|Communal Living in Russia: Documents|
|The official rules governing communal life.|
|Basic Facts and Background|
Life in communal apartments is governed by official rules approved by the federal or local government. The rules have hardly changed since the 1920s and 30s when the general principles were elaborated and recorded. The rules shown here were issued in 1963 and have not been rescinded since then. It may be that local authorities in some cities have put out new rules since 1963, but we are not aware of such cases. At any rate, at the federal level no new rules have been approved, so the ones shown here are still in force at the beginning of the 21st century.
In employee housing, there may have been special instructions adopted by the organization providing the housing.
For many years, this copy of the rulebook was in a box where old calculation charts for electric bills were kept. Those clauses having to do with the most crucial aspects of communal apartment life are underlined in red pencil, i.e., the division of the electric and telephone bills and the organization of cleaning duties (items 8 and 19, sections 19g and 20).
It is not unusual for residents to supplement the official regulations by writing by hand their own rules which are adapted to local conditions (see for example rules for using the bathroom).