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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 16
The Common Property

Chapter 16. The Common Property

Article 244. The Concept and the Grounds for the Common Property to Arise


1. The property, which is in the ownership of two or of several persons, shall belong to them by the right of common ownership.
2. The property may be in the common ownership, with the share of each of the owners in the right of ownership defined (the share ownership), or not defined (the joint ownership).
3. The common ownership of the property shall be the share ownership, with the exception of the cases, when the law stipulates the formation of the joint ownership to this property.
4. The common ownership shall arise when into the ownership of two or of several persons falls the property, which cannot be divided without changing its intended purpose (the indivisible things) or which shall not be subject to division by force of the law. The common ownership of the divisible property shall arise in the cases, stipulated by the law or by an agreement.
5. By an agreement between the participants in the joint ownership, and if no agreement can be reached - by the court decision, the share ownership to the common property may be established.

Article 245. Definition of the Shares in the Right of the Share Ownership


1. If the shares of the participants in the share ownership cannot be defined on the ground of the law and have not been established by an agreement between all its participants, the shares shall be regarded as equal.
2. By an agreement between all the participants in the share ownership, the order of defining and amending their shares, which would depend on the contribution of each of them into the formation and the increment of the common property, may be established.
3. The participant in the share ownership, who has effected at his own expense and with the observation of the order, established for the use of the common property, the inseparable improvements in this property, shall be entitled to the corresponding increase of his share in the right of ownership to the common property. The separable improvements, made in the common property, unless otherwise stipulated by the agreement between the participants in the common property, shall be the property of that of the participants, who has effected them.

Article 246. Disposal of the Property in the Share Ownership


1. The disposal of the property, which is in the share ownership, shall be effected in accordance with the agreement between all its participants.
2. The participant in the share ownership shall have the right at his own discretion to sell, to make a gift of, to leave by will, or to pledge his share, or to dispose of it in any other way, with the observation in its gratuitous alienation of the rules, stipulated by Article 250 of the present Code.

Article 247. Possession and Use of the Property in the Share Ownership


1. The possession and the use of the property, which is in the share ownership, shall be effected in accordance with an agreement between all its participants, and in case such an agreement cannot be reached - in accordance with the order, ruled by the court.
2. The participant in the share ownership shall have the right to put into his possession and use the part of the common property, proportionate to his share, and in case of this being impossible, he shall have the right to claim the corresponding compensation from the other participants, who possess and use the property, comprising his share.

Article 248. The Fruits, Products and Incomes from the Use of the Property in the Share Ownership


The fruits, products and incomes, derived from the use of the property, which is in the share ownership, shall comprise the common property and shall be distributed between the participants in the share ownership proportionately to their shares, unless otherwise stipulated by an agreement between them.

Article 249. Expenses Involved in the Maintenance of the Property in the Share Ownership


Every participant in the share ownership shall be obliged to take part, proportionately to his share, in the payment of the taxes, collections and other dues by the common property, as well as in the expenses, involved in its maintenance and storage.

Article 250. Preferential Right of the Purchase


1. In case a share in the right of the common ownership is sold to an outsider, the rest of the participants in the share ownership shall have the right of priority in the purchase of the share on sale for the price, for which it is being sold, and on the other equal terms, with the exception of the case, when it is being sold at an open auction. An open auction for the sale of the share in the right of the common ownership in the absence of the consent to it of all the participants in the share ownership, may be held in the cases, stipulated by the second part of Article 255 of the present Code, and also in the other law-stipulated cases.
2. The seller of the share shall be obliged to notify in written form the rest of the participants in the share ownership about his intention to sell his share to an outsider, with an indication of the price and of the other terms, on which he is selling his share. If the rest of the participants in the share ownership refuse to buy it or do not acquire the share in the right of the ownership to the immovable property, offered for sale, in the course of one month, and in the right of the ownership to the movable property - within ten days from the date of notification, the seller shall have the right to sell his share to any person.
3. If the share is sold with a violation of the right of priority to the purchase, any other participant in the share ownership shall have the right to claim through the court, in the course of three months, that the buyer's rights and duties be transferred to him.
4. The cession of the right of priority to the purchase of the share shall not be admitted.
5. The rules of the present Article shall also be applied in case of the alienation of the share by a barter agreement.

Article 251. The Moment of the Transfer of the Share in the Right of the Common Ownership to the Acquirer by the Contract


The share in the right of the common ownership shall be transferred to the acquirer by the contract from the moment of its conclusion, unless otherwise stipulated by the agreement between the parties.
The moment of the share in the right of the common ownership being transferred by the contract, which is subject to the state registration, shall be defined in conformity with Item 2 of Article 223 of the present Code.

Article 252. Division of the Property in the Share Ownership and the Setting Apart of a Share from It


1. The property, which is in the share ownership, may be divided between its participants by an agreement between them.
2. The participant in the share ownership shall have the right to claim that his share be set apart from the common property.
3. If the participants in the share ownership have failed to come to an agreement on the way and the terms for the division of the common property or for the setting apart of the share of one of the participants, the participant in the share ownership shall have the right to claim through the court that his share be set apart from the common property in kind. If the setting apart of the share in kind is not admitted by the law or is impossible without causing an inordinate harm to the property in the common ownership, the withdrawing owner shall have the right to the payment out to him of the cost of his share by the other participants in the share ownership.
4. The rift between the property, set apart in kind to the participant in the share ownership on the ground of the present Article, and his share in the right of ownership shall be eliminated by paying out to him of the corresponding sum of money or by the other kind of compensation. The payment out to the participant in the share ownership by the rest of the participants of a compensation instead of the setting apart of his share in kind, shall be admitted only with his consent. In case the owner's share is insignificant, cannot be realistically set apart and he doesn't display a serious interest in the use of the common property, the court may obligate the rest of the participants in the share ownership to pay him out the compensation even in the absence of his consent.
5. Upon the receipt of the compensation in conformity with the present Article, the owner shall lose the right to a share in the common property.

Article 253. Possession, Use and Disposal of the Property in the Joint Ownership


1. The participants in the joint ownership, unless otherwise stipulated by the agreement between them, shall possess and use the common property jointly.
2. The property in the joint ownership shall be disposed of by the consent of all the participants, which shall be presumed regardless of which particular participant performs the deal, involved in the disposal of the property.
3. Each of the participants in the joint ownership shall have the right to perform the deals, involved in the disposal of the common property, unless otherwise following from the agreement between all the participants. The deal, effected by one of the participants in the joint ownership, involved in the disposal of the common property, may be recognized as invalid upon the demand of the rest of the participants for the reason of the participant, who has made the deal, not having the necessary powers, only if it has been proved that the other party to the deal has known, or should have known, about it.
4. The rules of the present Article shall be applied so far as no other rules have been laid down for the individual kinds of the joint ownership by the present Code or by the other laws.

Article 254. Division of the Property in the Joint Ownership and the Setting Apart of a Share from It


1. The division of the common property between the participants in the joint ownership, as well as the setting apart of the share of one of them may be effected after making a preliminary estimate of the share of each of the participants in the right to the common property.
2. Unless otherwise stipulated by the law or by the agreement between the participants, when dividing the common property and setting apart a share from it, their shares shall be recognized as equal.
3. The grounds and the order for the division of the common property and for the setting apart of a share from it shall be defined according to the rules of Article 252 of the present Code, so far as no other rules have been laid down for the individual kinds of the joint ownership by the present Code and by the other laws or follow from the substance of the relationships between the participants in the joint ownership.

Article 255. Turning of the Penalty onto the Share in the Common Property


The creditor of the participant in the share or in the joint ownership shall have the right, in case the given owner's other property proves to be insufficient, to claim the setting apart of the debtor's share in the common property for turning the penalty onto it.
If in such cases the setting apart of the share in kind is impossible or if the rest of the participants in the share or in the joint ownership object to it, the creditor shall have the right to claim the sale by the debtor of this share to the rest of the participants of the common property for the price, proportionate to the market cost of this share, with the means, derived from the sale, going to service the debt.
In case of the refusal of the rest of the participants in the common ownership to acquire the debtor's share, the creditor shall have the right to claim through the court that the penalty be turned onto the debtor's share in the right of the common ownership by way of selling this share at an open auction.

Article 256. The Community Property


1. The property, accumulated by the spouses during their married life, shall be their joint, or community property, unless another regime has been established for this property by an agreement between them.
2. The property, which was owned by each of the spouses before they entered into the marriage, or that received by one of the spouses during their married life as a gift or by inheritance, shall be the property of this particular spouse. The things of personal use (such as the clothes, the footwear, etc.), with the exception of the jewels and the other luxury goods, even though acquired during the married life at the expense of the spouses' common means, shall be recognized as the property of that spouse, who has used them.
The property of each of the spouses may be recognized as their joint property, if it has been established that during their married life, at the expense of the common property of the spouses or of the personal property of the other spouse, have been made the contributions, which have essentially increased the cost of that property (the overhaul, the reconstruction, the re-equipment, etc.). The present rule shall not be applied, if otherwise stipulated by an agreement between the spouses.
3. By the obligations of one of the spouses, the penalty may be turned only onto the property in his ownership and onto his share in the common property of the spouses, which should be due to him in case of the division of this property.
4. The rules for defining the spouses' shares in the common property during its division and the order of such a division, shall be laid down by the legislation on the family and on marriage.

Article 257. The Ownership of the Peasant (Farmer's) Economy


1. The property of the peasant (the farmer's) economy shall belong to its members by the right of joint ownership, unless otherwise stipulated by the law or by an agreement between them.
2. In the joint ownership of the members of the peasant (the farmer's) economy shall be the land plot, assigned into the ownership of this economy or acquired, the plantations, the economic and the other kind of buildings, the amelioration and the other kind of structures, the productive and the draft animals, the poultry, the farm and the other kind of machinery and equipment, the transportation vehicles, the implements and the other kind of property, acquired for the economy at the expense of the common means of its members.
3. The fruits, products and incomes, derived as a result of the activity of the peasant (the farmer's) economy, shall be the common property of the members of the peasant (the farmer's) economy and shall be used by an agreement between them.

Article 258. Division of the Peasant (the Farmer's) Economy


1. Upon the termination of the peasant (the farmer's) economy in connection with the retirement of all its members or on the other grounds, the common property shall be subject to division in accordance with the rules, stipulated by Articles 252 and 254 of the present Code. The land plot in such cases shall be divided according to the rules, established by the present Code and by the land legislation.
2. The land plot and the means of production, belonging to the peasant (the farmer's) economy, shall not be subject to division in case of the retirement of one of its members. The retired member shall have the right to receive the money compensation, proportionate to his share in the common ownership of this property.
3. In the cases, stipulated by the present Article, the shares of the members of the peasant (the farmer's) economy in the right of the joint ownership to the property of the economy shall be recognized as equal, unless otherwise stipulated by an agreement between them.

Article 259. The Ownership of the Economic Partnership or of the Cooperative, Based on the Property of the Peasant (the Farmer's) Economy


1. The members of the peasant (the farmer's) economy may set up, on the basis of the economy's property, an economic partnership or a production cooperative. Such an economic partnership or a cooperative as a legal entity shall possess the right of ownership to the property, transferred to it in the form of investments and other contributions by the members of the peasant (the farmer's) economy, and also to the property, which has resulted from its activity or has been acquired on the other grounds, admitted by the law.
2. The size of the contributions of the participants in the partnership or of the members of the cooperative, set up on the basis of the peasant (the farmer's) economy, shall be fixed, proceeding form their shares in the right of the common ownership to the economy's property, to be defined according to Item 3 of Article 258 of the present Code.

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