Foreign Citizens and Living Accommodations in Russia
Alexander Ksenofontov, Senior Lawyer, LEVINE Bridge
According to Russian Civil and Housing Legislation, renting in Russia is made by agreement; the first party (landlord) agrees to provide to the second party (lessee) housing for rent.
Under article 2 of the civil code (CC RF) and article 4 of the housing code of Russia (HC RF) foreign citizens are obligated to follow established rules governing civil and housing legislation, except as otherwise provided by federal law. Therefore, foreign citizens wishing to rent housing in Russia can enter into renting agreements.
The object of a renting agreement may be separate living quarters, one which is suitable for permanent living (apartment, house, parts of an apartment or house).
Foreign citizens are not permitted to rent accommodation that is part of state or municipal housing intended for the social needs of Russian citizens. Foreigners may rent such accommodations by entering into a sublease agreement with the tenant of the property. In concluding such an agreement the renter should consider its particular features. A tenant of such a property may sublet only with the written consent of the landlord (state or municipal authority) and the members of his family who are living with him. The transfer of a property by sublet will not be permitted if there is living in that property a tenant who suffers from a chronic illness identified by the government of Russia.
Foreign citizens can conclude renting agreements with an owner of private housing or by sublease agreement provided the current lessee has the consent of the owner to sublease this property.
Before signing a renting agreement you must ensure that the person from whom you are renting is the authorized person, owner, agent or lessee who is authorized to sublease the property. Remember to check all relevant documents (proof of ownership, power of attorney).
Lease/sublease agreements are to be in writing. Failure to comply with forms of the agreements prevents their being used as testimonial evidence as a proof of a valid agreement.
Entering into a renting agreement we recommend include the following:
The object of the lease, exact address/ other data as identification of the leased housing;
Lease period (not longer than 5 years);
Rental amount, procedures for payment/ procedures for making changes in the amount of rent;
Procedures for making utility payments (included in rental amount, additional payments of lessee, to be paid by the landlord);
Allocation of responsibilities/shared costs for running/heavy repair;
Include a list of the property’s contents/ its condition (furniture, appliances, etc);
Also, when you pay for rent, we recommend obtaining a receipt which is proof of your payment.
In conclusion, the lessee must use the housing only for living, ensure the upkeep of the property and respect the rights of neighbours. Otherwise the renting agreement can be terminated by request of the landlord.