Federal Law No. 258-FZ on Amendments to Article 222 of Part One of the Russian Federation Civil Code and the Federal Law on the Enactment of Part One of the Russian Federation Civil Code of July 13, 2015

The Law has made considerable changes to Article 222 of the RF Civil Code regulating the status of unauthorized construction.

The following major changes are worthy of note:

  • The Law has eliminated the criterion of materiality of violations of town-planning rules and regulations that previously had to be met in order to declare construction unauthorized. Construction is considered unauthorized if it meets the following criteria: it is erected (i) on a land plot not granted according to the established procedure; or (ii) on a land plot whose permitted use does not allow the construction of that property on the land plot (this ground was not previously stipulated in the RF Civil Code); or (iii) without getting the necessary permits; or (iv) in violation of town-planning and construction rules and regulations.
  • The limiting conditions in which a court may recognize that the holder of title to the land plot on which the unauthorized construction has been erected holds title to the unauthorized construction have been expanded to include: (i) the person who performed the construction or has rights to the land plot allowing for construction of that property on the land plot, (ii) the construction corresponds to the parameters set forth in the site planning documentation, land use and development rules and other mandatory requirements to the parameters of the structure. Together with those conditions, a previously existing parameter continues in effect: that preserving the structure does not infringe the rights and legitimate interests of other parties and is not a danger to human life or health. All three of these conditions must be met at the same time in order for the holder of title to the land plot to be recognized as the owner of the unauthorized construction.
  • The Law has enshrined at the level of the RF Civil Code new powers of local government authorities of municipal districts to decide whether to demolish and later demolish unauthorized construction without a court decision if the structure was erected on a land plot that was not granted for construction according to the established procedure and that is in a zone with special conditions of use (other than cultural landmark preservation zones), common areas, or that is within a utility line buffer zone. The new version of the RF Civil Code sets forth a procedure for sending the person who performed the construction a copy of the decision to demolish the structure stating the time period for independently demolishing the structure; the time period cannot exceed 12 months. If no such person is identified, the RF Civil Code provides for a procedure of officially publishing a notice of demolition on the Internet and in an official publication and the possibility of the structure being subsequently demolished two months after the publication of the online notice.

The Law entered into force on September 1, 2015.