The Civil Code of the Russian Federation

(with the Additions and Amendments of February 20, August 12, 1996,
October 24, 1997, July 8, December 17, 1999, April 16, May 15,
November 26, 2001, March 21, November 14, 26, 2002,
January 10, March 26, November 11, December 23, 2003)

Part I
Section II
Chapter 14
The Acquisition of the Right of Ownership

Chapter 14. The Acquisition of the Right of Ownership

Article 218. The Grounds for the Acquisition of the Right of Ownership


1. The right of ownership to a new thing, manufactured or created by the person for himself, while abiding by the law and by the other legal acts, shall be acquired by this person. The right of ownership to the fruits, the products and the incomes, derived through the use of the property, shall be acquired on the grounds, stipulated by Article 136 of the present Code.
2. The right of ownership to the property, which has its owner, may be acquired by the other person on the grounds of the contract of the purchase and sale, of the exchange and of making a gift, or on the ground of another kind of the deal on the alienation of this property. In the case of the citizen's death, the right of ownership to the property he has owned shall pass by the right of succession to the other persons in conformity with the will or with the law.
In the case of the reorganization of the legal entity, the right of ownership to the property it has owned shall pass to the legal entities, which are the legal successors of the reorganized legal entity.
3. In the cases and in the order, stipulated by the present Code, the person may acquire the right of ownership to the ownerless property, to the property, whose owner is unknown, and to the property, which the owner has renounced or to which he has lost the right of ownership on the other law-stipulated grounds.
4. The member of the housing, housing-construction, country cottage, garage or another kind of the consumer cooperative, and also the other persons, enjoying the right to make share accumulations, who have paid up in full their share contribution for the flat, the country cottage, the garage or the other quarters, given to these persons by the cooperative, shall acquire the right of ownership to the said property.

Article 219. Arising of the Right of Ownership to the Newly Created Realty


The right of ownership to the buildings, the structures and the other newly created realty, subject to the state registration, shall arise from the moment of such registration.

Article 220. The Processing


1. Unless otherwise stipulated by the contract, the right of ownership to a new movable thing, which the person has manufactured by processing the materials he does not own, shall be acquired by the owner of the materials. However, if the cost of the processing essentially exceeds the cost of the materials, the right of ownership to the new thing shall be acquired by the person who, while acting in good faith, has effected the processing for himself.
2. Unless otherwise stipulated by the contract, the owner of the materials, who has acquired the right of ownership to the thing, manufactured from them, shall be obliged to recompense the cost of the processing to the person, who has performed it, and in the case of the right of ownership to the new thing being acquired by the latter, this person shall be obliged to recompense the cost of the materials to their owner.
3. The owner of the materials, who has been deprived of them as a result of the actions in bad faith of the person, who has executed the processing, shall have the right to claim that the new thing be transferred into his ownership and that the losses, inflicted upon him, be compensated.

Article 221. Turning into the Ownership of the Objects, Generally Available for Collection


In the cases, when in conformity with the law or with the general permission of the owner, or in conformity with the local custom, in the woods, in the water bodies or on the other territory, the berry-picking, fishing, gathering, extraction, hunting and trapping of the generally available objects and animals is admitted, the right of ownership to the corresponding objects shall belong to the person, who has performed these actions.

Article 222. The Unauthorized Structure


1. The unauthorized structure shall be a living house and any other building or structure, erected on the land plot, which has not been allotted for this purpose in conformity with the order, established by the law or by the other legal acts, or that erected without having obtained the necessary permit to this effect, or that built with the substantial violation of the norms and rules, laid down for the town-development and construction.
2. The person, who has built an unauthorized structure, shall not acquire the right of ownership to it. He shall have no right to dispose of the said structure, i.e., to sell it, to make a gift of it, to give it in rent and to perform the other deals with it. The unauthorized structure shall be subject to demolition by the person, who has erected it, or at his expense, with the exception of the cases, stipulated by Item 3 of the present Article.
3. The right of ownership to the unauthorized structure may be recognized by the court in the person, who has erected it on the land plot he does not own, on the condition that the given land plot shall be allotted to this person in conformity with the established order for the structure built on it. The right of ownership to an unauthorized structure may be recognized by the court in the person, in whose ownership, inherited life possession or permanent (perpetual) use the land plot, on which the said structure has been built, is situated. In this case, the person, whose right of ownership to the structure has been recognized, shall recompense the expenses, involved in its erection, to the person, who has built it, in the amount, defined by the court.
The right of ownership to the unauthorized structure shall not be adjudged to the said persons, if the maintenance of the structure infringes upon the rights and the law-stipulated interests of the other persons or if it jeopardizes the citizens' life and health.

Article 223. The Moment of the Right of Ownership Arising in the Acquirer by the Contract


1. The right of ownership shall arise in the acquirer of the thing from the moment of its transfer, unless otherwise stipulated by the law or by the contract.
2. In the cases, when the alienation of the property is subject to the state registration, the right of ownership shall arise with the buyer from the moment of such registration, unless otherwise established by the law.

Article 224. The Transfer of the Thing


1. The transfer shall be recognized as the handing in of the thing to the acquirer, and also as the handing in to a transporter for the delivery to the acquirer or the passing to a communications agency for forwarding to the acquirer of the things, alienated without an obligation of delivery. The thing shall be regarded as handed in to the acquirer from the moment of its actually being placed into the possession of the acquirer or of the person, whom he has named.
2. If by the moment of concluding the contract on the alienation of the thing it has already been placed into the acquirer's possession, it shall be regarded as transferred to him from this moment.
3. The transfer of the thing shall be equalized to the transfer of the bill of lading or of another document of title to the thing.

Article 225. Ownerless Things


1. The thing shall be recognized as ownerless, if it has no owner, or if its owner is unknown, of if he has renounced his right of ownership to the said thing.
2. Unless this is excluded by the rules of the present Code on the acquisition of the right of ownership to the things, which have been renounced by the owner (Article 226), on the find (Articles 227 and 228), on the neglected animals (Articles 230 and 231) and on the treasure (Article 233), the right of ownership to the ownerless movables may be acquired by force of the acquisitive prescription.
3. The ownerless immovable things shall be registered by the body, engaged in the state registration of the right to the realty, upon the application of the local self-government body, on whose territory they are situated. After the expiry of one year from the day of registration of the ownerless immovable thing, the body, authorized to manage the municipal property, may file a claim with the court for recognizing the municipal ownership to the given thing.
The ownerless immovable thing, which has not been recognized by the court ruling as given into the municipal ownership, may once again be accepted into the possession, the use and the disposal by its owner, who has formerly left it, or it may be acquired into ownership by force of the acquisitive prescription.

Article 226. The Movables, Renounced by the Owner


1. The movable things, abandoned by their owner, or left by him in another way with the purpose of renouncing his right of their ownership (the abandoned things), may be turned by the other persons into their ownership in conformity with the order, stipulated by Item 2 of the present Article.
2. The person, in whose ownership, possession or use is the land plot, water body or another object, where the abandoned thing, which costs obviously less than the sum, corresponding to the five-fold minimum amount of the remuneration of labour, and also the abandoned metal scrap, the rejected products, the sinken logs in the floating, the dumps and the drains formed in the extraction of minerals, the production and the other kind of wastes are located, shall have the right to turn these things into his ownership by starting to use them, or by performing the other actions, testifying to the thing being turned into ownership. The other abandoned things shall go into the ownership of the person, who has entered into their possession, if, upon the application of this person, the court has recognized them as ownerless.

Article 227. The Find


1. The person, who has found a lost thing, shall be obliged to immediately notify about this the person, who has lost it, or the person, who is its owner, or somebody else from among the persons he knows, who have the right to obtain it, and to return the thing he has found to this person. If the thing has been found indoors or in a transport vehicle, it shall be subject to being handed over to the person, representing the owner of the quarters or of the transport vehicle in question. In this case, the person, to whom the find has been handed over, shall acquire the rights and shall discharge the obligations of the person, who has found the thing.
2. If the person, who has the right to claim that the found thing be returned to him, or the place of his stay is not known, the person, who has found the thing, shall be obliged to declare the find to the militia or to the local self-government body.
3. The person, who has found the thing, shall have the right to keep it or to give it for keeping to the militia, to the local self-government body, or to the person these have pointed out. The perishable thing or the thing, the cost of whose storage is inordinately great compared with its cost, may be realized by the person, who has found it; the latter shall obtain a written proof of the earnings he has derived. The money, received from the sale of the find, shall be subject to the return to the person, legally entitled to obtain it.
4. The person, who has found the thing, shall be answerable for the said thing's loss or damage only in the case of an evil intent or of a flagrant carelessness on his part, and then only within the limits of its cost.

Article 228. Acquisition of the Right of Ownership to the Find


1. If in the course of six months from the moment of the declaration of the find to the militia or to the local self-government body (Item 2 of Article 227), the person, legally entitled to obtain the found thing, is not identified, or does not himself declare his right to the thing to the person, who has found it, to the militia or to the self-government body, the person, who has found it, shall acquire the right of ownership to the given thing.
2. In case the person, who has found the thing, refuses to acquire the found thing into his ownership, it shall be turned into the municipal ownership.

Article 229. Compensation of the Expenses, Involved in the Find, and the Reward to the Person, Who Has Found It


1. The person, who has found and returned the thing to the person, legally entitled to obtain it, shall have the right to receive from this person, and in case the thing is turned into the municipal ownership - from the corresponding local self-government body, the compensation of the necessary expenses, involved in the keeping, handing in or realization of the thing, as well as the outlays he has made in his efforts to discover the person, who has the right to obtain the thing.
2. The person, who has found the thing, shall have the right to claim from the person, legally entitled to obtain it, the reward for the find, amounting to up to 20 per cent of its cost. If the found thing presents a value only to the person, legally entitled to obtain it, the amount of the reward shall be defined by an agreement with this person. The right to the reward shall not arise, if the person, who has found the thing, has not declared the find or has tried to conceal it.

Article 230. The Neglected Animals


1. The person, who has detained the neglected or stray cattle or the other neglected domestic animals, shall be obliged to return them to the owner, and if the owner of the animals or the place of his stay is not known, shall declare, within three days from the moment of their detention, about his finding the said animals to the militia or to the local self-government body, which shall take measures to find their owner.
2. The person, who has detained the animals, may maintain and use them during the time, required to find their owner, or turn them over for the maintenance and use to another person, disposing of the necessary facilities. By the request of the person, who has detained the neglected animals, the search for a person, who disposes of the necessary facilities for their maintenance, and the transfer of the said animals to this person shall be effected by the militia or by the local self-government body.
3. The person, who has detained the neglected animals, and also that person, to whom they have been turned over for the maintenance and for the use, shall be obliged to keep them properly and shall be answerable for their perish and for the harm done to the animals through their fault within the limits of the animals' cost.

Article 231. Acquisition of the Right of Ownership to the Neglected Animals


1. If, in the course of six months from the moment, when the declaration about the detention of the neglected animals was made, their owner has not been found or has not himself claimed his right to them, the person, in whose maintenance and use the animals have been, shall acquire the right of ownership to them. In case this person has refused to acquire the right of ownership to the animals in his maintenance, they shall be turned into the municipal ownership and shall be used in conformity with the procedure, laid down by the local self-government body.
2. If the former owner of the animals turns up after their being passed over into the ownership of another person, the former owner shall have the right, in case the said animals are showing the signs of affection for him, or in case the new owner treats them cruelly or improperly, to claim that they be returned to him on the terms, defined by an agreement with the new owner, and if it is impossible to reach such an agreement - on the terms, ruled by the court.

Article 232. Compensation of the Expenses Involved in Keeping Neglected Animals and the Reward for Them


In case the neglected domestic animals are returned to the owner, the person, who has detained the animals, and also the person, in whose maintenance and use they have been, shall be entitled to the compensation by the owner of their outlays on the maintenance of the animals, with offsetting the profits, derived from their use.
The person, who has detained the neglected domestic animals, shall have the right to the reward in conformity with Item 2 of Article 229 of the present Code.

Article 233. The Treasure


1. The treasure, i.e., the money or the other valuable things, buried underground or hidden away in any other manner, whose owner cannot be identified or, by force of the law, has lost the right to them, shall be turned into the ownership of the person, who is the owner of the property (the land plot, the building, etc.), where the treasure was hidden, and of the person, who has discovered the treasure, in equal shares, unless another kind of agreement has been reached between them. In case the treasure is discovered by the person, who has been performing excavation work or the search for valuables without obtaining a permission to this effect from the owner of the land plot or of the other property, where it was hidden, the treasure shall be subject to the transfer to the owner of the land plot or of the other property, where the treasure was discovered.
2. In case of discovering a treasure, containing things, which have a bearing to the monuments of culture or history, they shall be handed over into the state ownership. The owner of the land plot or of the other kind of property, where the treasure was hidden, and the person, who has discovered the treasure, shall be together entitled to a reward, amounting to 50 per cent of the cost of the treasure. The reward shall be divided between these persons in equal shares, unless another kind of agreement has been reached between them. In case the treasure has been discovered by the person, who has performed excavation work or the search for valuables without the consent of the owner of the property, where the treasure was hidden, the reward shall not be paid to this person and shall be paid in full to the property owner.
3. The rules of the present Article shall not be applied to the persons, who have been engaged in the excavation work and in the search, aimed at the discovery of the treasure, by force of such duties being included within the range of their labour or official duties.

Article 234. Acquisitive Prescription


1. The person - the citizen or the legal entity - who is not the owner of the property, but who has, in good faith, openly and uninterruptedly, possessed the realty as his own immovable property in the course of fifteen years, or any other property in the course of five years, shall acquire the right of ownership to this property (the acquisitive prescription). The right of ownership to the realty and to the other property, subject to the state registration, shall arise in the person, who has acquired this property by force of the acquisitive prescription, from the moment of such registration.
2. Before the acquisition of the right of ownership to the property by force of the acquisitive prescription, the person, possessing the given property as his own, shall have the right to protect his possession against the third persons, who are not the owners of the said property, and also against those, who have no rights to its possession on the other grounds, stipulated by the law or by the agreement.
3. The person, referring to the long term of possession, may add to the period of his possession the entire period of time, in the course of which the property has been possessed by the person, whose legal successor the given person is.
4. The proceeding of the term of the acquisitive prescription with respect to the things, which are in the custody of the person, from whose possession they could be claimed in conformity with Articles 301 and 305 of the present Code, shall start not earlier than after the expiry of the term of the limitation of actions by the corresponding claims.

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