Disconnection of utilities for non-payment: what services can and cannot be disconnected?

Unscrupulous payers, along with low-income citizens who are experiencing certain financial difficulties, sooner or later wonder whether the management company (MC), homeowners' association (HOA) or housing and communal services (HCS) has the legal right to turn off electricity for non-payment.

This aspect finds an answer in the current legislation and government regulations that regulate the relations of residents with institutions providing public services. It can be clearly noted that the management company (MC), HOA or housing and communal services actually has the right to turn off the lights if the terms of the rent are violated. Today, the debt for electricity has crossed the border into several hundred billions. The third part of this amount appeared due to the fault of citizens, and not legal entities, therefore the need to suppress malicious non-payment of utility services is fully justified

and can influence the current situation.

Penalties for debts may vary depending on the degree of influence on the debtor. However, all methods are aimed purely at the need to get citizens to comply with the terms of payment for utility services, even if they temporarily do not have such an opportunity.

Are the spouses' debts related?

In Art.
30 of the Housing Code of the Russian Federation states that each owner independently pays for the consumed resources in his apartment. The maintenance of common property falls on all homeowners in proportion to the area of ​​the property (Article 39 of the Housing Code of the Russian Federation). In Art. 155 of the RF Housing Code states that payment must be made monthly, no later than the 10th of the next calendar period. Otherwise, the utility provider has the right to impose penalties.

There are situations when the debtor has not paid receipts for 3 years. The Management Company can recover this amount from him through the court. The debts of the apartment owner cannot be distributed to his neighbors!
The situation is different if the debtor lives with members of his family. The spouses' debts for utility bills are linked. Therefore, the Management Company or service provider can collect the debt from other residents.

What will happen to an unauthorized connection?

The widespread practice of unauthorized connection is a gross offense. Similar facts can be revealed during an inspection by RSO employees. They draw up a written document. The document is transferred to the police, then the case materials are sent to the magistrate, who makes a decision to impose an administrative penalty in the form of a fine. The penalty is:

  • for individuals from 1500 to 2000 rubles;
  • for officials – from 2000 to 3000 rubles;
  • for legal entities – from 30 to 40 thousand rubles.

If, during the consideration of the case, facts of theft of a resource (for example, electricity) are revealed, the process will acquire the status of a criminal one, where the punishment will be associated with imprisonment.

What housing and communal services can be disconnected for a debtor?

Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 354 of 05/06/2011 approves the rules for the provision of utility services in 2021. IN

The regulation states that the supplier may suspend or restrict the supply of a resource after appropriate notice.

In the first case, residents are completely disconnected from public services, and the equipment is sealed. Limiting the supply of a resource can be carried out by volume or schedule. For example, the lighting in the entrance of an apartment building can only be turned on at certain hours.

Penalties can be imposed no earlier than 30 days after the debtor is informed about it.

The grounds for disconnecting a utility service are:

  • no payment for 3 months;
  • violation of the terms of the debt repayment agreement;
  • partial payment within 90 days of receipt of notice.

Only gas, hot water or electricity can be turned off completely or partially.


After the adoption of Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation dated December 26, 2016 No. 1498 “On issues of providing services and maintaining common property in an apartment building,” the scheme for issuing and paying bills changed. The previously existing option, where the management company was the intermediate link between consumers and the organization, has been cancelled. Now RSO directly enters into an agreement with consumers and charges fees for the use of resources.

Non-residential premises

Cold and hot water supply, heating, electricity, gas are provided to owners of non-residential premises by the resource supply organization. The owner of the non-residential premises directly enters into an agreement with her, and payments are made to the bank account of RSO.

The law established the obligation of the management company to notify the owners of non-residential properties about the need to enter into agreements with the RSO. However, this provision does not contain information about the time limit for such notification, as well as the responsibility of the management company for failure to comply with the requirements. The management company also notifies the RSO about the number of residential and non-residential stock of the building.

If there is no agreement, the volume of consumption is determined by calculation methods.

Apartment house

The specifics of the contract for the provision of resources to residents of an apartment building depend on the chosen management method:

  • if the management of the apartment building is carried out by the HOA, the owners enter into an agreement with the management of the partnership;
  • Apartment owners, in the absence of an HOA, enter into an agreement directly with the resource supply organization.

What services cannot be disabled?

The list of services that must be provided to residential premises is determined by sanitary standards.
If the submission of some of them is suspended, the property may be declared uninhabitable, which is a violation of housing legislation. If you have a debt, you cannot turn off the heating. Accordingly, it will not be possible to partially or completely limit the supply of gas if it is used for these purposes. It is not allowed to turn off cold water in apartment buildings.

If utility bills are not paid, water drainage cannot be limited. The management company has the right to block devices located outside apartments in houses if large debts have accumulated. This may concern the elevator or intercom.

The Supplier or the Management Company does not have the right to limit or suspend the supply of energy resources if this affects the owners of neighboring apartments, who are respectable payers.

Reasons for turning off the lights for non-payment of utilities

Unauthorized shutdown of electricity by the service provider is an illegal act. The legislation strictly defines cases and grounds for stopping the supply of light, which can be grouped as follows:

1. The occurrence of cases beyond the control of the consumer. This may include:

  • planned preventive measures carried out on networks;
  • accident elimination;
  • breaks in power supply lines due to natural disasters, emergencies, etc.

2. Occurrence of cases depending on the consumer:

  • refusal to pay for the consumed resource and the occurrence of debt;
  • improper use of devices, which can lead to emergency situations;
  • unauthorized connection;
  • connecting electrical appliances exceeding the maximum permissible power;
  • any violation of the contract.

Most often, a shutdown or suspension of electricity supply to an apartment or house occurs due to accumulated debt. At the same time, the service provider has the right to turn off the lights if there is a debt for consumed electricity, if the payment has not been paid for more than two months (clause 118 of PP No. 354) .

This norm is enshrined in legislation and cannot be changed by the contractor independently.

— Can electricity be turned off for non-payment without a court decision?

Yes they can! To turn off electricity, you do not need a court decision, but only need to notify the defaulter on time and follow the procedure for turning off the lights.

Questions from our readers

Can electricity be cut off for debtors?
Electricity may be turned off if the following conditions are met:

  • debt period is from 3 months;
  • the supplier notified the owner of the debt;
  • The owner of the apartment is given a month to repay the amount.

If within 30 days the defaulter has not responded to the notification, then he is sent a new one stating that the electricity will be turned off in 3 days.

Attention! Debtors will not be able to use the service until the debt is fully repaid. Special seals are placed on equipment both inside and outside the apartment.

Some debtors decide to connect to the power grid themselves.

For such cases, fines are provided in the amount of:

  • for individuals 10 -15 thousand rubles;
  • for managers – 30-80 thousand rubles;
  • for organizations – 100-200 thousand rubles.

Connection to the power grid is carried out only by representatives of the energy supply company.

What to do if disabled

If the disconnection was carried out illegally, the debtor has grounds to challenge such measures, then you can appeal the actions of the RSO.

If there are no such grounds, then the debtor is obliged to pay the debt in full or apply for an installment plan. Then you need to contact the RSO management with a payment document and write an application to connect the resource. The service will be restored 2 days after the debt is repaid.

Is it possible to appeal the decision?

You can appeal against illegal actions through supervisory government bodies: State Housing Property Committee, prosecutor's office, court. To do this, you need to draw up a written claim, listing the circumstances under which the violation of rights occurred. Attach documents confirming the residence of children or a disabled person in the apartment, deliver in person, or send by mail. You can also use the official websites of government agencies, online portals of State Services, RosZhKH.

RSO for illegal shutdown will face an administrative penalty - a fine. If the restriction led to moral or material damage, you can include these losses in the amount of the claim and apply for compensation to the court.

What to do if you disabled it by mistake

If the restriction occurred due to an error (for example, the meter was confused with a neighbor’s or the payment did not go through), the reconnection service should be provided free of charge. To do this, you need to contact the management of the RSO with documents confirming the absence of debt (checks, receipts), and write an application for connection.

Underwater rocks

Citizens should consider the following nuances:

  1. Often, apartment owners do not know who is responsible for their neighbors’ utility debts. In accordance with the law, owners are independently responsible for the maintenance of their own property. But the management company can distribute the amount of debt to other apartment owners. Residents may ask for an explanation of the procedure for charging utility bills.
  2. If an owner has problems with neighbors in the same living space, he often has the question of how to evict unscrupulous tenants. In accordance with the Housing Code of the Russian Federation, former family members are deprived of the right to use the apartment. There may be other valid reasons for eviction. To initiate the procedure, the owner must go to court.
  3. When filing a claim, citizens do not always know what grounds should be indicated in order for the court to take their side. Therefore, it is better to consult with specialists in advance who will help you competently and correctly draw up an application.

Ways to correct the situation

If the management company did everything according to the rules and turned off the lights, there is a sequence for resolving this issue:

  • Pay off debts. If a citizen does not have such an opportunity due to financial difficulties, he must go to the local energy company and ask in writing for a six-month deferment. According to the law, such a request cannot be refused. Everyone without exception has the right to it;
  • After approval of the deferment, the applicant needs to obtain the appropriate certificate about this and come with it to his management company, HOA or housing and communal services, where he will have to pay a small amount, usually no more than one thousand rubles;
  • After paying, you need to wait for an electrician to connect the lights.

If the tenant is sure that the light was turned off illegally, a statement is written to the prosecutor’s office, after which this body has the right to check the criminal code. When going to court is inevitable, you should not let the matter take its course and wait for a decision. It is necessary to prepare documents that will testify in favor of the utility defaulter.

About the possibility of disconnecting from central heating.

Part 15 of Art. 14 of the Federal Law of July 27, 2010 No. 190-FZ “On Heat Supply”, the transition to heating residential premises in apartment buildings using individual apartment sources of thermal energy is prohibited if there is a connection (technological connection) carried out in the proper order to the heating supply systems of houses (the exception applies only to cases , determined by the heat supply scheme). Prohibited individual residential sources of thermal energy include sources of thermal energy running on natural gas that do not meet the following requirements (clause 44 of the Rules for connecting to heat supply systems):

  • the presence of a closed (sealed) combustion chamber;
  • the presence of automatic safety equipment that ensures that the fuel supply is stopped when the electrical power supply is stopped, the protection circuits are faulty, the burner flame goes out, the coolant pressure drops below the maximum permissible value, the maximum permissible coolant temperature is reached, as well as in the event of a violation of smoke removal;
  • coolant temperature – up to 95 °C;
  • coolant pressure – up to 1 MPa.

Thus, a legal transition to heating using an individual apartment source of thermal energy (for example, a gas boiler) in apartments in apartment buildings is still possible, but subject to the above requirements, as well as in the presence of a heat supply scheme that provides for this possibility.

The development of the heat supply system of a settlement or urban district is carried out on the basis of a heat supply scheme, which must comply with the territorial planning documents of the settlement or urban district, including the scheme of the planned location of heat supply facilities within the boundaries of the settlement or urban district. The development, approval and annual updating of heat supply schemes is the domain of the authorized bodies. Heat supply schemes for settlements, urban districts with a population of 500,000 people or more, as well as cities of federal significance are approved by the federal executive body authorized to implement state policy in the field of heat supply (clause 11, part 2, article 4 of Federal Law No. 190-FZ ). In settlements and urban districts with a population of less than 500,000 people, this is done by local government bodies (clause 6, part 1, article 6).

In addition, according to paragraphs. “c” clause 35 of the Rules for the Provision of Public Utilities, the consumer does not have the right to arbitrarily dismantle or turn off the heating elements provided for in the design and (or) technical documentation for the MKD, or to arbitrarily increase the heating surfaces of heating devices installed in a residential premises above the parameters determined by the design and ( or) technical documentation for the house.

One example where judges considered it legal to switch to heating using individual residential heat sources is case No. A74-4772/2016. Electric heating devices are not included in the list of prohibited use for heating residential premises in apartment buildings provided that the heating devices are properly connected to the heat supply systems. The possibility of installing them in an apartment complies with the submitted design documentation, technical specifications, does not violate the rights and legitimate interests of citizens, and does not create a threat to their life and health (see Resolution of the AS VSO dated 04/05/2017 No. F02-1114/2017).

In case No. A55-26533/2015, the judges emphasized: it is impossible to completely disconnect a residential apartment from centralized heating. Owners of residential premises must provide a technically sound solution to the issues of heating common areas and locations (including basements, subfloors) of general house communications (collectors and risers of sewerage systems, cold water supply), provided for in accordance with the MKD project, taking into account the functioning of the intra-house heating system connected to a centralized heating system. In turn, an increase in natural gas consumption entails the need to conduct a technical calculation of the capacity of existing gas pipelines (external and internal) and determine the cost of work on preparing gas networks, as well as obtaining permission to increase the volume of natural gas use from the gas supply organization.

As a result, the transition to heating residential premises in apartment buildings using individual sources of thermal energy is possible after the following conditions are met:

  • consent of all owners of premises in the house to disconnect (disconnect) the house from the central heating system and install individual (apartment) heating systems;
  • adjustment of the urban district's heat supply scheme;
  • obtaining technical conditions for connecting a new gas-using appliance (boiler) from the gas supply organization;
  • development by a specialized organization of a project (projects) for the reconstruction of an in-house heating system, taking into account the heating of common areas;
  • carrying out work on dismantling the general intra-house heating system and installing individual (apartment) heating systems for all premises simultaneously during the non-heating period.


judges are discussing the possibility of switching to individual heating of apartment buildings as a whole, rather than individual apartments (see Resolution of the AS PO dated February 16, 2017 No. F06-17561/2017 in case No. A55-26533/2015).

At one time, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, in its Decision dated May 7, 2015 No. AKPI15-198, indicated that the ban established by Part 15 of Art. 14 of Federal Law No. 190-FZ, was introduced in order to maintain the heat balance of the entire residential building, since when switching to individual heat supply for at least one apartment in an apartment building, the temperature in the adjacent rooms decreases and the hydraulic regime in the intra-house heat supply system is disrupted.

And the Ministry of Construction in Letter No. 22588-OD/04 dated October 15, 2014 added: the procedure for switching to heating residential premises in apartment buildings using individual apartment sources of thermal energy is quite complex and expensive, it is more expedient to carry out such a transition in relation not to a separate residential premises, but to apartment buildings generally.

Actions of the debtor in case of illegal disconnection

If a citizen believes that the water supply was turned off by suppliers illegally, he must act as follows:

  1. Send a written application to the management company with a request to restore the water supply and recalculate for the period of shutdown.
  2. If water does not appear in the apartment within three days, a claim is filed to be sent to Rospotrebnadzor and the Prosecutor's Office. A copy of the statement sent to the management company is attached to the claim.

The owner of the premises may also file a claim in court.

The claim is accompanied by photos and videos confirming the lack of utilities in the apartment, as well as witness statements.

Effective evidence is an inspection report drawn up in the presence of two witnesses.

You can find out more about where to complain about illegal shutdown of hot water and heating here.

Responsibility of the management company for illegal disconnection

The law provides for liability of suppliers for illegally turning off water:

  1. Administrative liability - a fine of 500 to 1,000 rubles for officials and from 5,000 to 10,000 rubles for legal entities.
    This measure is applied by regulatory authorities if violations are established (Article 19.1 of the Code of Administrative Offenses).
  2. Criminal liability is established by the court in the event of material or moral harm being caused to the owner.
    The act carries a fine of up to 200,000 rubles and imprisonment of up to 3 years.

    If a person’s death occurs as a result of illegal actions, imprisonment is possible for up to 5 years. In addition, a ban is imposed on the right to hold leadership positions for three years.

  3. Arbitrariness is punishable by a fine of 80 thousand rubles (or in the amount of six months' salary) or forced labor for up to 200 hours.
    If there are threats against the debtor, arrest for up to six months is applied. In exceptional cases, the court increases the term to 5 years (Article 330.215 of the Criminal Code).

If the disconnection is declared illegal due to lack of notification, the debtor receives a paper and is given a 30-day period to repay the debt. You will have to pay the bills anyway.

The illegally turned off water supply must be restored within three days, and payments must be recalculated.

What should be the act of disconnection?

There is no single mandatory form for a power outage act. There are requirements that the document contain information about:

  • consumer (full name, address, personal account);
  • consumption meter (type, number);
  • electricity meter indicators;
  • time and date of disconnection;
  • its nature (full or partial);
  • events held by supplier representatives;
  • grounds for restriction or shutdown of electricity (non-payment indicating the amount of debt).

Representatives of energy sales must hand over one of the copies of the act to the client.

If the electricity is turned off without a document or the document is drawn up with errors, a citizen has the right to complain about utility workers to the prosecutor's office or file a lawsuit demanding that the shutdown be declared illegal.

How to turn off the power - watch the video:

Methods for filing a claim with the Criminal Code and response deadlines

A claim to the management company for illegal shutdown of water supply can be submitted to the responsible employee or sent to the organization by registered mail with notification. When submitted in person, the claim is drawn up in two copies . The receiving employee must sign and date the copy remaining with the applicant.

A response from the management company must be received within 10 days from the date of receipt of the claim. A response to a complaint to Rospotrebnadzor, the Housing Inspectorate or the prosecutor's office must follow within 30 days. If organizations violate the deadlines for taking measures, the consumer should file a claim in court.

The consumer is obliged to pay for the services provided to him in a timely manner and in the proper amount, so that the management company does not have grounds for turning off their water. If managers exceed their authority and turn off the water illegally, it is worth calling them to account and restoring their own consumer rights.

How is it done?

Restriction or suspension of the supply of utility services is possible only if these actions do not cause inconvenience to other owners of the premises and do not create a threat of harm to the common property of the apartment building.

Turning off hot water for non-payment in a separate apartment is carried out by shutting off or welding the pipes . Often, defaulting owners try to prevent utility workers from allowing them into the apartment. But such a position can lead to additional expenses.

Non-payers can install a plug on the water supply pipe from the basement of the apartment building using a special device. This manipulation is carried out for a certain cost, which managers also collect from the debtor.

As a result, the owner will have to pay the arrears in utility payments, late fees, and the cost of installing and subsequently removing the plug from the pipe.

IMPORTANT . Non-payment within 3 months must be in full. If during the specified period the owner of the premises paid at least one ruble for water supply, disconnection for debts will be considered illegal.

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