Monthly Archives: September 2016

News A Legal Way for a Non-resident to Pay in Currency Buying Property in Ukraine

More and more foreigners are considering a possibility to buy property in Ukraine, particularly in large and popular among foreigners cities like Lviv and Kyiv, as capital investment or as a place of temporary residence.

Specificity of currency regulation in Ukraine may make it harder to pay because in Ukraine payments can be made only in Ukrainian hryvnias, however, under certain conditions, a foreigner may pay in currency for purchased property in Ukraine. This article will consider how and when it is possible.

Recently, more and more foreigners are considering a possibility to buy property in Ukraine, pa

Particularly in large and popular among foreigners cities like Lviv and Kyiv, as capital investment or as a place of temporary residence. One reason for this purchase is that real estate in Ukraine has very attractive price and there is an option to buy a large apartment in historical area in relatively low cost. Specificity of currency regulation in Ukraine may make it harder to pay because in Ukraine payments can be made only in Ukrainian hryvnias, however, under certain conditions, a foreigner may pay in currency for purchased property in Ukraine. This article will consider how and when it is possible.

According to the legislation of Ukraine, the only means of payment in the country is hryvnia. And transactions in any foreign currency is a violation of currency legislation of Ukraine, for illegal buying, selling, exchanging, using currency values (in this case – foreign currency) as a means of payment or collateral sanctions such as warning fines and even confiscation of currency values according to the Art. 162 of the Administrative Offences Code of Ukraine are provided.

At the same time, purchase of real estate by a non-resident may be an exception according to certain conditions. For example, in Ukraine, there is no ban on the purchase of real estate for foreigners, that is why foreigners and stateless persons can acquire ownership of buildings, residential buildings (apartments, houses, commercial premises), nonagricultural lands within the settlements and nonagricultural lands outside the settlements with real property assets with private ownership. It means that foreigners and stateless persons can not buy only agricultural lands, other property they can buy without any restrictions.

The issue of payment transactions by non-residents in Ukraine are regulating by the Regulations on the foreign investment in Ukraine, approved by the National Bank of Ukraine №280 from 10.08.2005 (amended). Thus, if a non-resident concludes the acquisition of real estate with the seller who is a resident of Ukraine, the non-resident can pay by currency in such ways:
1. opening an investment account and transferring funds to it in currency from abroad;
2. transferring funds to the current account of a resident in currency from abroad;
3. selling currency from the investment account and crediting funds in UAH from the sale of currency for further foreign investment;
4. fund transferring in UAH or currency to the current account of resident, investment account of another foreign investor or correspondent account in the foreign bank;
5. fund transferring in currency of 1 classification group and UAH from the current individual account of a non-resident in authorized bank to his/her investment account;
6. fund transferring in UAH from personal investment account to open account of international financial organization in authorized bank with approval of central executive body that ensures the formation of state financial policies, the implementation of bond issue in Ukraine for investments in these bonds.

In fact, we are interested only in paragraph 2, which is in bald. This legal framework entitles any non-resident to pay in currency for an agreement in Ukraine by transferring non-cash funds to the merchant in foreign currency. Naturally, the seller of real estate should have an open account in currency before intended transaction. Thus a seller, after currency transferring to his account may withdraw currency, not Ukrainian hryvnia, from this account and the only limit for it is a daily limit on cash withdrawals in the amount of 250 thousand UAH (about $ 9,000), so the seller will have the only discomfort as the withdrawal of money will take some time.

It is important to know that by the National Bank of Ukraine №407 from 11.25.2016, “On the establishment of threshold payments in cash” the maximum amount of cash payments under contracts of sale subjected to notarization is set in amount of 50 thousand UAH, equivalent to $ 1,800 USA. Thus, based on the actual prices, any transaction in the sale of real estate can be issued with a cash-free payment.

Also legitimate grounds for payments in foreign currency, which aim to minimize the risks of both parties, are worth mentioning in this article. For example, to minimize the exchange rate risks of the parties, they may initially determine the binding of payments to the equivalent in foreign currency, the Article 524 of the Civil Code of Ukraine gives such a right. It’s legal tool allowing the parties to make a prediction.

But despite all licensing rules currency legislation of Ukraine is often transgressed concluding contracts for sales of real estate and the parties prefer to hold cash payments through the actual transfer of money from hand to hand. In documents, such an agreement is a non-cash transaction without formal violations, but the parties should be ready to pay some fees for the bank that will issue some documents to the buyer on the payment to the seller’s account and to the seller on money withdrawal from the bank account after payment.

Also we have to note that many of the limitations of the National Bank of Ukraine on the use of foreign currency, including one that is already on bank accounts, provokes involved parties, especially the residents of Ukraine, to avoid formal contracts and limit with the formal signing of the underestimated sale of property. In such transactions, the estimated value of the property in the contract is substantially different from the real value at the moment of sale. Resident without any contract, with only verbal arrangements, pays the difference in cash. In fact, this scheme is very common and it can be applied between parties that have known each other for long time (relatives, old friends connected persons). But this type of transactions is extremely risky for strangers. It should be used very carefully, especially by foreigners, because in this case, the buyer, a non-resident, must understand that in case of termination of the contract because of any reason, for example, declaring it invalid, the buyer can claim the refund only in the quantities indicated in the formal agreement.

Summing it up, before signing the contract of sale of real estate, non-residents are better to consult with a lawyer to minimize their risks and avoid legal problems with acquired real estate in the future.

This 5 Tips to Fight Traffic Ticket in New Jersey

Getting a traffic ticket in New Jersey is a difficult situation. It generates a kind of tension even before you haven’t really started dealing with it. A traffic ticket can cause you a lot of confusions.

There are several things to be taken care while fighting a traffic ticket. Many drivers forget these aspects leading themselves to have a traffic ticket.

You need to respect the police officer because he is the one who can avoid a ticket. If you get a traffic ticket, review it properly.
Afterward, make a note of your surrounding relating to your violation. Find eye witnesses from your location and be sure that all your doubts are clarified.

Take a look at these 5 tips to fight a traffic ticket in New Jersey.

1. Be Respectful:

Calm down the moment you get a traffic ticket. Getting on the nerves of the officer can cost you a lot. Don’t be aggressive with your intent, speak respectfully.

Try to understand the matter with discipline. Avoid speaking harshly as it becomes easier for an officer to charge you further. Questioning the lawyer is absolutely fine. But, exhibiting your anger cannot help you from avoiding a traffic ticket. People release their anger, perhaps because most of them are drunk, while others trying to get rid of the cop.

A verbal abuse to the officer can cost you extra tickets and charges. He may charge you for the contempt.

On the other hand, it’s good to be respectful; it will help you for better.

2. Review The Ticket:

Review the ticket properly once it reaches you. Read all parts of the ticket and understand it nicely. This will help you analyze your problem.

Check each word properly. If seen any mistake regarding any of the information, solve it. Solve the question there itself.
You should make a clear observation of the reason behind your traffic ticket. It will be beneficial in dealing with the ticket further.

Not having an accurate view of the traffic ticket can cost you during the trial.

3. Make a note:

Getting a traffic ticket and fighting it is a difficult process. Whenever you are charged with a traffic ticket, make a note of the situation around.

Basically, it’s about putting down the important notes.

It may include the date & time, location, weather, and if there was any traffic or not. Understanding these elements is very important. During the trial, noting down the date, time, weather conditions and traffic will help you to generate more evidence.

This note will help you defend yourself accurately. In court, you will be easily able to question in case any mistaken note is created by the officer.

4. Record statements from witnesses:

After getting a traffic ticket, you need to look around for witnesses. Because they have seen you charged with a ticket. Eye witnesses can help you make your case easier.

Approach the eye witnesses around and record their statements.

If there is a positive statement, your ticket can be dismissed. After noting their statements, don’t forget to get their contact details. During the time of trial, they will be helpful in proving your violation as wrong.

More the evidence and witnesses more are the chances for the ticket to get dismissed.

5. Clarify your doubts:

Handling legal issues are anyhow always a task.

When you are caught and given a traffic ticket, there might be a lot of doubts circulating around your head. To apprehend the reason behind your traffic ticket is important. They can be instrumental in the court. Also, you may be able to stay confident throughout the trial.

The best way to clear them is to consult a lawyer, probably a traffic ticket lawyer.

Someone who understands the law very well can clarify all your legal doubts. A consultation from an attorney can make you more confident about the case.

If you are in need, it’s always better to hire an attorney. A good traffic ticket lawyer New Jersey can help you dismiss your ticket easily.

Conclusion:

The above-mentioned tips can help you fight a traffic ticket. Why deal with so many legal proceedings and penalties when you can fight it out. Consult a lawyer before reacting to a lawyer. Your lawyer is the right man to provide you all the legal help.

A good traffic ticket lawyer in New Jersey has all the potential to dismiss a traffic ticket. All you need to do is find an attorney who suits your case. A right attorney will be able to understand your case and can provide a suitable verdict.

Property for Purchasing in Italy for Foreign Citizens

Despite the fluctuations in the markets across Europe in recent years, statistics suggest that there is an increase in investment in the Italian real estate market on the part of foreign investors.  Italy has always had a powerful charm, enticing people to its shores from all over the globe.  The lure of the wonderful climate, unique history and culture, not to mention the fabulous cuisine and wines, all combine to make Italy a superb choice for a holiday or retirement property.

Tuscany, Sicily and Sardinia appear to rank higher in the preferences of foreign investors.  British citizens are among those who have shown particular interest in real estate investment in Italy.  Property purchase in Italy need not be any more stressful than buying in the UK with the right professional advisors by your side.  There are considerable variations in the  process of property purchase

in Italy compared with that in the UK and it is wise to be aware of the differences in the procedure before you start out.

The term “foreign” describes both EU and non-EU citizens and incorporates non-EU citizens legally residing in Italy.   Such citizens have the right to purchase a property or a company, providing they can produce evidence of their right to stay in Italy, such as the visa. Should the prospective purchaser be a non-EU citizen who does not hold the right to reside in Italy or to purchase property, it will be necessary to verify that a reciprocal agreement exists between the non-EU citizen’s country of origin and Italy allowing an Italian citizen either to reside or buy property in the country of origin of the non-EU individual attempting to invest in the Italian real estate market.

As far as the definition of property is concerned, according to article 812 of the Italian Civil Code: “property it is to be considered as anything that is naturally or artificially connected to the soil;  the soil itself, water sources and streams, trees, buildings and other constructions, even if only transitionally connected to the soil”.

In order to complete the purchase of a property, the foreign citizen must follow a rather complex procedure which necessitates the use of the services of a notary.  Should they not be particularly proficient in Italian, they can request the deed is drafted into another language (the notary must be proficient in the specific language) or request the assistance of an interpreter for the translation of the Italian contract.

The sale is facilitated by the following steps:

— The first contract to be signed together with the seller is the preliminary contract
— The price of the property, the timings of the sale, the deposit and details relating to the property are defined.
— The agreement is binding for both parties: should the buyer not wish to proceed with the purchase, the seller is entitled to keep the deposit.
— Should the seller not wish to proceed with the sale, they will have to pay double the amount of the deposit to the buyer.
— The sale deed, called the “rogito”, is signed by both parties in the presence of the notary and witnesses.
— The deed is then taken to the Revenue Agency and registered within the public registry by the notary, who will also proceed to the cadastral transfer: the property is transferred through a deed recording at the appropriate Ufficio del Territorio (which depends on the area where the property is located)
— Throughout all the steps listed above the support of an experienced property lawyer is crucial during this phase.

On a fiscal level, the purchase of a property from a private individual is subject to the registration charge, mortgage registration fee and the Land Register fee.   The charges vary depending on whether tax-breaks for the purchase of the first house apply.

The registration charge is in the sum of 2% of the sale price if tax breaks apply, if there no tax-break the registration charge amounts 9%.  The mortgage registration fee and the land register fee both amount to 50 Euros.

However, should the property be bought from a construction company, VAT amounts to 10%, in case of no tax break, should a tax-break apply the rate is  4% VAT.  The registration charge, the mortgage registration fee and the Land register fee is 200 euros.

Once you own your Italian property you will need to address a number of issues surrounding real estate ownership in Italy.  Perhaps the most pressing is dealing with the tax liabilities attaching to an  Italian residence or commercial property.   The tax responsibilities for property owners in Italy are very different from those in the UK and can be far more burdensome, in that the complexity of the system has created a situation whereby certain taxes can only be paid via an Italian bank account.  The tax regulations change frequently and there is no room for error and the penalties are costly.

The Construction Disputes

When a dispute over payment or performance interferes with a construction project or the use of a piece of real estate, all parties involved must critically assess their options with regard to negotiating a settlement or protecting their interests at trial.

For architects, engineers, developers, contractors, subcontractors, property owners and other parties involved in construction projects, a lot needs to go right in order for their project to reach completion without leading to a dispute. From scheduling delays to payment and surety bond issues, one problem will often lead to several others—creating a hostile set of circumstances that is ripe for litigation.

Of course, parties to construction contracts and others involved major development projects will often be able to resolve their differences amicably—and a negotiated resolution will often be in the best interests of all parties. But, depending upon the specific circumstances and parties involved, in some cases going to court will be the only option. With this in mind, here are five examples of construction-related disputes that will often lead to complex litigation:

1. Construction Defects

When a property owner claims that a structure is unsafe or has not been built according to specification, this can lead to complex litigation involving multiple parties. If the owner’s allegations are legitimate, contractors, subcontractors and other companies involved in the project will often be left to sort out liability amongst themselves.

2. Contract Disputes

Construction projects typically involve numerous contracts, from financing agreements to building contracts and contracts establishing payment and performance obligations amongst architects, engineers, builders and suppliers. Contract breaches and disagreements over the proper interpretation of contract provisions can both lead to contentious disputes.

3. “Pay If Paid” and “Pay When Paid” Disputes

These contract clauses frequently lead to disputes among contractors and subcontractors. While a “pay if paid” clause can shift the parties’ entire payment risk to the subcontractor, a “pay when paid” clause may obligate the contractor to compensate the subcontractor regardless of whether payment from the property owner remains outstanding.

4. Professional Liability Claims Against Architects and Engineers

In many cases, disputes involving construction projects’ safety, structural integrity and regulatory compliance will lead to professional liability claims against architects and engineers. Like other types of construction disputes, professional liability claims can lead to litigation involving the parties’ insurance companies as well.

5. Surety Bond Disputes

Statutory provisions for public projects and private construction contracts will frequently require contractors and subcontractors to provide surety bonds. Disputes over bid bonds, performance bonds and payment bonds can lead to multi-party litigation involving the surety, the contractor and the guaranteed party (the “obligee”).