How to exchange an apartment

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The exchange of an apartment is one of the most difficult real estate transactions, because, in fact, it includes the elements of a very time consuming transaction of buying and selling an apartment. To properly prepare for this transaction, it is useful to first familiarize yourself with the content of the articles on the purchase and sale of apartments, which you will find on this site..

When making an exchange, a person who wants to change his home for another, equivalent, better, or more economical, inevitably acts both as a “kind of seller” and in the role of “kind of a buyer”. He is forced to prepare his apartment for exchange, giving it a presentation. He has to collect and restore many documents on his property. And, at the same time, he must check the apartment of his counterparty offered to him for exchange, both for cleanliness in the literal sense of the word, and cleanliness in its legal sense.

Naturally, he can hire a real estate company, which will take care of all the issues related to checking the documentation for the apartment, which is available to his counterparty. The real estate company will check the authenticity of the title documents, determine whether the living space offered for exchange has any encumbrances, and whether this option is fraught with unpleasant surprises, such as an unshaven marginal who came from places of confinement and claiming “his own corner”.

However, let’s leave realtors lazy.

Here we will talk about how to exchange an apartment on your own. We will reveal to you the “rules of the game” and instruct you how to follow them in order to get the desired living space as a result of the transaction, and, in addition, to be able to happily calculate how much you have saved on real estate services, and what you can buy with this money for furnishings of a new apartment.

What do you have

First of all, think about what you yourself are offering in exchange. Is your home privatized or is it municipal property? If so, be sure to privatize it. The fact is that it is much more difficult, and sometimes even impossible, to exchange a living space that is owned under a social tenancy agreement, and its price on the real estate market during purchase and sale transactions is significantly lower. Accordingly, with equal quality characteristics of apartments, a non-privatized apartment is likely to be exchanged with a surcharge.

Exchange of privatized apartments

But even when exchanging a privatized apartment, there are many nuances that should be taken into account. The situation of the exchange of a privatized apartment for a privatized apartment is, as it were, a mirror image. Because what we are going to talk about now applies equally to your apartment and to the apartment of the person with whom you intend to exchange.

Exchange of privatized apartments

If you do not live alone, or the residence of other people is registered in the apartment, then you will have to attach a written consent from all these people to the general package of documents necessary for registering the transaction. This document must be drawn up and signed in the presence of a notary, who will certify their signatures.

Consent to the exchange must be obtained from all persons who are registered on this living space, it does not matter at all whether they are your relatives or not. Also, consent must be obtained from persons who do not live in this apartment, but by law I have any rights to it. In particular, this is a divorced spouse, any other co-owner who is on urgent military service or on a long business trip.

A permit for exchange should be obtained from the guardianship and guardianship authorities if the residence of incapacitated or partially capable persons, as well as minors, is registered in the apartment. At the same time, the guardianship and trusteeship authorities have the right not to issue such a permit if, after the exchange of an apartment, the living conditions of minors and other persons under guardianship worsen.


And now we will list the documents that must be provided for the exchange of a privatized apartment, and also, if your counterparty also has a privatized apartment, you should demand them from him.

Exchange of a privatized apartment

Once again, we draw your attention to the fact that the exchange of privatized apartments implies mirror actions of the parties. Naturally, there may be some nuances and details, but the general principle remains unchanged.

So, the documents …

First of all, this is an application from the owner to the local authority for registration of rights to real estate and transactions with it in the form proposed by this authority. They also submit documents of title to the apartment, an extract from the house book, a certificate of the absence of arrears in the payment of rent and utility bills, a certificate from the tax authorities on the absence of arrears on property taxes, Documents are submitted from the BTI, in particular a technical passport, a floor plan and an explication.

Before submitting documents, you will have to pay a state fee for registering the transaction. It is best to find out the payment details and the amount of the payment directly at the office of the local authority when registering rights to real estate and transactions with it. Attach the original receipt of payment of the state duty to the set of documents.

The registration authority, on the basis of the submitted documents, registers the exchange agreement, which the parties to the apartment exchange transaction sign in the presence of a notary.

A sample barter agreement is easy to find on the Internet. In addition, almost all notary offices provide a service for drawing up such an agreement..

How much are the apartments

The exchange contract must indicate the price of both apartments. However, there is one subtlety here..

How much is

And really, how much are the apartments?

The fact is that when people change apartments, they seem to admit that these apartments are of equal value. They are such for them, from the point of view of consumer qualities, otherwise the exchange would not make sense.

However, the exchanged apartments very rarely have the same market value..

A professional and licensed appraiser can be invited to determine the market value of the apartments. Thus, you can find out the difference in the cost of apartments, and determine the additional payment.

But most often, the exchange participants agree on the additional payment on their own, defining it as if “by eye”. This is exactly the case when “consent is a product with mutual non-resistance of the parties”.

Alternative deal

Nevertheless, in the contract the cost of the apartments is indicated as the same. This is for convenience, and so that the party that receives the additional payment would not pay tax on this amount. It is quite a normal and innocent trick when an additional payment is made after the transaction is made from hand to hand, but, as a rule, in the presence of a notary.

However, in this situation, you can inadvertently overplay. The fact is that the registering body, analyzing the documents, may come to the conclusion that the market value of the exchanged apartments differs significantly, and on this basis, recognize the exchange agreement as invalid.

From the moment of state registration of the contract, ownership of the apartments arises from both parties to the transaction.

Alternative deal

Sometimes, one of the parties to an apartment exchange transaction does not have an apartment to exchange at the time of preparation of the transaction.

What does it mean?

This means that someone is very interested in purchasing an apartment like yours. He is satisfied with the apartment itself, and the area where it is located, and the price. But he has nothing to offer in return. That is, he does not have an equivalent apartment. Therefore, at his own expense, he acquires an apartment equal to the one that you have. In this case, the area of ​​its location and some other conditions are agreed with you..

This operation is called an alternative trade or hidden exchange..

It must be admitted that this exchange method is very convenient, because it reduces the time required to select the desired option, creates optimal conditions for carrying out multi-stage exchange transactions.

Municipal housing exchange

An alternative transaction is formalized through the conclusion of a sales contract. Naturally, like a barter agreement, a sale and purchase agreement is registered with the local authority for registration of property rights to real estate and transactions with it..

Be carefull

Both when concluding a barter agreement and when concluding a sale and purchase agreement, carefully examine the documents for the apartment and the documents of its owner. “Excessive” meticulousness and pickiness in such matters will not hurt. If your counterparty is a conscientious person, he will understand everything correctly, and, obviously, he will show similar attention to the documents submitted by you..

If the parties have any doubts, contact professional realtors or lawyers who specialize in real estate transactions. In addition, the notary who certifies your signatures under the agreement is obliged to check the documents on the basis of which this transaction is made. This serves as an additional guarantee of the “purity” of the transaction.

Municipal housing exchange

The deal on the exchange of municipal housing is being made somewhat differently.

A reservation should be made right away that it is practically impossible to exchange privatized housing for municipal housing directly. First, the municipal apartment will have to be privatized.

But it is possible to exchange one municipal apartment for another municipal apartment, but only with the consent of the landlords of these residential premises to the deal. At the same time, there are many reasons why the completion of this transaction will become impossible..

A municipal apartment cannot be exchanged for a similar apartment if a claim is brought against its tenant to terminate or amend the social rental agreement of the apartment.

Exchange documents

Such a transaction will also be invalid in cases where an arrest is imposed on the apartment, if it is a subject of pledge, if the right to use it is contested in court.

An apartment that belongs to a special departmental fund or is an apartment in a hostel cannot be exchanged.

Cannot participate in an exchange transaction for a premise that has been declared unfit for habitation, or if the house in which it is located is subject to demolition, refurbishment, or intended for other purposes.

The registering authority will not issue a transaction if its conditions imply a significant deterioration in the living conditions of one of the parties, or one of the parties, after its completion, will need to improve its living conditions.

And again about the documents

If there are no such obstacles for the exchange of two municipal apartments, then the following documents must be submitted to the registering authority:

  • A statement from the tenant of public housing (the responsible tenant), which must be signed by all family members who have reached the age of majority, including those who do not currently live in this apartment, to sign their consent to the transaction.
  • Originals and copies of the order and contract of social tenancy of the municipal apartment.
  • An extract from the house book with information about all persons currently living in this apartment.
  • A certificate from the ZhEK or its equivalent, about the absence of arrears in payments for housing and communal services.

As in the case of the exchange of privatized housing, in order to complete the transaction, the consent of the guardianship and guardianship authorities must be provided if incapacitated persons, persons with limited legal capacity and minors live in the exchanged municipal apartment.

When making an exchange, the living conditions of these categories of citizens cannot be worsened.

Making an exchange

When all of the above documents are collected, and subject to the above conditions, the exchanging parties (employers) sign an exchange agreement. This agreement is submitted by each of the tenants to their landlord in order to obtain approval for the exchange.

The landlord agrees or refuses in writing to approve the application submitted by the applicant. According to the law, the landlord has ten days to consider such an application. Therefore, do not hesitate and rush the clumsy officials if the time starts to “roll over” beyond the bounds of decency.

When such an agreement is obtained, each of the persons exchanging municipal apartments enters into a social tenancy agreement with their new landlord, after which the exchange is considered complete.

After the exchange, the exchange agreement should be registered with the local authority for registration of rights to real estate and transactions with it.

At this point, the apartment exchange procedure is considered complete, and, in the case of privatized apartments, the parties become the owners of the new housing, and the persons using their apartments under a social tenancy agreement become the tenants of new housing..

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