happened. The technical support service works around the clock, so they will accept a request at any time. If you do not have the phone numbers of the management company, you can find them in the housing maintenance office.
As soon as the application is accepted, a technical team will go to the specified address to perform diagnostics and carry out repair work. You will not have to pay for anything, since the repair or replacement of equipment is carried out at the expense of payments that are made monthly for the use of the intercom. The only exception is the loss of the key. You will have to buy it again with your own money.
If no one responds to your application, in this case you must take appropriate action. However, the whole problem lies in the fact that, according to the current legislation, each tenant is obliged to pay for the intercom, however, it does not provide for the procedure for filing a complaint against unscrupulous management companies that do not fulfill their obligations. Regardless, you may be able to get help. You need to write an application in any form to the Housing Inspectorate of your city. This can be done online on the official website of the organization or in person at itsoffice. The Inspectorate has full authority to control the work of any utility services and management companies, and if they commit violations, take appropriate measures.
Also, if you do not know whether you need to pay for the intercom in your particular case, you can get advice on this issue from the Housing Inspectorate. This is especially true if you did not conclude an agreement, but you still receive invoices. This is a gross violation of the law, so they will tell you what to do and where to turn. The organization installing the intercom will not be able to get off with a simple warning.
As a rule, the conflict is resolved by submitting an application to the local ATC office. But here it is important to do everything right. The procedure is as follows:
- Send a request by registered mail to the office of the management company.
- Waiting for an answer.
- Prepare the following package of documents: an official letter from the Criminal Code and receipts for payment for using the intercom.
- Go to the nearest police department and write a statement.
Employees will have to file a criminal case and start proceedings. As a rule, the issue is resolved very quickly. But if the police did not help you, you should contact the prosecutor's office. But you must understand that it will be possible to legally solve the problem only if you yourself have regularly fulfilled your obligations and you have no debts on utility bills. Otherwise, you yourself will break the law, so you may also be punished.
This article gave a detailed answer to the question of whether you need to pay for an intercom. In some cases, the refusal to use it in order to reduce costs will be relevant. But every year the crime rate is growing, so the savings may not be worth it. If you do not live in an apartment or plan to leave for another city or country for a long time, it makes sense to terminate the contract so as not to pay for a device that you do not use. If you live in the house on a permanent basis, then it's up to you to decide. As for the evasion of payment for the use of an intercom, it is better to refrain from this. In any case, you will have to repay the debt, but it will also include interest and a pen alty for delay. Therefore, if you want to save money, then do it without breaking the law.