Federal Amendments

Federal Law № 379-FZ on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation

As of February 1, 2014, notarized transactions to alienate real estate are to be registered within five business days, and the said law has relieved the state registrar of the function of verifying the lawfulness of the notarized transaction been the basis for registering the tranfer of title to immovable property.

As of July 1, 2014, the Fundamental Notary Rules will include new chapters entitled "Consolidated Notary Information System", and "Registration of Notices of Pledges of Movable Property". The consolidated notary information system will combine the register of pledge notices, register of notary acts, and inheritance case files. All registers will be kept in electronic form. The obligation of notaries to register notices of pledge of movable property has been introduced along with a classification of such notices. The following notices of pledges of movable property are to be registered:

  • On creation of the pledge;
  • On amendment of the pledge;
  • On removal of information on the pledge.

It is not mandatory to give a notary notice of a pledge of movable property, and a pledge agreement is not deemed invalid or unconcluded absent registration. These new rules do not apply to property for which other pledge recording rules apply (for example, pledges of the rights of participants in limited liability companies).

The Fundamental Notary Rules have also gained provisions on stronger electronic signature qualifications and the rights of notaries to perform notarial acts on the basis of electronic documents.

Federal Law № 411-FZ on Amendments to Article 23 of the Russian Federation

Land Code and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation

As of December 31, 2013, public servitudes may be established to allow public access through land plots to public water bodies and shores.

The applicability of legal rules governing the preparation of design documentation for a linear facility on the basis of the town-planning plan of a land plot without the preparation and submission of land use plans and boundary surveys has been extended until December 31, 2014.

RF Government Resolution № 1314 on Approval of the Rules for Connection/Technological Connection of Capital Structures to Gas Distribution Networks and the Amendment and Rescinding of Certain Acts of the Russian Federation Government of December 30, 2013

The Rules on Connection/Technological Connection of Capital Structures to Gas Distribution Networks ("Rules") entered force on March 1, 2014.

The Rules establish the procedure for connection/technological connection to the gas distribution network of capital structures that are designed, under construction, renovated, or built, but have yet to be connected to the gas distribution system. The Rules provide, in particular:

  • A procedure for determining and providing specifications;
  • The material conditions of an agreement for connection of capital structures to gas distribution systems;
  • Terms for action to perform the connection.

RF  Government  Resolution  №  128  on  Amendments  to  Certain  Acts  of  the RF Government

Organizations carrying out regulated activities in the areas of heat supply, water supply, and sewerage, may switch to long-term tariff regulation.

This Resolution provides that, in 2014 and 2015, organizations carrying out regulated activities in the areas of heat supply, water supply, and sewerage have the right during the effective term of their tariffs (not later than October 1 this year, but not earlier than the effective date of duly approved maximum price increase rates for utility fees paid to municipal authorities) to apply to the regulator to switch during the said period from the economic justification of cost method to the return on investment of capital method or tariff indexation method, and to propose the setting/review of the respective tariffs during such period using one of the said methods.

Federal Antimonopoly Service Decree № 872/13 on Amendments to the Rules on Tenders and Auctions of the Right to Enter into Lease Agreements, Gratuitous Use Agreements, Property Trust Management Agreements, and other Agreements Providing for the Transfer of Rights to State or Municipal Property Approved by FAS Russia Decree of February 10, 2010 № 67 of December 24, 2013

The main amendments to the Rules are the following:

  • Lease agreements for state or municipally-owned heat supply, water supply and sewerage facilities can only be concluded upon the results of a tender;
  • The tender procedure for such facilities has been revised (in particular, a deposit is now mandatory).

The procedure for concluding the agreements provided for in these rules does not apply to the conclusion of concession agreements, however, the amendments may affect the structuring of relations within private-public partnerships (in forms other than a concession agreement). Before these amendments, the Rules did not provide for the tenders to be held for the conclusion of lease agreements for the facilities in question (the respective agreements could only be concluded through an auction). Lease agreements for such facilities will now be concluded on the basis of a tender, which in our view will enable more effective cooperation between private and public persons when implementing projects requiring the use of such facilities.

Amendments to St. Petersburg and Leningradskaya Oblast Legislation

St.  Petersburg  Law  № 23-9  on  Regional  Town-planning  Rules  Applicable  in St. Petersburg of February 14, 2014

This law was effective March 1, 2014, however, until January 1, 2015 it does not apply to relations concerning the preparation and approval of land use documentation, if the decision to prepare such documentation was adopted before the entry into force of the said document.

Regional Town-planning Design Standards (Russian abbreviation - "RNGP") determine the minimum requirements for provision of social, cultural, and utility facilities, systems, and transportation infrastructure.

We advise taking the RNGP into consideration when building real estate objects in St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg Law № 69-16 on Amendments to the St. Petersburg Law on Public Landscaping of February 19, 2014

The list of areas of St. Petersburg with public landscaping has been expanded and revised.

St. Petersburg Government Resolution № 1082 on Amendments to St. Petersburg Government Resolution № 1679 of October 19, 2004 of December 27, 2013

The development and approval of the St. Petersburg boundary plans, and boundary plans for towns and villages in St. Petersburg, preparation and issuance of construction permits, development and approval of land plot boundary plans for land use title documents, and boundaries for specially regulated town-planning activities in St. Petersburg, have been removed from the powers of the Town-planning and Architecture Committee. In accordance with applicable St. Petersburg law, construction permits will be issued by the St. Petersburg State Construction Oversight and Expert Examination Service.

Leningradskaya Oblast Road Committee Decree № 7/14 of February 26, 2014

This Decree approved the administrative rules on the provision of the "Issuance of consents for renovation, capital repairs and repairs to access of road service facilities to public roads of regional and intermunicipal significance" state service.

Judicial Practice

RF SAC Presidium Information Letter № 165 Survey of Judicial Practice in Disputes Concerning the Declaration of Agreements as Unconcluded of February 25, 2014

The RF SAC has issued the following guidance with respect to disputes concerning the declaration of agreements as unconcluded:

  • If the parties have not reached agreement on all material conditions, the agreement is deemed unconcluded and the rules on the grounds for invalidity of transactions do not apply.
  • Agreements subject to state registration may be deemed invalid without registration.
  • The parties to an agreement that has not undergone state registration can not claim it is unconcluded on that basis.
  • The tenant under an unregistered lease agreement does not have the ability to claim its continuation in the event of a change of owner if the new owner did not know of the encumbrance.
  • If the initial period of performance of works by a contractor was determined by reference to an act of the client or other persons, it is assumed that the said acts will be performed within the period provided in the agreement, or absent such provision – within a reasonable period, and the term for performance of works is deemed agreed.
  • If works are performed before agreement of the conditions of a contractor's agreement, but delivered by the contractor and accepted by the client, the contractor's agreement rules apply.
  • The conditions of a master agreement are incorporated into an agreement, unless otherwise provided by the parties and the said agreement is consistent with the intent expressed in the master agreement.

Survey of Judicial Practice in Cases Relating to Unauthorized Construction, approved by the Presidium of the RF Supreme Court on March 19, 2014

In this survey the RF SC sets out legal positions it considers of particular importance in view of the merger of the RF SC and the RF SAC:

  • Acquisitive prescription does not apply to unauthorized construction on a land plot that is unlawfully occupied.
  • The penalty is the obligation to demolish the unauthorized building. This obligation may be imposed on the builder (or person that paid for the building), provided the builder was at fault.
  • When recognizing title to an unauthorized building it is necessary to prove that preserving the building will not infringe third party rights (including the rights of neighboring land users), and that it conforms to the purpose, town planning rules, and permitted use of the land plot.
  • Recognition of title is not precluded by any violation of town planning rules and standards, only material and incurable violations.
  • Title to a portion of an unauthorized building cannot be recognized.
  • If a land plot is encumbered by a construction ban, a building may be deemed unauthorized and demolished.
  • It is possible to recognize the title of the tenant of a land plot to unauthorized construction.