Land lease contracts at the Center station covered with “NAFTALINA”: How can you buy 89 m2 of land for $ 161?

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The center of Bălți municipality was and remains a tasty piece of cake for business people, especially when the land does not have to be bought, but rented with a little su of money  from the municipality, where the rent of the construction on the municipal land costs thousands of euros per month. One of these classic schemes can be seen at the Central Station in a large building, built on 99 sq. m of municipal land, which Balti City Hall leases on the basis of a very strange leasing contract, without any logic.

Who issued the urban certificate and building permit?

The urbanism certificate for the project Nr. 1061 was issued on 26.12.2011 by the following City Hall officials:

• Panciuc V. T. – former Mayor of Bălți

• Mahu O. I. – Former Deputy Mayor of Balti

• Serdiuc I. M. – current secretary of the Municipal Council

• Coada V. M. – former chief architect who worked in the mayor’s office until mid-2019

• Bucataru I. V. – former head of the Department of Architecture and Constructions of Bălți City Hall

Copy of the urban certificate Nr. 1061:

The town planning certificate was obtained on the basis of a written request from S.R.L. “VALESINTIA”, signed on 04.04.2011 by the director of this enterprise, Mrs. N.V. Sadovscaia. Copy of declaration:

As we can see, the classic scheme is a request for “reconstruction”, although, in fact, the old building was a miserable commercial space, on the site of which the construction of a new capital building was planned in 2011. When issuing a town planning certificate, the Balti City Hall officials are guided by Law Nr. 163 of 09.07.2010 on permission to perform construction works, while Article 3. Sending documents to obtain a planning certificate for design is totaly ignored:

c) report of technical expertise by authorized technical experts – in case of reconstruction, restoration, modification or improvement of an existing property;

Such a report, as in many other “reconstructions” in Balti, was not presented.

The design documentation, by a “strange” coincidence, is prepared by S.R.L. “GEO-CAD-PROJECT” by the Balti architect V. I. Postolaki, who previously presented the project for the “reconstruction” of the object at the town planning council. He also voted for this project, after receiving an order for project documentation for “work”, which looks like a hidden bribe for a member of the Urban Planning Council:

Moreover, a private company, almost a year later, received a building permit Nr. 105 of 29.05.2012:

The document giving the right to start construction was signed by the following former and current City Hall officials:

• Panciuc V. T. – former Mayor of Bălți (instead of the mayor signed by O. Mahu)

• Mahu O. I. – Former Deputy Mayor of Balti

• Serdiuc I. M. – current secretary of the Municipal Council

• Coada V. M. – former chief architect who worked in the mayor’s office until mid-2019

• Bucataru I. V. – former head of the Department of Architecture and Constructions of Bălți City Hall

Who owns the building land?

From this moment, our investigation becomes very interesting. The land lease agreement, presented by Bălți City Hall at the request of the ADO Lex XXI, contains many absurd moments.

The land itself, with cadastral number 0300304.698, was sold in 2006 for up to 2110.41 lei, which at that time was 161 US dollars.

For such an amount, by the decision of the municipal council nr. 8/9 of 09.11.2006 signed by Panciuc, Serdiuc and Guțu, a plot of land of 89 sqm was sold on the Central Station.

However, for the “reconstruction” S.R.L. “VALESINTIA” takes on March 29, 2012, another piece of land at the Central Station for rent.

Here is the copy of the contract itself:

The contract itself contains a standard rental scheme for the most valuable land in the center of Balti which is 2% of the nominal value of the land, although it could have been raised to 10%.

Taking into account the calculations presented in the Rental Agreement, the annual payment for a land of 99 sq.m. is only 447 lei. Or 37 lei per month. As in the story of renting for “Incomlac”, the plots in the center are rented to “special” people for 37-38 lei per sq. m. per month. It is very doubtful that for an ordinary citizen, without connections to the town hall, there is the possibility to rent a plot of land in the center under the same conditions.

Let’s take a closer look at the Lease:

• Clause 1.1 contains important information about the use by the “Tenant” of the land “for the construction site during the construction period”.

• Clause 2.1 states that the Lease Agreement is valid “for the construction period”.

• Clause 3.6 states that “The tenant must finish the lease within two weeks of completion of construction.

• Clause 5.3.3 states that the Lease may be finished earlier if there is a violation of the intended use of the site. And this is with us, according to paragraph 1.1 “for a construction site for the construction period”.

It is not ambiguous that the existence and extension of this treaty, as we assume, is an absurd situation. The construction was completed about 7 years ago, but no one canceled the lease, the owner of the lease violates the terms of the contract, but the mayor’s office “does not notice” this.

It is important to see the rent calculations from the officials of Balti City Hall:

Results of familiarization with the documents:

1. Extremely dubious documents for obtaining the Urban Certificate. According to Law Nr. 163 of 09.07.2010 regarding the permission to carry out construction works, the reconstruction requires a technical examination report, which has not been submitted.

2. It is not clear in whose interest the town hall functions when it grants land in the center with a rent of 2%. And why these agreements, concluded during the previous government, are not reviewed by the current government.

3. Can this lease be considered valid? When at least 4 clauses of the Agreement tell us that there are already all the reasons for its termination.

4. Is this a unique case when a “dead” lease is extended and local authorities try to ignore its existence? Or there are probably many such cases.

5. Officials from the Department of Municipal Property and Land Relations regularly receive premiums every year, although, as we can see, complete chaos reigns in the land contracts of Balti City Hall. Then what are these premiums paid for? Maybe because the Municipal Department of Property does not notice such leases?

Authors:
Diana Grosu
Vitali Cozearschi

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