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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Land as an Object of Transactions

UnknownVladimir A. Sakovich
Under the Civil Code, deals are actions of citizens and legal entities aimed at establishing, altering or terminating civil rights and duties. A land plot is a real estate object, according to Clause 1, Article 130 of the Civil Code. Deals concerning land plots are carried out in conformity with the rules of civil legislation and its requirements.

Transactions involving land are made through the conclusion of purchase-sale, lease, grant, mortgage, exchange, rent and lifelong inheritable possession, gratuitous use and trust agreements.

However, it should be noted that civil legislation governs transactions involving land insofar as it governs all transactions involving objects of civil rights. Due to the essential specification and distinction of land plots from other objects of civil rights, land deals are also governed by the rules of the Land Code.

Section 17 of the Civil Code titled "Land ownership and other material rights to land" contains rules that refer to land legislation, subsoil legislation, use of air space and other laws.

Some parts of the Land Code and the Civil Code concerning the regulation of land and land deals do not correspond with one another. For example, the Civil Code provides the priority of application of the Land Code in case of some deals with land, particularly the lease. But as far as other deals are concerned, the Civil Code does not make any reference to the Land Code. Moreover, the Land Code and the Civil Code stipulate different procedures for the transfer of rights on a land plot in the case of the alienation of real estate objects located on it.

The peculiarities of the land as an object of purchase-sale and other agreements also affect the conditions of the deal and the rights and obligations of the parties. In particular, the subject of the purchase-sale agreement should be clearly determined, and a special procedure for forming land plots with their subsequent cadastral registration has been established by the law. Categorizing a land plot and assigning it a unique cadastral number is carried out in accordance with the federal law "On State Land Cadastre." Pursuant to Clause 3, Article 14 of the above law the date of creation of a land plot as an object of state cadastral registration is the date when a respective record is entered in the uniform state land register. Registration requirements are also applied to land deals. They are stipulated in the federal law "On the state registration of real estate rights and transactions."

Deals on the purchase-sale of land should meet a special requirement of target use of land in compliance with its category. The owner of a land plot is not entitled to change its target designation upon his or her own discretion. In this respect it should be noted that legislation contains such notions as the "target use" and "permitted use" of a land plot. Owing to the improvement of land and town-building legislation the differentiation between these two notions has acquired great practical meaning. In practice we repeatedly come across cases when executive power authorities of federal constituent entities and municipal bodies do not see any difference between them. As a result, landholders are faced with two things. First, they are to deal with unjustified claims to terminate land lease agreements due to the purported nontarget use of a land plot. Second, the executive power bodies forward the respective information and materials to authorized agencies with the aim of bringing the landholder to administrative liability, using Article 8.8 of the Administrative Code (nontarget use of land, nonuse of a land plot intended for agricultural production or housing or other construction, nonobservation of compulsory measures on land improvement and soil protection).