Legalization of illegally constructed buildings

Get an attorney’s advice

Illegal constructions or illegally constructed buildings imply a building, a garage, a shed, etc. built without any permits. An illegal construction can also be an object built at the unsuitable place or with the violation of construction rules and standards.

Why it is important to legalize illegally constructed buildings

Everything is quite simple: an illegal construction has no owner. Of course, there is a nominal owner but according to the documents the construction belongs to no one: the owner has control over the materials the construction is made of but he or she can neither sell nor present or bequeath this construction. The building won’t be connected to utility systems or put into operation either.

As far as it concerns a garage or a household building that is not going to be put into operation or sold, you should legalize it as well. Why? Because your neighbors can forward a complaint to the local authorities if you have some problems or disputes with them. A commission can check the land plot for any illegal constructions and you’ll have to pay a fine.

These fines are usually big enough and depend on the damage caused by the illegal construction during an accident:

  • Class CC-1: low consequences (garages, cottages or country houses, 4-storeyed buildings or lower if the total damage makes 2,000 minimum wages – 640,000 hryvna. The constructions and buildings of Execution Class I-II);
  • Class CC-2: medium consequences (block of flats if the total damage makes from 2,000 to 150,000 minimum wages – from 640,000 to 480,000,000 hryvna. The constructions and buildings of Execution Class III-IV);
  • Class CC-3: high consequences (plants and factories, large-size buildings, buildings of over 100 m high. An accident can cause the cultural heritage loss, transportation or power systems failure. The total damage exceeds 150,000 minimum wages – over 480,000,000 hryvna).

If you don’t pay this fine the building can be pulled down at the owner’s expense.

How to legalize illegally constructed buildings

One can do that individually through the local administration or in court.

In court: If you’re absolutely sure that the building is legal you can apply to court. But practice proves that court hardly ever supports such claims. To increase your prospects, you can attach certificates from the local department of architecture, fire services and public health service authorities though they can’t guarantee your success.

Through the local administration: You have to get the following documents to launch the procedure:

  • Technical Data Sheet;
  • State Certificate;
  • Certificate by the State Architectural and Construction Supervision Authority
  • Passport and ID code and their notarized copies;
  • Receipt for the state duty payment;
  • Decision of the local (city or village) council on assigning address to the building.

It usually takes about 2-3 months to get these documents and most time is spent on queues and bureaucracy.

SNBCU can make your case more complicated

SNBCU (the Standards of the National Building Code of Ukraine) are effective in Ukraine and one should keep to these standards during the construction. For example, the distance between your house and the neighbor’s one shall be at least 8 meters and the distance from the boundary line shall be at least 1 meter. People sometimes have no idea about these violations as you can detect them only by means of topographic survey. If these standards and regulations are not observed the building won’t be legalized.

Case history

A family built a cottage house on its own land plot. The shadow from this house fell on the neighbor’s vegetable garden that caused a conflict. As a result, the neighbors forwarded a complaint against this illegal construction to the local administration. The commission found out that the house was built absolutely legally but some SNBCU standards were violated: the distance between the houses was only 6 meters. The house owners that had no idea about the violations got the fine. We protected the owners’ rights in court and minimized their expenses.

Some people may feel tired from bureaucracy and apply to various “assistants” for forged documents. That can be quicker and cheaper. But this forgery fails during the official inspection and the owner gets two fines at a time – for the illegal construction and for forgery. Thus we recommend not to rely on your good luck and do everything in accordance with the law.

How an attorney can help you

During your visit, we consider your case, work out the defense strategy and provide the list of documents you need to get. We also help to complete and execute the documents if necessary. That is the stage when the legalization procedure is completed: you continue to live your own life and after the time agreed you get your property right to the building. That can save about two or three months and money as our services are 10 times cheaper than the fines you might have to pay.

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