January 2015 started with continuation of the phase-in
introduction of amendments to Russian land legislation made by the
Federal Law No.171-FZ of 23 June 2014 (here in after referred to as
the Law). Some of the changes provided for by the Law became
effective right upon official publication thereof in 2014. Those
changes mainly touch upon country side ('dacha') projects
and other issues related to individuals. Main changes however
become effective in 2015.
On 1 January 2015 amendments to provisions dealing with land
protection, control and agricultural lands came into force. Among
others, in 2015 powers of respective state authorities in what
relates to land monitoring and control are reshaped, aims and goals
of land monitoring are revised.
The second batch of amendments will enter into force on 1 March
2015. As of the mentioned date definition of a land plot will be
substantially specified. There after a land plot will be defined as
a real estate object formed of a part of the land surface bearing
characteristics allowing defining it as an individual thing.
The Law introducing new chapters to the Russian Land Code
clarifies the procedure for formation, division and provision of
land plots from among the lands owned by the state constituent
units and municipalities. Chapter V.1 of the Land Code will from
now on deal with various forms of use of land plots, from
individual residential construction up to industrial construction
and localization of nuclear waste depositories. Among others,
situations where land plots owned by the state or municipalities
are transferred to private parties with or without conduct of
auctions, as well as situations where land plots are provided free
of charge (depending on the goal of acquisition) are listed.
Special chapters of the Land Code (V.2-V.6) are now devoted to land
plots' (those owned by municipalities and privately owned ones)
exchange, reallocation of lands, and creation of servitudes.
Amendments as to negotiability of land plots are introduced.
Such new provisions deal with land plots designated for
construction of infrastructure objects (sea transport, internal
water transport, air transport, air and maritime navigation
constructions, railroad infrastructure objects, as well as federal,
regional and local motorways), in particular they relate to joint
ownership of real estate and land plots underlying respective
Starting from 2015, when formation of land plots is considered,
it shall be kept in mind that boundary setting plans are acquiring
particular significance. In certain cases such plan is the only
document in accordance with which a land plot may be formed
(i.a. in cases where integrated urban development,
localization of planning elements of built-up areas, or
localization of linear facilities is provided). Besides that, it
shall be noted that, as a general rule, the Law bans formation of
land plots if borders thereof cross borders of territorial zones,
forestries, or city forests. This general rule does not apply to
formation of land plots for geological survey of subsoil,
development of mineral deposits, placement of linear objects,
hydro-technical utilities, water storages, and other artificial
The list of grounds for termination of lease of land plots will
now contain an additional item – termination of lease upon
the lessor's request if a respective agreement on integrated
urban development is terminated or if the contractual schedule for
development of the territory at issue is breached.
Amendments introduced by the Law affect not only the Land Code
but also a number of other legislative acts, including Civil Code,
and Federal law on state registration of title to real estate
objects and transactions therewith.
Changes to the Civil Code touch upon, i.a., alienation
of unfinished constructions located on land plots owned by the
state or municipalities due to termination of the lease of the said
With regard to the Federal law on state registration of title to
real estate objects and transactions there with amendments dealing
with supporting documents in course of state registration of title
to land plots and persons entitled to apply for such registration
shall be noted. For instance, application for state registration of
title to forest land plots located within borders of forest reserve
lands shall be filed by state authorities of RF constituent units
if respective powers to provide such land plots have been
transferred thereto by the Russian Federation.
In addition to the above, the Law amends Federal law on mortgage
(pledge of real estate), Federal law on participation in joint
construction of apartment blocks and other effective
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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