Easements over public land plots

04.02.2015

Legal update No 499, Issue No. 4/7

Goltsblat BLP continues its series of alerts exploring the extensive amendments to the land legislation introduced by Federal Law No. 171-FZ of 23 June 2014 “On Amending the Land Code of the Russian Federation and Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation” (hereinafter FZ No. 171) and due to come into force on 1 March 2015.

In this alert, we focus on establishing easements over land plots in state or municipal ownership. Importantly, public right of way (Article 23 of the Land Code of the Russian Federation) remains a separate institution. The principal difference between public right of way and “private” easement is that the former is intended to promote the interests of the state, local authorities or local residents, whereas the latter (stipulated in new Chapter V.3. of the Land Code of the Russian Federation) is to promote the interests of private parties.

Article 39.23 of the Land Code of the Russian Federation expressly envisages three cases when, in particular, easements may be established over land plots in public ownership:

  • Accommodation of linear facilities, communications structures, special information signs and protection structures that do not impede the permitted use of the land plot;
  • Surveying; and
  • Work related to use of the subsoil.

Listed below are the most important easement features to be introduced on 1 March 2015:

  • Easement agreements may be concluded, inter alia, by a holder of the right of permanent (indefinite) use of a plot or by a tenant if the lease is for more than one year.
  • Easement is contingent on the land plot lease: the term of the easement agreement may not exceed that of the lease; early termination of the lease entails termination of the easement.
  • If an easement agreement is for less than three years, identification of the land plot section does not require cadastral registration, in which case there is no need to register the easement agreement.
  • A fee under the easement agreement must be established in the manner prescribed by the public owner in respect of its land (for example, by the Russian Government in respect of land in federal ownership) and by constituent entities in respect of land in undelimited state ownership. It is yet unclear whether such fees will be regulated only under easement agreements concluded by the government and local authorities or also under agreements with tenants and land users.

In a week, we will consider in more detail allocation of state- or municipally-owned land plots for lease or ownership.

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Ksenia Soboleva

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