Oleksandr Polivodskyy has told what one should do if denied his right to obtain land for free

Ukrainian nationals are entitled to obtain land for free. However, what one should do if a government or local authority denies his right to privatize land?

Sofiya Law Firm partner Mr Oleksandr Polivodskyy has told about the problem during the School of Law show run on the Kyiv channel and addressing the burning issue of land privatization.

'First, it is necessary to analyse the expediency of, and the grounds for, challenging the denial and to make sure that the denial is illegal,' the advocate has pointed out. Traditionally, there are two ways to address the issue – either in or out of court. The choice depends on many factors and circumstances.

The most important thing is to obtain the written refusal from the government or local authority setting out the reasons why the requested land plot cannot be transferred into the private ownership of the individual. That refusal will serve as strong evidence when applying to special authorities (such as, for example, land dispute committees) and brining an action to a court.

'In the case of litigation against the government or local authority, it is this evidence that will be used to make one's case,' the expert has stressed. However, litigation is a long lasting and second best solution to a dispute, but Ukrainian law lacks extrajudicial instruments. In addition, the land sector is quire corrupt. Such disputes are rarely resolved out of court, primarily when a refusal is obviously illegal.

Therefore, if willing to bring a court action, be ready to make significant efforts to properly substantiate your claims both in terms of form and substance. 'Ill-founded arguments may result in the dismissal of an action,’ Mr Polivodskyy has warned.

It is up to a prospective landowner and his lawyers to decide which remedy should be chosen to defend his right to privatize a land plot. However, it is understood that an amicable settlement would be the best option to save money and time.

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