9 April 2015
Legal Alert: Kyiv Makes a Step Towards Facilitation and Transparency of Land Allocation Procedures

Kyiv City Council, by Resolution dated 4 March 2015, adopted the new Procedure of Transfer (Granting) of Land Plots from Municipal Property in Kyiv City (hereinafter the “Procedure”). 

Although there have been no substantive changes to the core legislation relating to land matters recently, the new Procedure offers a number of improvements as compared to the Interim Procedure of Transfer (Granting) of Land Plots from Municipal Property in Kyiv City, which was in place since 2013. Such improvements are mainly procedural and aimed at facilitation and ensuring transparency of the process of obtaining rights to municipal land plots in Kyiv. The main improvements are:

  • The initial permits for preparation of land development documentation will be issued not by the vote of the entire City Council, but by the resolution of its committee on architecture, construction and land use. This should result in quicker issuance of the permits as the entire City Council, which proved to be inefficient in such matters, will not be involved at this initial stage, while the committee works and takes decisions on a permanent basis (at least bi-weekly).

  • The Procedure introduce the tacit consent principle for preparation of land development documentation and technical documentation. In case a permit or a substantiated refusal for preparation of land development documentation is not provided within a month, the applicant will be entitled to start preparation of land development documentation without the said permit following a month period upon a notice given to the City Council (hence, the total waiting period after which the tacit consent principle applies is two months). It appears that this novelty may be useful for both the City Council and the applicants, since it allows to start preparation of land development documentation without waiting for the relevant written permit if it is not given in a timely manner due to heavy workload of the authorities or otherwise.

  • There is an opportunity for an investor to obtain ownership, lease or permanent use of the land plot without preparing the land development documentation if (a) the land plot has been registered with the State Land Cadaster, (b) title to the land plot has been registered with the State Register of Rights to Immovable Property, and (c) the land plot’s borders and intended use remain the same. 

  • Sublease of municipally owned land plots without obtaining separate approval from the City Council is possible if the lessee’s right to sublease the land plot (or a part of it) is envisaged by the current lease agreement and the Council’s initial resolution on the lease of the land plot.

  • It is now expressly prohibited repeatedly reject the land development documentation or technical documentation after the applicant cured the specific defects identified by the Department of Land Resources. Notably, a similar rule was earlier introduced for state registrars of rights to immovable property, but, unfortunately, it has not led to full elimination of groundless rejections of documents. Therefore, efficiency of this rule in the practice of the Department of Land Resources is not yet clear and would depend on the Department’s approach in the first place.

  • The Procedure requires land users to apply to the City Council for specific approvals for change of land plot’s type of use (i.e. the sub-use within the broader designated land category). We consider this as an attempt of the City Council to increase control over the use of municipal lands, in particular, to minimize improper use of land plots and unauthorized constructions. However, it is not yet clear how this control function will be implemented in the absence of up-to-date general plan and zoning plans in the city, which generally remains an issue.