Right of ownership and settling of ownership matters – arm yourself with patience and time to settle all the necessary formalities.
We come across unsettled ownership matters in our everyday work, for instance, unapproved (and therefore illegal) reconstruction of property or non-commissioned buildings. It might seem not a big deal, until you find a buyer, moreover if the buyer uses the financing from a bank. Banks do not finance properties with unsettled ownership matters, and this is where all the problems start. The seller is stressed; the buyer gives up the idea of purchasing the property, as it may take up to 6 months or even more to settle the ownership matters, depending on the certain procedure required, on the current situation with the available documents and on the city or region where the property is located.
Most frequent unsettled matters
1. Apartment with a combined bathroom and toilet
2. Balconies added to apartments
3. Non-commissioned private houses or cottages
4. Reconstruction made in a building during the construction, which differs from the initially approved construction project
5. Unseparated parcels of land
The top leaders are the apartments located in pre-war or standardized residential buildings, with the reconstruction unapproved by a respective institution (Construction Department). In addition to bathrooms and balconies, there are also illegally constructed attic-floor rooms and chimneys installed in apartments.
Then, there are private houses and cottages, which have not been commissioned. It is not a question of newly erected unfinished buildings but the properties where people already live. Private houses and cottages may have not been commissioned due to various reasons. Sometimes it is just laziness or carelessness, sometimes it is purposeful convenience.
It is also common to find an undocumented rebuilding during the construction process. For example, a terrace is constructed or a building gets an additional window which was not planned in the initial project. It seems not a big deal, but it can play a critical role at the moment of selling.
All the above backfires at the moment of selling the property, if it is purchased with a bank loan. The banks do not finance such kind of properties, and even if the loan is approved, it is subject to certain conditions. In any case, these conditions imply commissioning of a building within certain time limits. If these time limits are not observed, the buyer will most probably lose the loan approved by the bank.
Speaking about reconstructions in buildings or apartments, banks are usually examining all the documents very carefully and the loan is issued to a certain buyer, provided that the respective illegal reconstructions are removed. By the way, apart from banks, a more demanding buyer will also require the seller to settle all the above formalities.
There are also clients who want to sell a part of their land property. However, the parcel of land must be first separated from the whole land property. The procedure of land separation may be very lengthy. The owner must be ready to spend up to one year, but everything depends on the situation, and if the elaboration of a land survey project and the separation of the estate will not be enough and a detailed planning will be necessary, it may take even more than a year.
In the above situations, a solution for closing a deal may lay in signing of an earnest contract or a contract of intents, depending on the situation. For the seller, it will serve as a good motivation and trigger to settle all the ownership formalities that have remained unsettled for years. In its turn, it will allow the buyer to acquire a property that he has been searching for so long and finally found. However, it should be noted that unfortunately neither the earnest contract nor the contract of intents could give a 100% guarantee of timely arrangement of affairs. The process of settlement of ownership matters involves many parties. Basically, these are bureaucratic state and municipal institutions, which are not concerned about the crucial role of every day waiting for the official document. Based on our experience, we recommend you to settle all the ownership matters in good time, as it may be a time-consuming process and you might lose your buyer as a result.
Start with the careful examination of the documents you have at your disposal, for example, the project, the construction permit etc. Specify the documents you lack and gradually settle and arrange all the necessary formalities for solving the ownership matter.
If the matter of arranging the property rights is the same as the labyrinth walking for you, were are here to help you.
Our 20 years’ real estate experience, including 10 years in the public sector, allows us to claim that we are able to help you and solve your long-running unfinalized property issues. Find out more about our services here or contact us personally.