Is it realistic in Ukraine to get a free plot of land provided for a citizen by law?
Many of those I know want to get a plot of land for free, because such a right is provided by law. Some even write applications to village councils to obtain information on vacant plots or to provide them with ownership. However, after no one answers the requests or the applicant is denied a plot of land without proper justification, the optimism disappears and there is an understanding that for a free plot will have to fight, and more than one year.
What does the law say?
Land Code the right of citizens of Ukraine to receive various types of land plots from state or communal lands is provided.
In particular, up to 2 hectares can be obtained for personal farming. For horticulture - up to 0.12 ha, for individual country house construction - up to 0.10 ha, for construction of individual garages - up to 0.01 ha. For the construction and maintenance of a dwelling house, outbuildings and structures (homestead plot) in villages - not more than 0.25 ha, in settlements - not more than 0.15 ha, in cities - not more than 0.10 ha. You can also get a plot of land for farming in the amount of land share (share), determined for members of agricultural enterprises located on the territory of the council.
Where to go?
If you want to own a plot of land, you need to apply to the authority that manages the land.
If the question concerns communal lands located in settlements, it is necessary to address to the corresponding village, settlement or city council. If the agricultural land belongs to the state property and is outside the settlement, it is necessary to apply to the relevant district state administration. State-owned agricultural lands are managed by the Main Department of the State Geocadastre of the respective region.
The application must indicate the purpose of the land and its approximate size. The application must be accompanied by graphic materials, which indicate the desired location of the land, a copy of the passport and identification code.
The relevant council or state body must consider the application within a month and agree to the development of a land management project or a reasoned refusal.
Although in practice the reason for refusing to issue such a permit can only be the non-compliance of the location of the object with the requirements of urban planning and other documentation (master plans, land management projects for landscaping).
What other documents are needed?
If the council still gives permission to develop a land management project, you need to contact the land management organization, which employs certified land surveyors. This organization must prepare a land management project. There are land managers in every settlement, so it will not be a problem.
After that, the land management project must be agreed with the territorial department of the State Geocadastre, and for land plots for construction within the settlement - with the Department of Urban Planning and Architecture of the local state administration or local council. Relevant government agencies must approve the land management project within 10 days. There is also an exhaustive list of grounds for refusing to agree.
When the land management project is approved, you should apply to the state cadastral registrar with an application for state registration of the land plot in the cadastre. Registration is carried out within 14 days.
Then you need to apply again to the body to which you wrote the application from the beginning (local council or administration), with an application for approval of the land management project and the transfer of land ownership. The body must approve the project within 14 days.
Next you need to go to the state registrar or notary to register ownership of the land.
The described procedure is really rich, but in fact there is nothing complicated in it. However, at each stage you will find your surprises and obstacles.
How to practice?
In fact, the main problems begin at the stage of land selection, because vacant land plots on the cadastral map may not correspond to the plan of the settlement. It is also often the case that after submitting your application, it turns out that another person has already applied to you for this area the day before.
You can write inquiries about the availability of vacant land plots, but they are often left unanswered or reply that there is no such information. Therefore, it is better to search independently with the help of a public cadastral map and only then add graphic materials to the application.
Very often the council refuses to give consent to the development of a land management project on the grounds that there are allegedly no land plots, although in fact vacant land may be available.
In this case, you need to file a lawsuit in the administrative court, appeal the decision of the council or other body and ask the court to oblige the council to grant permission to develop a land management project. Judicial practice on this issue is quite positive, and if the council had no reason to refuse, the court obliges the council to issue the appropriate permission. This position is set out, for example, in the decisions of the Administrative Court of Cassation of the Supreme Court of 11.09.2019 in case № 819/570/18 and from 23.05.2018 in case № 825/602/17 and other court decisions. In some cases, courts do not always follow the position of the Supreme Court and simply oblige the relevant council to reconsider the petition. This method of protection is not very effective, because the council usually refuses again.
Recently, the reason for refusing to grant permission to develop a land management project is allegedly the reservation of a plot for a participant in the anti-terrorist operation, as the primary right to receive plots is in the participants of the anti-terrorist operation in accordance with Of the Law of Ukraine "On the status of war veterans, guarantees of their social protection". You can check the list of reserved land plots on the websites of the regional departments of the State Geocadastre. There are cases when a participant of the anti-terrorist operation applies for the plot, he will be denied for the reasons that the plot was not reserved. There are also a lot of such situations.
As you can see, the law really allows you to get free ownership of land. The procedure is quite clear and transparent. At the same time, in most cases it is very difficult to get land, especially for land plots near large cities. If you save time and patience, you can defend your right to land in court.
Andriy Gevko, Deputy Chairman of the UBA Committee on Agrarian Law, lawyer, partner of BARGEN Law Firm
The article is published on the portal https://jurliga.ligazakon.net/