Co-ownership: the rules for invoicing consumption
The consumption of drinking water represents an important part of the individual charges of a condominium. Also, the distribution of invoices is of great importance. To encourage co-owners to be more vigilant about their consumption, the law encourages them to equip themselves with individual distribution tools.
The new ordinance of December 22, 2022, provides a number of details in terms of billing and information on water quality. It transposes the European directive of December 16, 2020 known as the “drinking water directive”.
In the condominium there is only one common meter
Co-ownerships built before November 12, 2007 are frequently connected to the public water network via a general meter common to all co-owners. In this case, only the syndicate of co-owners is directly involved with a water supplier. In practice, the trustee must divide the consumption and distribute the bill between the various co-owners based on the directors’ fees (unless otherwise stipulated in the co-ownership regulations).
Novelty : the ordinance of 22 December 2022 relating to the access and quality of water intended for human consumption makes obligation in this case, the syndic, to transmit to each owner the global water bill at least once a year (article 24-11 law n° 65-557 of July 10, 1965).
In the condominium there is a system of submeters
These divisional meters, that is to say specific to each dwelling, make it possible to obtain the statement of the actual consumption of each co-owner. On the other hand, the syndic remains the only subscriber, it is up to him to then distribute the bill. Only the water used in the common areas of thebuilding is distributed according to the directors’ fees allocated to each lot.
“Any public service for the distribution of water intended for human consumption is required to carry out the individualization of water supply contracts within collective buildings for main residential use and housing complexes from the moment the owner requests it.
The subscription of an individual contract with the public water distribution service is then binding on any occupant to benefit from the water supply. This contract does not concern the supply of domestic hot water” (article 93 SRU law of December 13, 2000).
The decisions of individualization and realization of works are voted in the majority of the voices of all the co-owners (art. 25, o, L. n° 65-557 of July 10, 1965).
Novelty : the ordinance of December 22, 2022 obliges the trustee to send each owner the global water bill at least once a year when the water supply contract is not individualized (article 24-11 law n° 65-557 of July 10, 1965).
Each co-owner has his own individual meter
The individual meter system with a supply contract entered into directly between the occupant of the lot and the water distribution service allows billing of the actual water consumption. This solution is more of an incentive to fight against waste.
Good to know : the distribution according to actual consumption can only be applied from the moment when all the batches are equipped with an individual meter. Also a co-owner cannot avoid the distribution of charges according to directors’ fees by having an individual meter installed in his private portions without modifying the co-ownership regulations (Cass Civ 3e 12-2-1986 n°84-15.246).
Special case of condominiums built after 2007
Any construction of building for main residential use whose permit has been filed since November 1, 2007 must include an installation to determine the quantity of cold water supplied to each room occupied on a private basis or to each private part of a lot. of co-ownership as well as to the common parts, if necessary (article L135-1 become L152-3 CCH).
Good to know : the installation used to determine the quantity of cold water in buildings with main residential use (mentioned in Article L. 152-3) must be compatible with a reading of cold water consumption without it is necessary to enter the premises occupied for private purposes (art D152-1 CCH).