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A new wave of demolitions in Moscow: the courts, the ruins and the business climate

Новая волна сносов в Москве: суды, руины и бизнес-климат

In Moscow began a large-scale campaign for the demolition of the retail pavilions, the construction of which the city authorities consider the unauthorized – in the list included more than 100 objects. Their owners claim that the actions of the municipality was illegal, and that they had all the documents for construction, and in some cases ownership was confirmed by the courts.

In the list of objects to be destroyed was a small trade pavilions in the periphery of the capital, and large shopping centres near the key metro stations: shopping center “Pyramid” near “Pushkinskaya”, the stalls near the metro station “Kropotkinskaya” and others.

So the excavators who came on the night of February 9 to these buildings, as well as the consequences of their night of work (on social networks this destruction of the shopping center called “night of the long buckets”) was the whole of Moscow and caused an instant response from the citizens. Someone was sorry about the death of your favorite grocery stores and eateries, someone thanked the Moscow authorities for the restoration of order.

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Other materials on the subject:

  • As demolished kiosks – photo essay
  • Luzhkov called the demolition of kiosks by the massacre of small business
  • The ROC proposed to build temples on the site of the demolished stalls

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However, some lawyers and representatives of the business community believe that in bringing about the Moscow authorities have embarked on very dangerous territory, where there is a risk to stumble on a multibillion-dollar lawsuits and significant deterioration of the investment climate, the maintenance of which in time of crisis especially made to take care of.

“Even if they [the Moscow government] were right, citing Civil code, we still can’t provoke the situation with the ejection of the bricks from the Foundation of the institution of property. It could go in any city, but only not in Moscow”, – says Vice-President of “Business Russia” Nikolay Ostarkov.

Signal

This is not the first wave of demolition of retail outlets in the Russian capital. Parlaktuna campaign began soon after the appointment of Sergey Sobyanin to the post of Moscow mayor in 2010. Then Moscow was cleansed of most of the small pavilions and kiosks in the centre.

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Moreover, this sphere of activity of the Moscow government has left the majority of the citizens then in General indifferent. So, according to the poll on the priorities of management Sobyanin in January 2011, only 4% of Muscovites supported the initiative of demolition of tents – with 1% opposed. It is likely that the new stage of struggle against “unauthorized” buildings with all the noise around him will not be a notable factor in public opinion.

But, believe representatives of the business community, this will be an important factor in the business climate in the city and, more broadly, throughout the country: Moscow authorities give a signal to the public that when the state needs, it will turn the laws, and regardless any circumstances, carry out their plans.

In this case, the mayor’s office, experts say, is not counted with the Russian Constitution and the Civil code – although it is to the latter, justifying his decision, and she appealed.

The legal basis

The final act of history of the buildings, causing at city hall, discontent, came on 8 December 2015, when at meeting of Presidium of the city government adopted a resolution “on measures to ensure the demolition of unauthorized constructions on certain territories of the city of Moscow”.

Can’t provoke the situation with the ejection of the bricks from the Foundation of the institution of property. It could go in any city, but not in Moscow

Nikolai Ostarkov, Vice-President of “Business Russia”

It presented a list of 104 buildings slated for demolition. The paper stated that it adopted pursuant to the provisions of that article 222 of the civil code. Updated in summer of 2015 GK really came status, giving the local authorities the power to demolish unauthorized constructions.

But, following the letter of the law, individuals who carried out unauthorized construction shall not acquire the right of ownership. In many cases, placed under the Moscow government resolution, the owners of shopping malls don’t just have title deeds, they also confirmed their ownership in the courts.

The right of property is protected by article 35 of the Constitution, which States that “no one shall be deprived of his property except by court decision”. That is, the Moscow authorities, concerned with the demolition of several buildings, there was only one way out: through the court to admit illegally built and therefore, to achieve deprivation of the beneficiaries of property rights.

The problem is that so Moscow authorities initially tried to act.

The courts are won, the war is already lost

In recent years the city authorities have sued a number of owners of trading pavilions, trying to prove that the objects were built illegally. In some cases, specify “Vedomosti”, the dispute reached the Supreme court, destroying the building owners.

Новая волна сносов в Москве: суды, руины и бизнес-климатImage copyrightEPA

Image captionМосквичи the last time took down stalls, reacted to this quite calmly

It is, in particular, about the claim of the Moscow authorities to the owner of the pavilion on the street Militia, the owner of a trading complex “the Passage Albatross” and others. The expert examination showed that the buildings did not threaten the life and health of citizens.

Companion of the Russian service bi-Bi-si Irina Pisareva, representing the sales pavilion at the metro station “South” (it was demolished in the night of 9 February), said that friction with the authorities began in 2013, when the Department of property of Moscow has addressed with the claim about a recognition of unauthorized building construction.

“We have passed through all the courts: the court did not recognize the unauthorized construction, refused to demolition. They appealed the decision in the appeal, which upheld their complaint. We then appealed against this decision in cassation: the court of Arbitration of the Moscow district eventually rejected their claims: and in the demolition, and in recognition of unauthorized building,” she says.

I can admit that many of the buildings demolished today, might be not quite properly constructed. But in this case, the law should be challenged in court

partner Goltsblat BLP Rustam Aliyev

After 8 December, the Moscow government issued a decree about the imminent demolition, she asked the Moscow city court with request to recognize invalid the decree. But he just refused to review the case – on the grounds that shortly before this already said no other Complainants on the same resolution. Thus, the court, according to her, ignored the decision of the Arbitration court of the Moscow district.

The Investigation Committee replied that the review of such cases is not within their competence. The Prosecutor’s office sent to court. The Moscow city court to hear the case refused. The loss of the owners of the demolished shopping center, according to Pisareva, amounted to about 500 million rubles.

Business, law, people

In “Business Russia” consider that the amount of claims for lost property to the government of Moscow can amount to 22 billion rubles. To this must be added the cost of demolition of buildings, legal costs and tax losses to the city (up to 2 billion rubles per year).

Moscow authorities have declared readiness to compensate the businessmen for lost property, but the form in which they did it, once again highlights the legal inconsistencies in the decision, indicate the lawyers.

The government decree of 8 December States: “After the implementation of measures for demolition of unauthorized construction the person who is the owner of the unauthorized construction was allowed to go to the Prefecture administrative district of Moscow compensation for the demolition of unauthorized construction under the condition of simultaneous submission of documents confirming the termination of the right of ownership to unauthorized construction demolished…”

Thus the municipality is, in fact, confirms the fact of ownership of demolished buildings (the more so because, according to the Ledger, the person who built unauthorized construction, there is no ownership of).

“The wording itself is not entirely correct. All the regulation in principle is strange from the point of view of the law,” says a partner at Goltsblat BLP Rustam Aliyev.

“Everyone understands that the ownership of these objects have already been registered. They operate on the article about the unauthorized buildings – and they really have the right to demolish the unauthorized construction, but it should be an unauthorized construction [in the legal sense], that is, for a start it should not be registered any right,” he explains.

“I can assume that many of the buildings demolished today, might be not quite properly built and the right of ownership could not be registered properly. But in this case, the law should be challenged in court”, – said the lawyer.

Meanwhile, problems are not only legal and political dimensions but also human. In destroying the trade centers have been hundreds and thousands of people in times of crisis will have to find new livelihoods.

“I’ll stay and it seems to work, but without salary, – says Irina Pisareva, who worked as a lawyer in the shopping center. I thought that being in the capital of one of the largest countries in the world, working as a lawyer, more or less I can provide for myself. I never thought I would find myself in this situation”.

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