How to get thrown when buying new buildings

About 300 new residential buildings are being built today in Moscow. Almost all of this construction is carried out with money collected from citizens: in the overwhelming majority of cases, apartments are sold already at the stage of the foundation pit.

For the sake of buying an apartment in a new building, many families sell their old housing, take out loans from banks, adjust their life plans depending on the completion date specified in the contract. But, as practice shows, having received the full cost of future housing from private investors, most developers lose interest in them and, taking advantage of complete impunity, solve exclusively their own problems..

The editorial mail has accumulated a considerable number of letters and appeals about “frozen” construction projects, about fully paid and even fully built houses, which are not allowed to citizens who have bought apartments – the newspaper periodically talks about such cases and plans to do so in the future. However, the generalization of this material is also of interest – the general picture of “kidalov” and the classification of its main schemes on the market of new buildings.

The combination of the principle of equity participation in construction and long-term construction gives construction companies a lot of advantages. You can “twist” money on the side for a long time, and then, for example, also demand additional payments for already paid apartments, arguing that over the past year “building materials have risen in price.” Thus, the delay in construction under the guise of all sorts of “good reasons” has acquired a massive character today..

Prolonged construction companies are often completely uninterested in completing construction. Their activity is rather pyramidal..

Therefore, aggressive advertising of housing does not stop, in seemingly already sold out new buildings. The calculation is simple: a shareholder who has lost patience demands to return the money to him, and the developer honestly returns to his “co-investor” the share that has depreciated over the past several years, having previously sold his apartment to new people – of course, at a new price. It happens that managers working with clients purposefully push them to terminate the contract, supporting rumors about the unstable situation of their home company. At the same time, the money is returned to the shareholder not only at face value, but also with payment by installments, which is not prohibited by law. It happens that a company, officially agreeing to return a share, nevertheless does not pay it right away, and no one knows for certain whether it will pay at all – many such stories are now just in the “waiting” stage..

However, a pyramid is a short-lived thing. And therefore, before the collapse, such a company is usually reorganized. “Co-investors” are informed that in connection with the division of the company, all guarantees under the concluded agreements are transferred to the new firm “Horns and Hooves” and are asked to confirm the fact of “non-termination of the agreement”. Of course, they are not allowed to check the separation balance of the developer. (When a company is divided, the balance sheets of new firms are approved by the tax office. At the same time, according to the law, only one of them should not fall into bankruptcy – contain more debts than assets – while others may well be “dummies”). Having shifted the profit to another place, all unprofitable assets are poured into the newly formed “Horns and Hooves” – so even after reaching the court and having sued their money, private investors cannot get it: the arrested company accounts are empty.

Of course, not all long-term construction projects are pyramids. And their developers actually believe in their honesty and lack of desire to violate the rights of co-investors. It’s just that anything can happen during construction. Therefore, the terms and prices, as a rule, are specified from time to time in “additional agreements”, the refusal to sign which (attention!) Is tantamount to termination of the contract. And there can be quite a lot of such additional agreements (as opposed to the main contract) for many years of construction.

Another scheme for making a profit from citizens of buyers is associated with the change of the developer during the construction of the house. For example, a developer who has entered into contracts can be deprived of a plot for debts, real or perceived violations. He can also assign his rights to someone else (in practice, the same physical persons may stand behind different legal entities). But the new company, which received the object in this way, naturally does not want to “engage in charity” and requires serious additional payments from the shareholders, or all the same – termination of the contract, which is quite beneficial for it.

Private investors can expect a lot of shocks even when the house is ready.

For example, they may be asked to pay extra. Moreover, we are not talking about an additional payment of 5-10% (this has already become part of the order of things) – the cost of an apartment at the last moment may double. At the same time, firms do not provide documents confirming the size and legality of these additional payments. They have a more effective means – blackmail. Shareholders are threatened with termination of contracts or do not submit to the registration authorities the documents necessary for registration of apartments in ownership. It is very difficult to sue in such cases. The fact is that until recently, all co-investment agreements were drawn up exclusively in favor of the developer. In fact, it was impossible not to sign such an agreement, to demand to change some points in it. The conversation in such cases was short: “I do not like it – we do not force you! There is a queue of those who want to be there”.

Another fairly common trick is that by the time the house is handed over, the customer “turns out” to be insolvent and cannot pay off the contractor. And in this case, the same people are often behind different legal entities. In the course of the arbitration court, the customer admits his guilt and pays with the house, which has already been seized by this time. The contractor sells the apartments for the second time, and, at best, returns their original shares to the first buyers..

Another disease of developers is astounding forgetfulness. Some of them recall the “city share” in the newly built house only after private investors have already bought this share from them.

And more often they do not remember at all – after all, the developer concludes an agreement with the city, and apartments are sold through investment companies and real estate firms, which formally do not owe the city anything. They are not at all embarrassed by the lack of documents permitting the sale of this housing. As a result, the situation “freezes”: the local authorities, having not received their share, block the settlement and do not put the house into operation, the courts slowly deal with counterclaims, and the citizens who paid for the construction out of their own pocket have been in a state of severe stress for years.

Another option for fruitful cooperation between developers and local authorities may be the emergence of a whole microdistrict, not provided, for example, with engineering infrastructure..

By the time such an object is commissioned, it “suddenly” becomes clear that the available city capacities are not enough to connect it to communications. And for the construction of new boiler houses, water intakes, central heating stations and communications, more money is required than was spent on housing and social and cultural facilities, and neither side is going to invest them. The developer nods to the local authorities, the authorities to the developer, and between them crowd of protesters who honestly paid for new apartments exactly as much as they demanded.

But, even after moving into a new apartment and registering it as a property, a private investor should not relax completely.

Selling apartments, realtors strictly keep their main secret – town planning plans for the development area. And it often happens that the buyer who has paid for the “favorable ecology” and “picturesque views” is expected to build a motorway or another multi-storey complex under his windows. As a result, the view of the green distance gives way to the view of the construction site, which works day and night, and then to the view of the wall of the new house.

As a rule, citizens, deceived in their best expectations, try to appeal to the authorities. But neither in Moscow nor in the region is it known about a single case when government agencies would react to desperate requests for help..

Usually, such inaction is explained by the fact that city structures are not a party to the contracts of shareholders with developers and therefore are not obliged (and even have no right) to intervene in economic disputes that must be resolved in court. True, when this is due to their own benefit or there are personal accounts with the developer, local authorities intervene more than actively, while protecting interests that are directly opposite to the interests of citizens.

Unfortunately, nothing will be able to help citizens who have become hostages of shared construction, and the new federal law “On shared participation in housing construction”.

Focused on the protection of private investors, the law establishes a universal form of contract, fixed terms and prices for construction, prohibits the misuse of funds, but this law does not apply to legal relations that arose before its entry into force (before April 1, 2005). Moreover, the law applies only to those objects, the construction permit for which was received after April 1, 2005. And many companies have already announced that this law will not affect them in any way, since they have a lot of projects, the construction permit for which was received earlier..

So those who are planning to invest their hard-earned money in the construction, which began earlier than April 1, will have to play by the old rules. With all the ensuing circumstances.

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