Landlords / Guide

Dtysfunctioning collective heating, what can co-op owners do?

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The collective heating of your apartment is not working correctly. Your tenant has been cold and complaining about it since the start of winter.

Note: It malfunctions when heating does not reach 18 ° C in each room's center.

You asked the building manager to check and bleed all the radiators, but they are still not warm enough. Annoyed by the building manager's neglect, the countless calls, and the tenant's demands for a rent reduction, you plan on installing an individual heating system to have peace of mind.

Alas! When your apartment comes with a collective heating system, you have the right not to use it, but you cannot remove it (art. 26 of the law of July 10, 1965).

Furthermore, even if you turn off all radiators and no longer use them, you still have to pay for the associated condominium fees. And if you install another individual system, you will have two heating bills to pay!

Addressing Collective Heating Malfunctions in Your Apartment

So what to do then? The first thing to do for your collective heating to work correctly is to write to your building manager to have a professional intervene. Then, the condominium will take care of the costs rather than the single co-op owner:

  • The property owner must send a registered letter to the building manager with an acknowledge receipt. This letter must inform the building manager of the situation and give him formal notice to repair the heating system.
  • If this process is unsuccessful, the property owner will apply to the court on which his property depends.

Note: In case of underheating (or overheating), the judge can notably pronounce sanctions for compensating the occupant of the accommodation.⁣

Also, the co-op owner should check whether the co-ownership compensates for installing individual heating according to consumption (art. L 174-2 of the Construction and Housing Code). Then, the property manager must put it in place. There is no obligation to install individual heating or cooling devices unless the heating or cooling consumption is less than 80 kWh / m² per year.⁣

Note: The building manager must send a monthly assessment of the accommodation's heat consumption, cold and domestic hot water, to each co-owner.⁣

According to the French administration's official website, any building with a central heating system or supplied by any heating network must have individual meters (This obligation also applies to buildings with a cooling facility or provided by any cooling network).⁣

By law, individual meters should have been installed before October 25, 2020. These individualization devices make it possible to determine the amount of heat supplied to each dwelling and thus to individualize the collective heating costs.

Exception: Other methods must be implemented if installing meters is technically impossible or results in high costs regarding energy savings and heating charges. For example, if measuring each household's heat emission is a technical impossibility.

This blog tells you about central heating and your right to decent heating. First, however, think about installing double glazed windows, which will guarantee energy savings, room comfort, and calm, much appreciated by executive tenants!


Credits photo@Pavel Danilyuk

Editor: Claire de Circourt
Sources: Service Public, Notre Temps