Recently, the media and the victims themselves have called land raids any attempts by third parties to get land that is already in use by a particular company or person. Common methods of land raiding are forgery of court documents and decisions, registration actions through illegal registrars, force usage to seize property, when without any legal grounds and with the usage of weapons try to seize the harvest. Victoria Kipriianova, the UAC Layer on Land Issues, told the Comments portal about this.

According to the expert, one of the reasons why the number of cases of illegal seizure of other people's property (land, corporate rights) is the lack of significant liability for the perpetrators. It is currently unknown whether the organizers or performers have been prosecuted for wrongful actions.

The most frequent victims of raiding are tenants of agricultural land, as it is possible to illegally seize the crop and sell it on the shadow market. Sometimes illegally seized land for industrial or commercial purposes for the purpose of illegally placing certain structures or blackmailing the rightful owners of such buildings.

To be protected against possible raids, you must, first of all, make sure that all paper work on land plots is done right:

  1. There is a duly concluded and signed lease agreement for land or other title document.
  2. The land plot has a cadastral number and it is registered in the State Land Cadastre.
  3. The right of lease or ownership is registered in the State Register of Real Rights to Immovable Property. This register appeared only on January 1, 2013, so all rights that arose before that date must be re-registered in the new register. For such re-registration you need to take he original documents and to apply to the state registrar at the local Center for Administrative Services or any state registrar within the region (at the location of the land).
  4. The originals of documents have to be kept in a protected place and may not fall into the hands of third parties.

Victoria Kipriianova recommends at least once a month to monitor the land bank and control whether the registered right has disappeared from the registers. As soon as it is known about a possible raid, it is necessary to immediately apply to the police and the Board of Complaints in the field of state registration at the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. If a violation is found in the state registrar’s actions (who committed the illegal registration), such an action will be revoked and the violated right will be restored. Quite often, contacting the Board is effective and allows to quickly solve the problem.

The expert notes that there are precedents when the Board either considers complaints for a long time or finds formal reasons for refusing to satisfy such complaints. For example, the Board cannot establish the fact of forgery of signatures or documents. In this case, an effective way of protection should be the judicial review of the case with the relevant examinations.

It is expected that from July 1, 2021 in Ukraine the moratorium on the sale of agricultural land will be canceled, so the victims of land raids will be the least protected citizens. Most landowners are the elderly rural population, who do not always have the opportunity to defend themselves in court or other institutions. It is very important to carry out informational and explanatory work among landowners on special attention to unknown persons, who come to the village and instead of the original documents offer certain amounts of money or ask for a notarized procuratory to dispose of the land plot.

The lawyer emphasizes that the state and local governments should be especially prepared for the beginning of the land market and properly organize the work of free legal aid on the ground. Only prompt response to any manifestations of land raiding and legal awareness of landowners will help to get rid of the very idea of ​​committing illegal acts.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021


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