New Rules on Services for Owners and Tenants of Apartments

A big change becomes effective of 1 January 2024: Individual owners or tenants in a block of flats must now  receive information about the consumption of heating and hot water that are provided centrally once a month, if the consumption can be determined by remote readings. Recipients will also be able to request data on their heating and hot water consumption for the last 3 years.

In the context of rising energy prices, you may think that the amendment is a response to the energy crisis. This is not the case. In fact, the Czech Republic was obliged to implement a Directive of the European Parliament and of the on energy efficiency by 25 October 2020 at the latest. Given the fact that the law was submitted by the government in April 2022, it is quite possible that the energy crisis helped the Czech Republic to rectify its commitment to implement the Directive.

However, rejoicing over monthly consumption information is premature for now. Individual flats may not yet be equipped with a system that allows consumption to be read from a distance of 250 metres before 2027. This gives individual owner associations, building owners or housing associations time to acquire such devices. In any case, devices without remote reading function may no longer be installed.

Energy recipients should also note that if they fail to identify their consumption of heat or hot water, they will be charged with a consumption component equal to three times the average value of the consumption component of the costs per 1 m2 of chargeable floor area for other service recipients. Another novelty is the fact that if the recipient does not object to the statement of account within 30 days of the date of delivery, the statement is deemed to be in order and the right to object lapses. It is also newly stipulated that errors in the billing shall not affect the due date of the overpayment and that errors in the billing which do not affect the calculated amount of the underpayment will not affect the due date of the underpayment. These provisions should ensure that the accounts of individual recipients of services are financially settled within a short period of time for owner associations, housing associations and building owners.

Mgr. Jana Rechcíglová

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