Russia is trying to bring the gray rental market out of the shadows: will the proposed scheme work?
The Russian authorities have long been trying to approach the housing rental market, which is closed from their control: up to 90% of housing is rented out without their knowledge, bypassing the tax authorities. As a result, the state is missing billions of rubles: landlords are obliged to give 13% of their profits to the budget.

Accounting and control

Now the Ministry of Construction is preparing a bill that will toughen the process of renting out housing. It is assumed that this market segment will become more transparent due to the information system for recording housing lease agreements. All data will be automatically transferred to the tax authorities. The bill is scheduled to be submitted by the end of 2021.

According to Nikita Stasishin, Deputy Minister of Construction, Housing and Utilities, work with the rental housing market is included in the passport of the federal project "Housing". The official added: for those who agree to rent real estate honestly with the payment of all taxes, it is planned to create a favorable tax regime with the subsequent formation of the housing stock for commercial use - of course, it will be online. At the same time, the base will be integrated with the systems of the Federal Tax Service.

Nikita Stasishin noted that not only the treasury (into which tax revenues will flow like a river), but also the participants in the transaction - tenants and landlords - will benefit from such an innovation: registration in the general system guarantees them additional security.

What will change?

Considering that the document is only being developed, there is no need to talk about specifics yet. Irina Bulgakova, chairman of the expert council of the State Duma committee on housing policy and housing and communal services, told Izvestia that there could be several innovations:

a standard lease agreement will be developed that will protect the rights of the tenant;
a unified online register of rental owners will be created;
a company will appear that will become an intermediary between the participants in the transactions, controlling the process of timely payment and checking objects;
fines will be introduced for failure to provide information on the lease of an object (of course, in addition to fines for non-payment of taxes);
a black list of apartment owners will be created, who hide the fact of renting out housing.
The first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Housing Policy and Housing and Utilities, Sergei Pakhomov, added to TASS that the process of getting out of the shadows should be painless for landlords, which means that it should be carried out gradually - for example, by conducting pilot testing in the regions.

Roman Amelin, the sales director of the Point Estate premium real estate agency, is skeptical - in his opinion, nothing will come of the idea, and a significant part of the budget rental market has been in the shadows and will remain there.

“Controlling payments, in my opinion, is impossible, and even when concluding a lease agreement for residential premises, payment can be made in cash or to a bank card. I think this is all done in order to control illegal migrants, but many landlords in the "business", "premium" and "elite" classes will not rent them out anyway. But if we talk about the high-budget segment (especially about the category of 500 thousand rubles per month and above), then here, on the contrary, they often rent out real estate under official contracts - at least for the safety of property that negligent residents can damage or destroy " Expert Cyan told the magazine.

What is it fraught with?

As always, rising prices. Dmitry Taganov, head of the analytical center Inkom-Nedvizhimost, is sure that such changes will first of all be felt by the tenants, because the taxation costs, which will additionally fall on the shoulders of the renter, will be included in the rental price. This is quite obvious - no one will rent an apartment at a loss.

It is unlikely that this bill will find understanding among the population, added the expert in a conversation with the cyan magazine, since people's incomes do not grow in the last time, but taking into account the fall.

Victoria Kiryukhina, the chief expert of the Cyan Analytical Center, agrees that the Russians will not support the initiative of the Ministry of Construction. According to her, the low paying capacity of the population is still the main problem. The fact that landlords will incorporate tax costs into the rental rate can reduce the potential liquidity of the property due to its less competitive cost.

The question could have been solved differently, the analyst believes, - to develop the market of apartment buildings. Then the tenants will have a choice: to cooperate with a private owner or with an official operator.

But Yulia Dymova, director of the Est-a-Tet secondary real estate sales office, believes that it is incorrect to say unequivocally that the rental market will grow by 13-15%. The rental market is like any other market - the balance of supply and demand, and the dynamics of prices here depends only on how many offers are now on the market in a particular location.

“If we talk about the possible prospect of increasing the cost of lease agreements against the background of legislative changes, then there is no such relationship. Simply 

there are people who legally lease their property officially, and those who do not. If the conditions for working with rental aggregators are free, and users are provided with the necessary spectrum of protection of civil rights in compliance with all obligations, such a system will work successfully and will be in demand, ”Dymova said.

But the head of the FLET Real Estate Agency Elena Tolstikova fears something else: she, as a realtor in the Ministry of Construction's venture, is most worried about the creation of an aggregator through which they are going to conduct all lease transactions. “I can hear in this a hint of a monopoly on the rental market (and it’s not clear whose: the state or some affiliate?) And the desire to take away the job from the realtor,” the expert clarified.

Where will the law stumble?

According to Yulia Fedulaeva, director for support of the real estate business of Miel, it is not difficult to create a platform that will be integrated with all institutions, sources of storing data on owners, housing stock, financial transactions and taxes: using the example of Gosuslug, it is obvious that all mechanisms have been worked out ...

“The problem is how to encourage our citizens to conclude lease agreements through this platform. There is also a need for motivation for owners to enter their properties into the new system, because the pool of landlords has not been identified yet. "
Julia Fedulaeva,
director for support of real estate business "Miel"

Today, many landlords, whose rental income is the main one, are already self-employed and pay a 4% tax. The rest of those who rent out their apartments are working and have to pay an income tax of 13%, but only a small part of them register contracts, and this increases the rental price for the end user.

Yulia Fedulaeva is convinced that this initiative is not so much a matter of the platform as of the amount of tax.


When, years later, the owner base is gathered, you can increase the tax rate.

In conclusion, Victoria Kiryukhina emphasized that the withdrawal of rental housing from the shadow should be carried out in such a way that all parties are interested in it.

Yulia Dymova from Est-a-Tet recalled that earlier the state had already developed preferential tax regimes - a patent system that did not take root in the mass segment. She agrees with the opinion of Victoria Kiryukhina: the issue must be considered from all sides - not only from the point of view of the obligations imposed on the landlord, but also from the point of view of guarantees to a law-abiding landlord who rents out his property through possible aggregators.

“Now the market is based on banal humanity and decency, which is not a legal norm, therefore such an initiative is necessary for the market - it is clear and understandable. It is necessary to create certain conditions in the form of guarantees against non-payments, automatic collection of fines and sanctions from unreliable tenants. In addition, it is important in the draft law to provide guarantees for tenants, under which they will be insured against the so-called early termination of the contract unilaterally, when the owner, without giving any reason, demands to vacate the rented area in a short time. "