Registration conditions: existing apartments may not be recognized as housing

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A group of senators and deputies on April 29 submitted to the State Duma a bill on the legal status of apartments… The document proposes to define a new category of real estate – multifunctional buildings, apartments in which will be equated to housing. But the norm will only apply to new buildings, the project suggests. Already existing apartments will not become residential, it follows from the bill. If the document is adopted, there is a risk that utility bills for citizens in multifunctional buildings will still be higher than in residential buildings, experts warned.

New category

A group of senators – Andrey Yatskin, Nikolai Zhuravlev, Andrey Shevchenko, Dmitry Kuzmin, as well as deputy Yevgeny Moskvichev on April 29 submitted to the State Duma a bill on the legal status of the apartments. It presupposes changes to the Urban Planning Code of the Russian Federation and certain legislative acts.

The project provides for the emergence of a new category of real estate – multifunctional buildings… According to the doc, they can be built on land not intended for habitation – in public and business areas. The bill proposes to extend to them the effect of the Housing Code of the Russian Federation. This means that apartments in such facilities will be equated to housing. For their sale at the construction stage, it was proposed to extend the norms of 214-FZ (on participation in shared construction). That is, new apartments in multifunctional buildings will be built using escrow accounts to protect citizens.

construction site

Photo: Izvestia / Konstantin Kokoshkin

The project does not provide for the transfer of existing apartments to housing. The text of the document says that the new rules will apply only to those objects for which the urban planning plan of the land plot or the project for the planning of the territory will be issued after the entry into force of the law. If it is accepted, it will start working on September 1, 2021.

As follows from the project, premises united by common areas (lobbies, halls, and so on) will receive the status of housing only by decision of the general meetings of owners, said Pavel Sklyanchuk, an expert on the housing and communal services commission of the public council under the Ministry of Construction. Therefore, multifunctional buildings will not be fully residential. According to the project, premises of the same purpose should be assembled by floor (for example, buildings may include offices or shops).

– All premises in the neighborhood must have the same functionality. It is proposed to give the general meeting of owners of premises the authority to independently decide what the house will consist of. At the same time, they have rights and obligations as ordinary apartment owners – to choose a management company, pay contributions for overhaul, – said Pavel Sklyanchuk.

The project also provides that the decisions on the provision of multifunctional buildings with infrastructure, including social infrastructure, will be determined by the regions themselves.


Photo: Izvestia / Konstantin Kokoshkin

The Ministry of Construction told “Izvestia” that the department will get acquainted with the draft law and submit its proposals and comments after consideration of the document. To optimize the legislative work on the regulation of apartments, the ministry considers it expedient to focus on the joint revision of the submitted document with the participation of the government and the State Duma, they stressed.

– It is not yet entirely clear why a new category of real estate is needed with housing on land that is not intended for this. Moreover, there is a risk that in mixed-use buildings, due to the fact that they are not fully residential, utility bills for citizens will still remain higher than in residential buildings… These issues need to be clearly clarified in the document, – said Ilya Osipov, a member of the State Duma Committee on Housing Policy and Housing and Utilities.

Now the prices for housing and communal services in apartments are 15–20% higher than in apartments, and the tax rate on such property is about 2% of the cost (for housing – from 0.1%).

Industry views

The decision to clarify the status of the apartments and to determine the parameters that the multifunctional buildings must comply with is really fair to take only in relation to new projects, says Andrey Kolochinsky, Managing Partner of VectorStroyFinance. Recognition of already built apartments as housing would increase the burden on social infrastructure facilities outside of such projects and would lead to an additional increase in prices in the segment of ready-made apartmentshe thinks.

According to Svetlana Razorotneva, executive director of the NP “Housing and Communal Services Control”, it would still be worthwhile to think over options for approaching housing and existing apartments in order to take into account the rights of all citizens.


Photo: Izvestia / Zurab Javakhadze

At the same time, buyers of such real estate can be conditionally divided into two categories – the first tends to the usual format of an apartment, and the second (mainly young people) no longer particularly needs either permanent registration or polyclinics – they need a different kind of infrastructure, said the director of the department residential real estate Penny Lane Realty Sergey Kolosnitsyn. For the latter, it is important to work in the same territory where they live, they need a modern service, and just all the possibilities of multifunctionality, he explained.

– Therefore, in principle the emergence of such residential clusters is a very timely trend that clearly meets the requirements of a wide audience, – the expert considers.

According to the president of the Magic Group, Alexander Peremyatov, the bill reflects an attempt to solve the problem with industrial land in regional cities. In Moscow, the process of withdrawing industrial enterprises from the city limits has been going on for a long time, but in the regions it has not yet begun, he explained. If multifunctional buildings are built in place of old factories in cities, people will receive new infrastructure and modern housing instead of depressed areas, and even in the right status, said Alexander Peremyatov.