25.03.2016 — Retrospective Approach to Assessing Cadastral Value

The Ministry of Economic Development of Russia (Mineconomrazvitiya) suggests assessing cadastral value in regions no more than once in three years. If the results of appraisal are challenged, the data may be changed retrospectively. Thus, the government is willing to protect businessmen from excessive taxation.

Presently, regional authorities may reassess cadastral value of real estate every year. If unfavourable assessment was successfully challenged, the new value was not applied until the court ruling, that could later cease being up to date, came into legal force.

Mineconomrazvitiya hopes that the said amendments will balance the interests of real estate owners and public authorities. 

24.03.2016 — Small and Medium-Sized Business to Get Off with Warnings

The Ministry of Economic Development of Russia (Mineconomrazvitiya) has drafted a bill setting forth the rule of “the first warning” for small and medium-sized business enterprises if the violation is detected for the first time. At the moment, the bill is subject to public consultations on the statutory and regulatory enactments website.

Thus, a warning is suggested to replace the fine causing substantial damage if the violation is committed for the first time, the offender acknowledges the wrongdoing and the term for its remedy is settled.

The initiative is primarily aimed at cutting red tape for businessmen and preventing administrative offences, which will contribute to favourable investment climate in Russia.

23.03.2016 — Early Termination of Lease Agreement

The Economic Board of the Supreme Court of Russia held that a lessee is entitled to early termination of a lease agreement in case the leased land shall not or cannot be used for purposes set forth in the agreement. Therefore, for instance, the denial to issue a development plan for a land plot (LPDP) with its designated use involving lease constitutes grounds for early termination of such a lease agreement.

Being unable to use a land plot for its designated purpose, the lessee filed a lawsuit claiming early termination of the lease agreement (case No. А40-129910/2014). The courts of three instances dismissed the claim invoking the ordinary business risks. However, the Supreme Court took the lessee’s side and remitted the matter for a fresh trial in court of first instance.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court pointed out that defects impeding the use of leased property may as well include legal impossibility of exploiting property for its designated purpose and aims set forth in the lease agreement. Being the case, as stated by the Supreme Court, parties to a lease agreement shall amend it by mutual consent, and if such consent cannot be reached, the lessee is entitled to take legal action claiming early termination of the lease agreement under § 2 Article 620 of the Civil Code of Russia.

21.03.2016 — Case Law Review on Honour, Dignity and Goodwill Protection

The Supreme Court of Russia issued case law analysis of civil regulations applied in court disputes on violating individuals’ honour, dignity and goodwill rights. The review covers the most common cases, summarizes and provides legal opinion of existing case law.

Further to the civil law reform, legal regulations on judicial protection of intangible rights have been substantially amended in the recent years. Individuals and legal entities now have a wider range of legal remedies. As noted by the Supreme Court, inter alia, the facts of disseminating information inconsistent with the reality and discrediting a person’s honor, dignity and goodwill may be supported by any relevant and admissible evidence. Conditions for satisfying a claim for honour, dignity and goodwill protection were also named.

Besides the said findings, more than ten similar recommendations for courts and practicing lawyers were included in the Supreme Court review.