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Russian real estate law

Introduction

Real estate investment offers one of the most secure and effective ways to invest money. As Russian real estate law is less complicated than either English or German Law, it makes Russia an attractive market for real estate investment for both residents and foreign investors.
The most important legislation which regulates investment in Russian real estate includes:

  • the Civil Code of the Russian Federation (the “Russian Civil Code”);
  • the Land Code of the Russian Federation (the “Russian Land Code”);
  • the Tax Code of the Russian Federation (the “Russian Tax Code”);
  • the Town-Planning Code of the Russian Federation (the “Russian
    Town-Planning Code”);
  • Federal Law No. 101 – FZ On Agricultural Land Transactions of 24 July 2002
    (the “Agricultural Land Transactions Law”);
  • Federal Law No. 102 – FZ On Mortgage of Immovable Property of 16 July
    1998 (the “Mortgage Law”);
  • Federal Law No. 122 – FZ On State Registration of Rights to
    Immovable Property and Transactions Therewith of 22 July 1997
    (the “State Registration Law”); and
  • Federal Law No. 7 – FZ On Protection of Environment dated 10 January 2002
    (the “Environmental Protection Law”).
    Under Russian real estate law, the following rights exist over land:
  • the right of ownership (freehold);
  • the right to lease (leasehold);
  • mortgage;
  • easement;
  • the right of economic management; and
  • the right of administrative management.

It is also possible to own the hereditary right to possession of land for life and the permanent unlimited use of land. From 1 March 2015, it is no longer possible to create this right. Where this right already existed on 1 March 2015, it will continue to exist.
Ownership of land as well as the other proprietary rights mentioned above must be registered with the state. These rights over land become effective only after they have been recorded in the Unifed State Register of Rights to Real Property (the “Property Register”). The right to ownership of a building or a land plot as well as any encumbrances over such ownership right (such as a lease, mortgage or easement) are confrmed by the ownership certifcate or the extract from the Property Register.
An ownership right or other proprietary rights which are recorded into the Property Register can only be challenged by judicial order.
The state registration of rights to real estate are regulated by the State Registration Law.