Konstantin Boytsov analysed for Novy Prospect problems with registration of property rights in the Leningrad region due to the establishment of restricted zones for military facilities

Konstantin Boytsov - Senior associate

Owners of dacha plots in the Gatchina and Lomonosov districts of Leningrad region have faced refusals from Rossreestr to register their property rights due to its location in restricted zones of military facilities. The grounds for the refusals are Order No. 472 of the Ministry of Defense, according to which zones with special conditions of use (protective, prohibited and zones of protected military facilities) must be established around military facilities and put on the cadastral register by January 1st, 2022, and Government Resolution No. 405 of May 05, 2014, which, among other things, regulates the size of restricted zones depending on the land category in which the military facility is located. For example, if it is located within a populated area, the boundary must be within 400 m, and if it is on agricultural land – up to 3 km. According to open sources, the furthest boundaries have been set by at least two military facilities in the Leningrad region – the Pushkin military airport and the military unit 55443 in Bolshaya Izhora (Lomonosov district), which controls a range for the storage and disposal of spent ammunition. Thus, more than 3 thousand dacha plots and houses in cottage communities ended up in the exclusion zones.

Konstantin Boytsov, Head of Real Estate and Construction practice of Maxima Legal, told Novy Prospect that owners of dachas are really in a disadvantageous situation. “Legislation regarding capital construction objects within the boundaries of zones with special conditions of use (ZWSCOU) created before January 1st, 2022, is straightforward. If the functional purpose of such an object does not comply with the restrictions imposed on the ZWSCOU, it must be demolished. If the owner does not agree to such an outcome, demolition is still carried out, but only by a court decision and after prior compensation of the losses to the citizen,” the expert explained. According to Konstantin, owners of the objects also have the right to demand purchase of land plots due to establishment of ZWSCOU, because they will not be able to use land plots in accordance with their permitted use.

Konstantin Boytsov drew attention to the fact that “the moment of occurrence of ownership rights to the land does not matter in this case. If a capital construction object was erected after ZWSCOU was established and does not comply with its limitations, it is, according to the legislator’s logic, an unauthorised construction and should be demolished at the expense of the person who built it”.

The specialist also emphasized that “under current legislation, the use of capital construction objects located within the boundaries of ZWSCOU, before their demolition, and of land plots before their purchase (expropriation) is not prohibited. Alienation of real estate is also allowed. And since it is impossible to conclude such a transaction without registering the rights to the real estate sold, it is illegal to refuse to register the object or register the rights if the real estate was created before the establishment of ZWSCOU”.

Estimating land owners’ chances for a positive resolution of the situation, Konstantin noted that the most promising would be filing lawsuits to challenge actions of Rosreestr, which denies registration of rights to facilities built before the institution of ZWSCOU. “If it is proven that a capital construction project was built before the new boundaries were established, it will be possible to get the title to it recognized in court and then the information will be added to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities,” the expert explained.

According to Konstantin Boytsov, it is also possible to challenge changes in the boundaries of ZWSCOU in court, but “given the military purpose of the facilities for which new boundaries have been established and potential issues related to state secrets, we cannot expect potential lawsuits to be quick”.

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