Legal Service: WHEN THE APARTMENT IS SHARED

Legal Service: WHEN THE APARTMENT IS SHARED. (Izvestia, Feb. 19, p. 5. 400 words. Condensed text:) "Three families live in our apartment. Not long ago we quarreled over the use of the auxiliary premises and the payment of utilities. ...," I. Tunisian writes from Bryans. We asked S. Rotates, head of a department of the Moscow Province Housing Administration, to answer our reader's questions.

Question. - How are common bills divided among the tenants living in a communal apartment?

Answer. - "The common costs of lighting, heating, the renovation of shared space and the utilities in an apartment occupied by several families are divided by agreement among the tenants. If they do not agree, the costs are divided as follows: (a) for electricity in the families' rooms when there is a common meter, proportionate to the wattage of the lights and household electrical appliances of each tenant; (b) for heating, proportionate to the space heated; (c) for a shared telephone, according to the number of tenants of the apartment who use the phone, regardless of number of calls; (d) for the renovation, repair and lighting of shared parts of the apartment and for kitchen gas, according to the number of tenants, including children, regardless of age, and temporary tenants. ...

Q. - What practice has been established for the use of auxiliary space and equipment? Who decides disputes in case of conflict among the tenants?

A. - "In apartments where several families are registered as tenants the use of the bath, kitchen and other auxiliary premises, as well as the schedule for taking turns at cleaning them, is established by mutual agreement of all the tenants. All residents have equal right to the use of these premises and the equipment of the apartment. When agreement is lacking, a conflict may be heard by a comrades' court. It may decide disputes about the use of auxiliary ...

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