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Business in apartments

Apartments are now rapidly gaining their popularity, a very large volume of new buildings in Moscow today in fact is an apartment. They have many advantages – 15-20% cheaper, good location, infrastructure. But future owners have questions. And one of them is the danger that an office, a call center or a beauty salon can be placed in a neighboring apartment, which can disturb the peace of neighbors. After all, apartments are non-residential premises, so some important standards established for residential premises do not apply to them. Let’s see if it is really so easy to open a business in apartments.

In the legislation, the legal status of apartments as real estate is not defined. At the end of 2017, the Ministry of Construction announced the consideration of a new relevant bill, which was supposed to introduce the concept of “apartments” in the legislation. In this bill, the definition of apartments is as follows:

“… a structurally separate room in a multifunctional building, providing direct access to common areas in such a building, designed for residents to meet their domestic and other needs related to their living.”

However, there is still a gap, so the majority of apartments are closer in status to non-residential premises than to apartments, despite the functional purpose and the possibility of their use for living. The legal status of the apartments in this sense may vary depending on the status of the building in which they are located.

The Housing Code provides a number of requirements for non-residential premises as part of residential buildings:

access to it should be provided without the use of premises providing access to residential premises;

non-residential premises may not be part of the residential and used by the owner or other person as a place of permanent residence.

In an apartment building, non-residential premises can only be located on the ground floor, and if it is located higher, the premises under it must also be non-residential. These requirements are applicable to apartments conditionally, because most often this type of premises is built as part of multifunctional complexes, implying the presence of both commercial premises and premises intended for temporary residence.

If we interpret the status of apartments exclusively as non-residential premises, then there are no formal obstacles to using them as commercial real estate. To open in such a room, for example, an office or a beauty salon, only compliance with sanitary norms and rules is necessary. Otherwise, the process is identical to starting a business in any commercial premises.

So, for example, sanitary norms and requirements for the placement, arrangement, equipment, maintenance and operation of public utilities providing hairdressing and cosmetic services stipulate that utilities providing hairdressing and cosmetic services can be accommodated as in a separate building, as well as in an attached, built-in attached to residential and public buildings (as part of consumer services and public shopping centers, centers of the Kyrgyz Republic health and safety, baths, hotels and other public buildings). They can be located on the first floors of residential buildings or on two floors (first and second) in the presence of an isolated entrance from the residential part and autonomous ventilation system, in the basement and basement floors of buildings, in shopping centers and complexes without natural lighting, subject to hygiene requirements air exchange of premises and microclimate parameters, the use of fluorescent lamps with improved color rendering and the implementation of measures provided for by hygienic requirements for the organization of technological Processes, production equipment and tools. In public buildings – rest houses, sanatoriums, boarding schools, health care organizations and social services intended for permanent residence of the elderly and disabled, social service centers, medical organizations, including in hospitals, for servicing patients and staff – it is allowed to place public utility organizations appointments providing hairdressing and cosmetic services on any floor, subject to the requirements of sanitary rules.

However, it is worth taking into account that judicial practice regarding the procedure for using apartments is also in the process of formation. In any case, the use of the premises for purposes not related to residence should not violate the rights and legitimate interests of other residents of the house.

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