Paper chase associated with replanning of apartments may finally become history. Some days ago the government proposed the parliament to adopt the law "On amendments to some legislative acts of Ukraine regarding upgrade and replanning of dwellings", according to which Ukrainian citizens will no longer need to apply for permission to replan their housings. Press office of vice PM Oleksandr Vilkul informs that the draft bill has been developed following the European practice and approved by the government.

"The main conditions of the innovation include noninterference into load-bearing structures and engineering systems. Now, to make home remodeling citizens must apply to executive committees of local councils, and to make replanning - to the State architectural and building inspection. The paper work takes much time and troubles, thus Ukrainian do need this draft bill," Vilkul said and added that the law is the implementation of the best world experience on deregulation and simplification of paper registration procedure.

The document provides for amendments to the Housing Code, Administrative Violations Codes and the law "On urban planning control". According to the draft bill, the list of building works, which do not require permissions, will be defined by the Ministry for regional construction. The list will be developed within six months after the adoption of the draft bill by the parliament. 

To learn about the consequences of such innovation ForUm has asked experts.

Anatoly Blyznyuk, former minister for regional development and construction, MP from the Party of Regions:

- The approach must be very delicate. For example, we have houses built half a century ago, and slabs are made of wood, not steel concrete. How can you remove partition walls there? The same concerns “Khruschev-era” apartments and old panel nine-storied buildings. 

There are also modern methods of construction, when there is the entrance door and hundred square meters of free space, where you can make four or eight rooms, if you please. These are large-scale reconstructions and replannings, which can be and should be allowed to make without interference of state bodies. 

Dmytro Andriyevski, deputy head of the parliamentary committee on construction, urban planning and housing, MP from Batkivshchyna (Motherland) faction:

- The decision to cancel paperwork and permissions for replanning is wrong. There have been  many cases when such uncontrolled works resulted into building collapse.

Moreover, I believe it must be the powers of local district authorities to decide on permits to carry out replanning.

Svitlana Bovsunovska, president of the Experts League of Ukraine:

- The time must pass for our nation to become law obedient. And this moment has not come yet in Ukraine. It means that certain control is needed, especially concerning such important issue as housing. Every citizen must be sure that his apartment will not collapse if a neighbor downstairs removes a wall or a neighbor upstairs hangs a balcony. We do not have 100% assurance even now, but with the adoption of this law we may face total chaos. 
Speaking about Ministry's expectations that the cancellation of paper chase will save people's time and money and will bring to nought the corruption in this sphere, it is not going to happen. For example, you used to have a three-room apartment, but after replanning it has turned into two-room apartment, or you have enlarged the balcony and instead of 2 square meters, mentioned in the apartment's passport, you have four square meters of balcony. It means that technical characteristics of the apartment have changed and you have to register new measures anyway. And I can tell it is not going to be easy.  

Spiridon Kilinkarov, chairman of the parliamentary committee on construction, urban planning and housing, MP from the Communist Party:

- We have too many overregulated sectors, and too much paperwork may lead to corruption. This draft bill is called to deregulate the process, and I support such initiative.

However, certain control is still needed to check whether these replannings observe this very law. there is always a risk of human factor and violations. I think we will pass the draft bill in its first reading and then refine it in the committee.

Andriy Myrhorodskyi, architect:

- All walls, which are not load-bearing, can be moved. As for permissions for other changes, only the Architecture Head Committee can give them. The fact that the list of documents or works not subjected to licensing will be simplified does not mean that one can get a permission for removal of bearing constructions. It is impossible to legalize such replanning.

It is important to preserve control over documents. If someone removes a bearing wall, he must bear responsibility, as well as the person who gives permission for such works. I admit that after the adoption of this law violations may happen.

Tetyana Montyan, legal expert, lawyer:

- If replanning does not provide for interference into load-bearing walls, it is personal problem of the apartment's owner, but if it touches bearing constructions, it becomes illegal and offenders must be punished. In other cases you can do whatever you want.

However, there should be certain notifying control: the person must inform about the changes he plans and sign obligation not to touch bearing constructions. Similar scheme exists all over the world, while our people are forced to pay bribes to move the toilet door by five centimetres. It is not right.


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