The Supreme Court of Russia has issued a clarification on how to divide the real estate between unmarried roommates. As rule goes, one of the parties has practically no substantive rights while cohabitating. However, a recent decision has made the rule more clearer and demonstrated that not everything is as simple as it looks.
The Case That Clarified The Decision
Experts of the Judicial Collegium for Civil Cases of the Armed Forces considered a recent case. The gist of the case was that the city was to seize the apartment of a deceased local resident. The resident has no heirs and thus the property was termed as ownerless property. The man had lived with his common-law spouse for 35 years but the couple had no children. As the couple did not officially formalize their marriage, the wife of the deceased was at risk of being homeless. The woman applied to the court with a request to recognize her as the heir of the property. She also demanded that she be considered a dependent.
The woman had to face defeat in three courts but decided not to give up until she gets justice. The highest court of Russia took the position of a citizen. It was proved in the court that for the past few years the couple was living in a private house. The apartment in the city was up for rent. The man had transferred the proceeds from the last funds in favor of his partner. The deceased’s common-law wife went to the notary to receive an inheritance after the death, addressing a statement to the court to confirm that she lived on the dependents of the chosen one. According to the law of the Russian Federation, it does not prohibit the dependent from having other sources of income.
With a common-law husband, the woman not only lived in the house but also ran a common household. Also, the couple had a residence permit in the same house since 2014. The deceased had provided the full maintenance of his wife after the discovery of a serious ailment. The pension payments and co-payments due to disability were not enough for the purchase of medicines and for other daily expenses.
Supreme Court Clarification on the Case
A response claim against the woman that was filed by the officials stated that there was no evidence of the fact of dependence. Hence the district court took the side of the representative of the authorities. The Supreme Court of Russia believes that the local courts did not give a proper assessment of the financial assistance that the common- law spouse received from her husband. This is also applicable to the income from the rent. Also, the transfer of the owner of the apartment during the year before his death to the bank account of his wife. The deposit statements by the wife are proof of this. The earlier decisions on the case were canceled and new hearings were scheduled by the Supreme Court.