'Application of Land Consolidation Act could have complicated consequences for Ukraine due to its poor legal writing,' Oleksandr Polivodskyy says

Ukraine will breathe new life into collective property and reserve land, limit the term of perpetual lease, introduce the exchange of land rights, and take an inventory of the agricultural land tract that can be registered in the state land cadastre.

Ukrainians will face all these novelties from 1 January 2019 with the enactment of Act No. 2498-VIII amending certain Ukrainian legislative instruments addressing the issue of collective ownership of land, improvement of land use within agricultural land tracts, prevention of illegal takeovers and promotion of irrigation in Ukraine.

Sofiya Law Firm partner Mr Oleksandr Polivodskyy has analysed the Act that agrarians call simply the 'Consolidation Act' for VOX Ukraine web resource.

The expert expects that the implementation of the novelties will have tricky consequences: 'On the one hand, the bill offers a slight progress in solving relevant problems, but contains a significant number of uncertainties in terms of its wording and application on the other.'

For example, when it comes to the term 'significant share of a land tract,' difficulties may arise with respect to the manner in which such share should be calculated – based on either a registered or actual tract, either including field roads or excluding them?

According to Mr Polivodskyy, another issue pending relates to the exchange of lease rights without the consent of the landowner, which obviously affects the interests of the latter. What should be the principles for the registration of transfers and cancellations of such rights by the lessee? Will it be impossible to cancel the registration of such rights?

Another difficult matter relates to the restoration of the term 'collective property' in Ukrainian law. This will require the reintroduction of documents issued more than twenty years ago as part of the reorganisation of collective farms. In many cases, such documents are not available or, where they do exist, individuals have no access to them for obvious reasons. Accordingly, it will be quite a challenge for private owners to obtain such documents.

To learn about other problems arising from the lack of legal clarity, please read the entire article entitled 'What are the shortcomings of the Consolidation Act?'

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