GK LSR, which bought out for 2 billion rubles. the former estate of Koshelev-Maltsev in the center of Moscow, which was in federal ownership, is trying in court to prove his right to own the plot under it. Behind this particular case lies a serious legislative conflict: when buying state property, many investors cannot register land for themselves due to various restrictions. It is possible to radically solve this problem, according to lawyers, if clear explanations are given by the Supreme Court.
The structure of Andrey Molchanov’s LSR Group, A Plus Estate LLC, is trying to legalize 0.3 hectares in the ownership of 0.3 hectares on Zubovskaya Street in Khamovniki, in one of the prestigious districts of Moscow, through the court, Kommersant found in the filing cabinet of arbitration cases. The defendant in the lawsuit is the state-owned company DOM.RF. The contested site is located under a cultural heritage site – the former Koshelev-Maltsev estate, converted in Soviet times into a hostel of the Frunze Military Academy. The total area of the real estate itself is almost 10 thousand square meters. m.
The estate itself, which was federally owned, was bought by LSR in 2021 at an auction operated by DOM.RF, paying 2 billion rubles for it. with a starting cost of 609.2 million rubles. As a result of the auction, LSR became the owner of only the object, and received lease rights to the site under it, Kommersant was explained. The company intended to register the property and the site, but was refused, which, as they say in LSR, the developer is trying to challenge in court.
DOM.RF explained to Kommersant that the site under the former estate was not transferred to the new owner due to the restriction of the circulation of this land, which is part of the zone of the protected cultural layer and archaeological heritage. Only the court can make a decision on the sale of the site, DOM.RF added.
It is not uncommon for individuals and companies to purchase land and other property from the state. Thus, according to the Accounts Chamber, in 2017-2019, 2.5 thousand plots worth 5.1 billion rubles were withdrawn from federal property. In addition, through DOM.RF, as an operator for the sale of property in the Russian Federation, 169 objects were sold for a total of 23.1 billion rubles. Therefore, the problem faced by LSR is relevant for many investors acquiring state-owned land, says Grigory Nachinkin, head of the sales department of the Auction House of the Russian Federation.
The restriction on the circulation of state lands applies not only to objects of archaeological heritage. According to the lawyer of the law firm “Rustam Kurmaev and Partners” Yaroslav Shitsle, plots in the composition of forest fund lands, nature reserves and where water bodies are located are also limited in circulation. Restrictions are imposed on linear special communications facilities, in the vicinity of the sites of the Ministry of Defense, adds Denis Konovalenko, managing partner of Prime Life Development. According to him, there are many such sites in the center of Moscow, as well as near airports and train stations.
The resolution of such disputes through the courts is a mechanism in the context of conflicting provisions of the law, according to DOM.RF. In the case of sites under architectural monuments, the courts often take the side of investors, since the law on cultural heritage objects provides the opportunity to transfer such real estate to private ownership with the issuance of a security obligation, explains Yaroslav Shitsle. But sometimes years pass before investors manage to recognize the ownership of the land under such objects in court, says Vladislav Vatamanyuk, a member of the Moscow regional branch of Delovaya Rossiya. He believes that this issue cannot be solved at once in large numbers. In addition, according to him, “in most cases, investors are faced with bureaucracy and their own interpretation of the laws on the ground.”
Maxim Barashev, BBNP Managing Partner, believes that it is possible to legally create a mechanism that would allow the out-of-court transfer of ownership of land with limited circulation. Responsible for making such decisions could be specialized institutions, depending on the reason why the land is limited in circulation, for example, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Natural Resources and others, the lawyer believes.
Kommersant’s interlocutor among lawyers believes that a uniform approach to the transfer of ownership of state lands to private individuals can be formed by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation if the issue is included in the decision of the plenum of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation or a review of the practice of applying land legislation.