SPESE CONDOMINIALE - Riscaldamento / HeatingI was hoping to get some

Mark D Image
09/12/2021 - 05:39

SPESE CONDOMINIALE - Riscaldamento / Heating

I was hoping to get some advice on the spese condominiale for the apartment we're renting in Bergamo.

We pay 200 EUR monthly to the landlord towards the costs. We've received the first annualised bill and we cannot believe the total being claimed, which is higher.

It shows the costs incurred by all the apartments. It is a five floor building and we live on the top floor in a two bedroom apartment of 110 square metres (3 locali/2 bagni). Some other apartments in the building are smaller.

Heating - consumed: * 1,253 *
Heating - fixed: * 308 *
Readings - 40
Porter - 641
Lift - 81
Stairlift (for disabled people) - 13
Lighting - 29
General expenses - 276
Administrative expenses - 90
Normal maintenance - 279
Water - 179

Total 3,189

The heating is the largest cost. However the apartment does not have enough radiators in the main living area, they are small, the shared system is frequently blocked with air so they don't work, and we did not use all of the radiators.

Because of Italian law the heating can only operate for 15 hours per day. It stops at 22:00. I go to bed at 02:00. We had to use electricity to heat the apartment (fan heater), so that costs more.

This means that the cost of just the heating for the six months (approximately) when it is working is 260 EUR per month plus the separate cost of the electricity.

There is no detail of how this is calculated. The average cost (the average for all the apartments) shown on the summary is about 450.

This was our first apartment in Italy. It is possible that the meter that measures the usage is faulty hence the very high cost. But we cannot know, and I don't think we can insist that it is tested. Our cost is the second highest in the building but there is no explanation of why that would be.

We are planning to move to an apartment without a porter and with riscaldamento autonomo (self central-heating). I notice that many apartments have that and advertise this so it's clearly something people want.

Is there any way that the price of 260 EUR per month for heating is correct?

Is there a standard process for disputing this?

Is this normal for Italy, so most Italians avoid apartments with this shared central heating system for this reason, so we know better now?

Thank you for reading.



Each apartment has a quota of the millesimi - the block is divided up into a 1000 units and each apartment has a quota.  Being top floor will give you more millesimi - the lift, the position etc etc, and all your costs are calculated on how many millesimi you have.   You have centralised central heating and there is little you can do - ask the administrator why your costs are so high.   You can now opt out of centralised heating and install your own system which many people do.   

Thanks. I'll have a chat with the porter this morning - he will know more.

This apartment is rented, so unless the landlord wants to install a heating system I suspect all we can do is close all the valves on the radiators, maybe ask if the porter can shut off the heated water supply to the apartment just to be sure, and then we can use the electricity to heat it instead. It's far from ideal, but the centralised system doesn't work very well anyway. At any given moment air blockages in the radiators mean that some of them aren't working at all until they're bled, then another one stops working.

That was I guess we will only pay for the electricity plus the fixed central heating cost and no metered usage. If any metered usage were then billed, this would mean that the readings are wrong and the meter is faulty.

But our only real option is to move somewhere else, which we're looking at now. As you say many people have chosen to install their own heating and it's easy to find plenty of apartments with their own heating system.

Air in Radiators

As you live in the top flat, air in the system will always tend to collect in your radiators. 

I'd suggest that you bleed them every day, rather than waiting for the air to build up in them - bit of a pain, I know, but at least that should get them working more efficiently.

One other thing, if there is a lot of air in the rads, it could indicate a fault in the system, allowing air to enter it.  This is often the pump(s).  If they are old/worn, or under sized for the job, that could be a major cause.  Raise that with the porter when you speak to him.  Check the servicing frequency for the system with him.

Good luck