On 26 November 2015, the Parliament of Ukraine restated the Law of Ukraine "On the State Registration of the Proprietary Rights for Immovable Property and Encumbrances over Immovable Property" and also amended a number of other laws in the section related to proprietary rights registration. The new law was adopted after the second hearing and should then be signed by the President of Ukraine.
The main novelty introduced by the new law is that authority to register the proprietary rights to immovable property is now transferred from the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine to (i) the executive bodies of villages, towns or city councils; (ii) state administrations in cities and districts; (iii) legal entities established by the government authorities or municipal authorities which shall be accredited and further monitored by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine; and (iv) enforcement officers (only in the process of enforcement proceedings). According to the new law the state registrars (who previously worked for the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine) will be employed by the registration authorities listed in (i) – (iii). The notaries' authority to perform registration actions shall remain and, under the new law, is no longer related to a notarial action (the notaries may currently perform the registration actions only as a result of a notarial action). For example, the new law allows the notaries to register a lease right to an immovable property without notarizing the lease agreement. The new law takes effect on 1 January 2016, with a transition period until 30 April 2016 given for the new registration authorities to handle all technical matters and to prepare themselves to exercise their new registration powers.
As opposed to the current law ,which provides that registration actions may only be performed at the place of the immovable property's location, the new law allows for the registration of proprietary rights by any registration authority within the region (in the case of Kyiv and Sevastopol within the cities) where the immovable property is located. The notaries may register the rights to immovable property at any region of Ukraine.
The State Register of Proprietary Rights to Immovable Property (the "State Register") replaced the old version of the register on 1 January 2013. However, the information on the title to immovable property could not be automatically transferred from the old register to the new register. The owner of the immovable property wishing to dispose of said property or register any proprietary rights to it had to initiate the transfer of the information on the immovable property from the old register to the new one by submitting an application to the state registrar prior to such disposal/encumbrance. It was thus impossible for the third party to register other proprietary rights to immovable property (e.g. lease) before the new owner initiated the transfer of information to the State Register (except for the registration of proprietary rights to the state, municipal or agricultural land plots). According to the new law, absence of information on immovable property in the State Register would not prevent the registration of other proprietary rights to this property by third parties. In such cases, the information on the registration of other proprietary rights will be recorded in the special section of the State Register until the information on title is transferred from the old register into the new register under the owner's application.
The new law introduces the procedure of appealing to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine (or its local divisions) against the decisions and actions (failure to act) of the registration authorities. The appeal may be submitted by any person who believes that their rights have been breached by the registration authority's decisions or actions (failure to act).
The new law is aimed at decentralizing registration functions and is expected to prevent corruption and make the registration procedure more convenient and quicker.
Note: The overview is based on the draft law prepared for the second hearing at the Parliament of Ukraine and on verbal amendments made during the hearing process. The official version of the new law will be available after it has been signed by the President of Ukraine.