Buying real estate during martial law

Topical issues of buying real estate during martial law

With the beginning of the introduction of martial law, many developers and notaries daily receive numerous requests regarding the legality of concluding real estate purchase and sale agreements. The war forced millions of people to leave their homes and look for housing in safer regions of Ukraine. As a result, there is a demand for housing, but how it is legally correct to purchase it under martial law for many of our citizens is still not clear enough.

The real estate market began to experience a negative impact since the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. As soon as the market situation became stable, in particular, due to the growth in demand for suburban real estate and foreign investment, rumors of a possible war set a new negative trend.

The war significantly worsened the situation, replacing the “covid” restrictions with the start of a full-scale war, the imposition of martial law, the loss of work by many of our citizens, the risk of damage to housing due to hostile actions, and for a large number of the population with the complete or partial destruction of housing and other property, a complete halt in the construction of a number of objects. and restricting the work of the State Register of Rights to Real Estate.

Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated February 28, 2022 No. 164 restricted the rights of notaries in performing notarial actions to register the transfer of ownership of real estate (valuable property) and such actions could be performed only by notaries who were included in the list of notaries approved by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, which, under martial law, notarial acts are performed on valuable property.

On April 28, 2022, Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine No. 480 came into force, which abolished restrictions on the purchase and sale of real estate and allowed notaries to perform notarial actions with the opening of the State Register of Rights to Real Estate (which was closed due to the introduction of martial law to preserve and prevent unauthorized interference with it), introducing a number of exceptions. For example, ownership of real estate cannot be acquired on the basis of a power of attorney issued by the owner of the property – an individual in the name of a representative; it is prohibited to carry out state registration of ownership of real estate within a month from the date of preliminary state registration (it is forbidden to carry out state registration of the transfer of ownership of real estate if it is owned by a person for less than one month); it is forbidden to carry out state registration of property rights on the basis of contracts certified by a notary in the period from February 25, 2022 until it is included in the relevant list.

Today, not all notaries can certify agreements on the transfer of ownership of real estate and register ownership of it, such actions can be performed only by notaries included in the list of notaries who, under martial law, notarial actions can be performed on valuable property approved by orders Ministries. of Ukraine dated May 03, 2022 No. 1760/5, dated May 06, 2022 No. 1833/5, dated May 12, 2022 No. 1882/5, dated May 19, 2022 No. 2016/5, dated May 24, 2022 No. 2057, dated May 28, 2022 No. 2124/5, June 3, 2022 No. 2218/5, June 08, 2022 No. 2277/5, June 16, 2022 No. 2498/5, June 21, 2022 No. 2583/ 5, dated July 05, 2022 No. 2780/5.

Buying a home involves the signing of an agreement on the transfer of property rights to real estate by two parties. In the case of acquiring housing in a new building from the developer, in addition to the contract, both parties must sign an act of acceptance and transfer of real estate. Such documents are legally valid and testify to the transfer of property from one party to another only after signing by both parties.

The sale and purchase of real estate on the secondary market is just beginning to recover from the beginning of the war, so it is too early to draw generalized conclusions regarding changes in consumer prices for apartments and houses. It becomes obvious that in connection with the war, regional pricing seems quite likely, when in the safer western part of the country real estate will rise in price, in the territory close to the conduct of hostilities, the cost of housing will decrease, and in places of active hostilities the real estate market has almost stopped.

Our tips for buying real estate:
If you buy real estate in the primary market, then you need to find the developer’s website or websites that cover information about new buildings and housing, and find out the information:
– what other real estate objects the developer is building or has already built;
– whether the terms of commissioning of construction objects are observed;
– what information the developer places on his website;
– what permits for land, construction, etc. has a builder;
– what problems do property owners face after taking possession of the property, etc.

At the meeting, it is necessary to request from the developer for review all the construction documentation. Among the mandatory documents that the developer must provide should be: a license for construction work, urban planning conditions and restrictions, a building permit, land documents, the right to start construction work, technical conditions for connecting communications, in the case of completed construction – Declaration of Readiness object for operation and technical passport for the real estate object.

If you are interested in buying real estate on the secondary market, you should make sure that the seller is really the owner of the apartment, for this you need to ask the owner for the originals of the constituent documents for housing (these can be: sales contracts, mines, gifts, certificate of ownership of the inheritance by law or by will, certificate of ownership, court decision, as well as an up-to-date extract from the State Register of Rights to Real Estate, if the ownership was registered after 01/01/2013, or a certificate from the Bureau of Technical Inventory on the registration of ownership, if the ownership is registered until 01.01.2013. Even the provision of notarized copies of such documents cannot be a confirmation of ownership of the property and may indicate the unreliability of the seller.

Since the economy of our state is currently in a rather uncertain state, the purchase and sale of real estate is now a rather risky process.

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