How to act if it is impossible to restore property ownership documents

In the event that it is not possible to issue duplicates or copies of lost title documents, and there is no information about the ownership of housing in the register, filing a lawsuit in court is an option for solving the problem.

One of the ways that the Property Owner can use is his right to file a claim for recognition of the right of ownership:

  • if such right is disputed or not recognized by another person;
  • in case the owner loses a document certifying his ownership (Article 392 of the Civil Code of Ukraine).

Such a lawsuit is filed based on the location of the property (Part 1, Article 30 of the Code of Civil Procedure) to a local self-government body or a local executive body. The plaintiff has the opportunity to file a claim through the “Electronic Court” portal using a qualified electronic signature. The general term of appeal to the court is set at 3 years from the day when the person learned or could have learned about the violation of his right, or about the person who violated it.

In order for the court to recognize ownership of real estate, the title document for which has been lost, it is advisable to submit the following evidence:

  • a statement to the law enforcement agencies about the loss of the original documents (for the court, such a statement will be a confirmation that the person did not destroy the document on his own or otherwise did not get rid of it intentionally);
  • a letter from the body that issued the legal document about the refusal to issue a duplicate due to its absence or impossibility of issue;
  • certificate from BTI on the absence of records of ownership registration;
  • a letter/certificate/response to an appeal from a local self-government body or a local executive body, which in any other way certifies a person’s ownership of property, orders of privatization bodies, decisions of local self-government bodies on the transfer of land plots to private ownership and/or approval of land management projects, extracts from farm books, etc.
  • archive documents of notary authorities, registration documents of housing, garden cooperatives, condominiums, other balance holders, extracts from registers of territorial communities, accounts of providers of housing and communal services, specialized service organizations, documents on the order and delivery of goods and services;
  • testimony of witnesses, documents confirming the fact of registration of the place of residence of an individual and his family members, real estate insurance, etc.

IMPORTANT! In accordance with clause 21 part 1 of article 5 of the ZU “On court fees” – applicants in cases for statements on the establishment of facts of legal significance submitted in connection with armed aggression, armed conflict, temporary occupation of the territory of Ukraine, emergency situations of a natural or man-made nature that led to forced resettlement from the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, death, injury, captivity, illegal deprivation of liberty or kidnapping, loss of documents necessary to receive compensation for damaged and destroyed real estate objects as a result of hostilities, acts of terrorism, sabotage caused by the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, as well as violation of the right to ownership of movable and/or immovable property are exempted from paying the court fee for filing a claim for the recognition of the right of ownership (applications for the establishment of facts of legal significance).

Before going to court, it is important to make sure that there is no other way to obtain or restore a document that confirms ownership of real estate.

Pay attention! the law of Ukraine “On compensation for damage and destruction of certain categories of real estate objects” establishes that an application for compensation for a destroyed object can be submitted in the absence of title documents, as a result of their loss or in connection with the need to establish facts , which have legal significance.

In this case, the recipient of the compensation can submit the relevant documents additionally or turn to the compensation commission with a request to assist in obtaining the relevant documents. The commission can make requests to any authorities / local self-government, enterprises, institutions – regarding confirmation of the applicant’s ownership.

The publication was prepared within the framework of the Project “Increasing awareness among self-governing municipalities and citizens on recording the destruction caused by war”, which is implemented by the Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils with the support of the “Phoenix” Project, which is implemented by the East Europe Foundation at the expense of the European Union.