Paying Bills

Understanding the bills of your rented accommodation can be challenging, especially if you haven’t had previous experience reading the bills in Romania and managing the consumption. We hope that this guide will help you in understanding how to better understand how this part of renting should work.

Cost of Utilities

It’s very important to get an idea of how much it will cost to rent a particular property. Remember, just because you may not use much gas in the winter as you don’t feel the cold as much, it doesn’t mean that the previous tenant did, or vice versa and that can have an impact on the accuracy of your bills.

Bills for Gas and Electricity are calculated using a common industry practice of estimating your monthly consumption, based on the same month of the previous year. This means if you move into the property in January, the gas and electricity bill which will be sent to you in February, will not be based on what you’ve used, but instead estimated based on the expected consumption, which technically may not be anywhere near what you’ve been using, meaning you’ll either pay more, or less than you are supposed to.

Every 3 months, personnel from the gas company (typically E.ON) and the electricity company (Electrica or “Electrica Furnizare”, will visit your property to take an official meter reading, this is called “regularizare” in Romanian. The bill following the regularizare will then be calculated based on your actual consumption. This bill is typically the most expensive and you should be prepared to pay possibly even double what you did the previous month, in some cases more, depending on how poor the estimation is or if the property has been empty for some time. On the flip-side, if you are using a lot less, you’ll expect to see a decrease in your bill payments.

regularizare bills - Bills: What and How You Should Pay

Autocitire / Submitting your usage online

If you want to get consistently accurate utility bills, you should ask the owner if they will allow you to enter your monthly consumptions online or to transmit the index to them, so that they can do this for you. This is called, “autocitire” and means that the bills will no longer be estimated, but instead, reflect your actual usage and consumption month-to-month, providing that you are transmitting the new index accurately and on time.

A representative will still come from each company every 3 months to verify the index and you will still receive a “regularizare” bill during this time, but at least you know it will be accurate.

Paying Utility Bills

Most utility bills can be paid online through the provider’s website, if they owner has this option activated. If not you can use your own online banking service, as each bill comes with payment information which can be used to make transfers. Although, most online banking services also have templates specifically for these companies, meaning you won’t need to know all of the bank transfer information.

PayPoint Logo

You may also visit a bank, where most banks have a machine where you can make express payments using a specialised payment point which will scan the bill and accept your funds. There are also a number of locations around the city where you can make payments, usually these are indicated with the PayPoint logo and can be located using their service here.

Note: You should only be paying for your own consumption, in order to verify that you are not paying someone else’s bill, you should read our article about unpaid utilities.

Administration and Building Costs

Whenever you’re living in an apartment block, it’s standard that you will be required to pay a contribution for certain aspects of the building’s maintenance and utilities. Typically, elevator apartments will have higher costs, as the cost of running and maintaining the elevator is split across the amount of apartments in the building.

The “cheltuieli” is displayed in the communal area of the block, typically at the entrance and will outline the expenses associated with the apartment and the building. Normally, your water bill will be included as a part of this monthly charge and is usually your responsibility to inform the administrator of your water consumption, otherwise the amount will not be estimated correctly.

Each block has an administrator and an association. The association is the legal entity, responsible for the charges and costs associated with maintaining the building, garbage collection, repairs and other important aspects of ensuring the safety and fees of the building.

Understanding the “cheltuieli” can be challenging, as there are often many different charges for different services or utilities, however, you do have direct control and responsibility over two of the charges which are applied and that is “Nr Persone” (number of people) and “Apa” (water).

cheltuieli - Bills: What and How You Should Pay

Number of People

Although this may not seem to be that important, it will affect your garbage collection fees. In the example above, you can see that the cost of “Salubritate”, which is the term used for garbage collection, is around 10.30 lei for 1 person. When an apartment has 2 occupants listed, this number changes to 20.86 lei and 31.28 lei for 3 people. Although it doesn’t seem that expensive, it’s still worth telling the owner of the apartment to inform the administrator how many people are going to be living at the apartment.

It’s also important to no under-disclose the amount of people at the address, as it is possible the administrator for the building will raise a complaint if they suspect that more than the disclosed amount of people are living at the address.

Hot / Cold Water Consumption

These days, most apartments are heated using central heating (centrala). However, some blocks do still use communal heating systems for both hot water an winter heating. In such cases, the cost of this will be separated and displayed in the table. However, if you are not the recipient of communal heating or hot water, then you would expect “Apa calda” to be listed as 0.00 and only pay for cold water “Apa rece”.

Debts and Penalties

Debts and penalties are listed in the event that for some reason, previous payments were not completed on-time and were carried across to the next month. If you are just moving into an apartment, be sure to check this table for any outstanding payments owed. You will find this in “restante” (carried over) and “penalizari” (penalties).

Unlike other utilities, it’s unlikely to be a major issue if any outstanding payment goes unpaid or is of a low amount, but if the “total de plata” (total owed) is too high, it could result in complications, especially if your water supply is the main cause of the outstanding balance. You should encourage the owner of the apartment to recovery any outstanding balance before you move in

Other Types of Bills

If your property has it’s own television, phone and / or internet subscription, the owner of the property will request for you to pay this also. This is sometimes included in your rent, but you should definitely be checking in advance if there is an internet connection or other services in the apartment that you’ll be expected to cover.

If you don’t require certain services, you can ask the owner of the property whether they would be prepared to either discount or disconnect those services to avoid paying for something that you don’t need.

It’s also important to know if the services that are being supplied to the location are actually in the name of the owner, in some cases, previous residents will set up their own internet contracts, which can either end up being unpaid or being disconnected without notice.

If an internet connection is disconnected due to lack of payment, it can be very difficult to have services re-installed at the location.

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