Since March 2023, it has become more difficult for Russians to check real estate before a deal. The reason is that the authorities classified personal data in the Unified State Register of Real Estate (EGRN). It was there that one could find out about possible problems with housing. How to protect yourself now when buying or renting real estate, “Secret” learned from experts.
Since March, Rosreestr has closed information about who owns a particular property. Previously, this data was open, and any person before the transaction – whether it was rent or sale – could check the housing of interest to him.
Often extracts from Rosreestr were ordered by independent buyers or real estate specialists who accompanied such transactions. And also media representatives, “to prepare articles about the housing of stars, businessmen and politicians, as well as to determine the location of real estate and the size of land,” added Maria Rumyantseva, head of the SAMPLE agency and the PRORealty Internet forum.
The data of the owners were often used by scammers who forged documents when selling housing. However, the real reason for the closure of Rosreestr is not at all in this.
In an explanatory note to the bill, which limited access to data, lawmakers express concern about the ease with which information about military personnel and law enforcement officers can be obtained. This, according to the authors of the initiative, “directly threatens the life and personal safety of the military and law enforcement officers themselves, as well as their families.”
What are the risks of classifying Rosreestr?
Since March, Rosreestr has continued to issue statements about the address of the object and its characteristics to everyone, but without information about the owners. Now informing the buyer or tenant is the right of the homeowner himself. Experts see this as a huge field for abuse.
“The main risk is that a person will be provided with an outdated or fake extract from the USRN. It is impossible to check the document – after all, now it is impossible to independently obtain complete information from the registry. It is also possible that the gray sale of information from the USRN will become more active in the illegal market, ”emphasizes Koba Orzhonia, a member of the Association of Lawyers of Russia.
The burden of informing about real estate has been shifted to its owner, and, most likely, it will be he who will be responsible for providing an extract that does not correspond to reality, adds Orzhoniya. In this case, it will be possible to protect your rights only through the courts.
Classification will definitely affect the protection of the rights and interests of citizens when filing certain types of lawsuits, warns Mushekh Gevorkyan, managing partner of the Gevorkyan and Partners law firm.
“Now it will not be clear to whom to file a lawsuit and who is the real neighbor of your site or in the stairwell – all this will greatly complicate the preparation for the lawsuit,” says Gevorkyan.
Also, real estate classifieds will have problems (this is the name of sites with ads from individuals, agencies and developers, such as Yandex Real Estate, Cyan, and so on), adds Maria Rumyantseva.
“Earlier, they guaranteed the cleanliness of the database of objects by checking the parameters in Rosreestr and comparing the owner’s data there. Now, such a check will become impossible, and this may lead to an increase in the number of fake ads on portals dedicated to the rental and sale of apartments,” Rumyantseva warns.
How to get an extract from the USRN under the new rules?
Some Russians still have the right to receive an extract indicating the personal data of the property owner.
- legal representative (parent, guardian);
- representative by proxy, spouse;
- tenants or tenants (if there is a record of state registration of the agreement);
- cadastral engineers during cadastral works;
- courts, law enforcement and other bodies, state and municipal institutions;
- notaries and arbitration managers.
The rest have only three options left, Andrey Schmidt, CEO of Schmidt & Schmidt, shares:
Obtain a statement on the property from the owner. The owner can receive the document electronically through the State Services or in person by contacting the MFC. Documents are certified by EDS (or seal), but in any case there is a risk of manipulation.
Get a notarized power of attorney from the owner and apply for an extract yourself. To do this, you will have to personally contact the MFC. Practice so far on this issue is extremely limited, but it should work, advises Schmidt.
Ask the owner to submit an application for disclosure of data to the USRN, in which case the information will become publicly available. “Of course, if the owner has difficulties with issuing a power of attorney or filing an application for disclosure of data or preparing a preliminary contract, then this is a reason to be wary,” sums up Schmidt.
During the transaction, you need to discuss the costs of paying for the receipt of an extract (and you need to receive it at least twice – when checking the property and immediately before the transaction itself, in order to protect yourself from unexpected troubles), and Rumyantseva advises who will pay these costs.
Why innovation is in the hands of notaries and realtors?
The main recommendation when dealing with real estate is not to be greedy and turn to a notary for its notarization, says Anton Grishko, managing partner of the Gestion law office.
“There are at least two advantages here. First: the notary is responsible for the cleanliness of transactions. Second, notaries retain access to USRN data. An extract from the USRN for verification can also be ordered through a notary, which somewhat smoothes the situation, ”says Grishko.
So far, the market has not yet adapted to innovations. Most likely, its adaptation will result in “an increase in the number of notarial transactions, since extracts are provided with full content at the request of notaries,” predicts Mikhail Payushin, managing partner at Freeviser law firm.
The zone of responsibility for the transaction in this case will shift from the realtor to the notary, which will only play into the hands of real estate specialists. It will also provide notaries with a stream of interested clients – and their money.
Collage: Secret of the Firm, Unsplash/Jason Dent, Alexandr Hovhannisyan, Joshua Sortino, Unsplash License, freepik /rawpixel.com, asier_relampagoestudio