The case of the so-called “Monster House” in Podil, which became a landmark for the capital. Here is everything that characterizes the new construction in the center of Kyiv: “extra” floors, “cheated” investors, non-existent agreements and a bunch of courts. Thus, after seven years of wandering in the courts, the Supreme Court ordered… to begin consideration of the case on the merits.
Excavations of the ancient underground
History of the “Monster House” on the street. Nyzhniy Val 27-29 dates back long before the first court hearing in the case, which took place back in 2014. Thus, three years earlier, the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine (MinCult) issued a permit for archaeological research at the corner of streets Konstantinovskaya and Nizhniy Val, where the future “monster” was to appear. The flavour of the situation was added by the fact that in this place Petrovsky-Krasnoarmeyskaya (“blue”) line of the capital’s subway passes.
Here, among the historical buildings of the past centuries, it was constructed in an open way, dismantling the historical buildings and leaving a “gap” among the dense buildings on the surface. Such a “gap” attracted the attention of the future developer – the company “Patel Leasing”.
Kaleidoscope of courts
Archaeological excavations of the underground line were quickly completed and the construction of a commercial office building began. Initially, it was a 9-storey building with one attic apartment, but during construction the house changed its occupancy (from office to residential) and storeys – from 7 plus attic to 9 and even 11 floors plus attic. These disturbances were no longer supported by the Ministry of Culture and the developer did not receive the appropriate approval for completion, which later became one of the grounds for the lawsuit.
In 2014, the Kyiv City Council sued the developer and even, with the substantial support of the local community, managed to win the first instance in the Commercial Court of Kyiv. Consideration of the case then amounted to 5 years! However, such a long-awaited decision was soon appealed. The Northern Commercial Court of Appeal ruled that the case did not fall within the jurisdiction of the commercial courts at all. The Kyiv City Council and Kyiv residents did not agree with this. Therefore, this decision was also appealed, and on January 21, the Commercial Court of Cassation of the Supreme Court passed a Resolution, according to which obliged the appellate court to begin consideration of the case on the merits.
It will be recalled that the decision of the appeal court that the case has a different, non-commercial jurisdiction. So while this, to put it mildly, unobvious decision of the Kyiv City Council and the community was being appealed in the Supreme Court, the developer did not twiddle thumbs. Thus, development company Patelle Leasing , taking advantage of the conclusion that the dispute over the legality of the completion of “extra” floors to the jurisdiction of commercial courts, opened a “second front” in the well-known District Administrative Court of Kyiv.
The developer asked the court nothing less than to oblige the State Architectural and Construction Inspectorate to issue him a operational readiness certificate for the three times rebuilt building! But that’s not all !! Taking advantage of the confusion in the legal status of the unfinished object (in fact the decision of the appeal court on the improper consideration negated all the conclusions of the court of first instance, in particular on the illegality of the building), the top floors investors began to register their relatives and even children at the apartments.
The last procedure served as an argument of the developer to close the business case and demand the transfer of the case to the third branch of justice – civil. However, after hearing the point of view of the developer’s lawyer on the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and providing a brief summary: “Did these children” settle “there before or after the trial?” during the proceedings the Presiding Judge of the High Commercial Court of Ukraine as part of he Supreme Court Yuriy Chumak resolved: “The case should be referred to the Northern Commercial Appeal Court for further consideration on the merits.”
Translated by Ilona Veretelnyk