Real Property & Land Legislation in the Russian Federation

By O'Leary, Sheila; Kaganova, Olga | Real Estate Issues, August 1997 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Real Property & Land Legislation in the Russian Federation


O'Leary, Sheila, Kaganova, Olga, Real Estate Issues


The Russian Federation has made significant progress in establishing the legal basis for private property ownership and moving a great deal of property into private hands, thus creating the environment for a private real estate market to develop.

By many accounts the Russian real estate market is beginning to thrive. This is true at least in cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Nizhni Novgorod that are hubs for domestic and foreign business. Several major legal developments in the past five years have been catalysts to spur development of the private real estate industry. The legalization of private property, housing, and enterprise privatization, and the establishment of the rudimentary systems for mortgage lending and property registration all contributed to improving the climate for real estate activity in Russia.

One of the last major areas to be reformed is land ownership. Currently, the majority of urban land in Russia is government-owned. A lack of political consensus on whether and how to privatize land is probably the single most significant obstacle to land reform today. The 1993 Russian Federation Constitution established the right of private land ownership. However, numerous efforts by national legislators and policy makers to implement the language of the Constitution have resulted in a body of law that is incomplete, unclear, and sometimes ambiguous. Some progress has been madeseveral Presidential decrees on land reform and the 1994 Civil Code helped establish a workable legal framework for land relations. However, the national legislature has yet to pass the Land Code, the major piece of legislation that would provide the fundamental legal basis for land relations.

The current version of the Code was enacted in 1991. Between 1994 and 1997, the national legislature (Duma) considered and rejected several drafts of the Land Code. The most current draft Code, sponsored by Communist factions within the Duma, passed the upper house of the legislature in June and the lower house in July 1997, with huge majorities. It prohibits the privatization of agricultural land and ownership of land by foreigners. Although President Yeltsin is certain to veto the law, some analysts predict that there is sufficient support within the legislature to override the Presidential veto.

Establishing the legal and regulatory basis for real property relations is mainly the task of the national government. However, local governments, through their interpretations of federal law and the pace at which they implement new legislation, have a fair amount of control over the shape of real estate reform within their jurisdictions. For example, St. Petersburg and Nizhni Novgorod allow legal entities to buy and sell land. Moscow prohibits legal entities from owning land and allows only land leases up to 49 years. Some cities are using their new authority over legal and economic matters to attract investors and encourage development. These cities are attempting to create comprehensive and streamlined procedures to foster real estate investment. Other cities force developers to comply with a maze of confusing and inconsistently applied local regulations that ultimately stymie the goals of modernization and development.

This article' reports on the current legal framework of real property relations in Russia in four areas: property rights, registration, taxation, and land use regulation. We attempt to offer a concise overview of the relevant federal laws affecting urban real property. We do not discuss in detail any local legislation. However, the role of local government is discussed in those cases where federal legislation designates primary responsibility for a given area to local officials.

REAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

Previously a state where all property was government-owned, Russia now recognizes and constitutionally protects all major forms of private property ownership. During the early 1990s, government-sponsored programs of housing and enterprise privatization moved a great deal of property into private hands, creating the basis for a private real estate market.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Real Property & Land Legislation in the Russian Federation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?