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Apartment Alterations


By: Oleksii Khrystoforov, Attorney at Law, Head of Ilyashev & Partners’ Kharkiv Office
Source: The Dengi

Section 383 of the Civil Code authorizes the owner of an apartment at its sole discretion to make any alterations to the property, subject at all times to the condition that such alterations respect the rights of his neighbours and meet any relevant requirements of sanitary and housing regulations. Current building regulations expressly prohibit demolishing structural walls.

Therefore, if you learn that one of your neighbours makes any replanning that affects any structural elements you can report the violation to the owner or operator of the property and to State Architectural and Construction Supervision authority (DABN/GASK). It is important that you file a complaint with the police. They will verify your complaint and if it turns true, violators may face criminal charges.

Owners or tenants who make serious alterations but fail to request permission from the local authority (Food Safety, Disease Control and Prevention, Fire Marshall, Architectural and Construction Supervision, etc.) will face a warning or fine. Honestly speaking, the fine is merely tokenistic ranging from UAH 17 up to UAH 119. However, if the replanning activities have caused harm damage or endanger the life of the neighbours, violators will be prosecuted more harshly facing up to 12 years in custody under Section 270(1) of the Penal Code in effect from January 2011.

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