Cases have become more frequent when apartment owners make dismantle the balcony structures they have just installed. Why can problems arise even when changing the color of the glazing frame in an ordinary panel house?
In the spring and summer, many Russians change the glazing of their balconies. Often this is done at the same time as replacing window frames. And management companies (MC) are well aware of these seasonal works, which in 2023 got the hang of making claims and collecting fines from those who violate regional standards established for the facades of residential buildings.
Experts explained in what cases for glazing a balcony or replacing windows you can really get penalized, and when troubles can be avoided.
Facade violation penalty
In St. Petersburg, the management company noticed that some owners in the house serviced by this management company carried out glazing of balconies and replacement of windows. According to public utilities, such actions changed the facade and violated the integrity of its perception. And the location of the windows, their dimensions and the nature of the device no longer correspond to the project. In this regard, the Criminal Code sent the owners of several apartments an order to restore their windows and balcony glazing to their original state. Initially, the owners of the apartments ignored this requirement and the “manager” went to court, which satisfied the claim of the public utilities. This was followed by a series of legal proceedings in the supervisory instance, as a result of which all the owners, except for one, agreed to fulfill the requirements public utilities. And the owner of the last apartment is still continuing litigation.
“The Criminal Codes really began to apply to the courts more often about uncoordinated glazing of balconies and replacing windows,” says Alexander Inyutin, head of the Western Bar Association of Moscow. – In fact, this is a reaction to the actions of the inspection authorities, who began to fine the “managers” just for violating the architectural appearance of the building (under article 7.22 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation. – Note by Life). In a number of regions, special rules have been adopted prohibiting changes in the architecture of a house, and there is such a ban in St. Petersburg. It applies not only to historical buildings, but also to houses of mass construction (Article 18 of the Code of Administrative Offenses in St. Petersburg. – Approx. Life).
That is, it turns out that with any glazing of balconies or replacement of windows, the Criminal Code can interpret these actions as a violation and demand that everything be returned to its original state? It turns out that it doesn’t.
“Citizens have the right to replace obsolete windows and balcony doors with new ones, as well as install additional glazing on loggias and balconies,” says Associate Professor of the Department of Civil Law Disciplines of the Russian University of Economics. G.V. Plekhanova Natalya Svechnikova. – However, it should be taken into account that the appearance of the house, including the glazing of facades, can be regulated by municipal legal acts and the legislation of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation. Therefore, before performing glazing work, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with the improvement rules approved in the region and city of residence.
Alexander Golovin, General Director of Spetsstroy-M, told in what cases there can be no claims to the facade even when windows are replaced.
– If the new windows do not violate the color passport and are made according to the same design and approximately the same materials as the old ones, then there are no violations. In terms of balcony glazing, permission from local authorities is formally required, and in some regions – a decision of the general meeting of owners.
For reference: in Moscow, the fine for glazing a balcony, which can be recognized as a reconstruction, is 2,500 rubles, and in St. Petersburg – up to 5,000 rubles. But this is only if the house in which the work was performed without the appropriate permit is not listed as an object of cultural or historical heritage, otherwise the fine will be 100,000 rubles.
Penalty for lack of permission of the meeting of owners
In the Kaluga region, the local housing inspectorate, upon a complaint from the management company, issued an order to the owner to dismantle the balcony glazing, since, according to the inspectors, the work performed by the owner is a reconstruction using common house property, and such actions must be obtained with the consent of all other owners of the premises in the house, which was not done was.
The owner of the apartment, who glazed his balcony, did not agree with the claims of the housing inspectorate and went to court, but lost the lawsuit in three instances. The courts considered a significant violation not the very fact of glazing, but the fact that the structure was made with a visor (which contrasted with the appearance of the house) and at the same time everything was attached to the facade elements of the apartment building, which are indeed common property by law (paragraph 1 of Article 36 of the Housing Code RF). And since, by virtue of civil law, such property can be disposed of only with the consent of other owners (Part 1 of Article 247 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation), before installing glazing in that form, it was required to hold a general meeting and obtain appropriate approval, which was not done.
– In this case, the owner of the apartment fell into a trap, because he did not take into account the technical features. If he had glazed his loggia with ordinary plastic windows within the boundaries defined for his apartment, there would probably be no problems, – says realtor Galina Smirnova. – In theory, the owner of the apartment can still keep his design if he removes the visor and issues the consent of the owners.
Does everyone need to dismantle the installed balcony glazing
According to experts, in most cases unauthorized glazed balconies are of little concern to management companies until there is a complaint from other residents or instructions to inspect the facades from the supervisory authorities. At the same time, even if the redevelopment was carried out without approval many years ago, it can be legalized.
“In past years, glazing of balconies was often carried out by owners without taking into account most building codes, so now the situation with such balconies and loggias largely depends on the desire of the management company to bring all structures to a problem-free form,” says Alexander Golovin. – Where the “manager” notices obvious violations (for example, the size of the balcony slab is increased or the glazing is attached to the outer wall. – Approx. Life), most likely, sooner or later the apartment owners will be forced to bring the balconies to the state provided for by the project documentation of the house .