In whose interests is the new law on the rental of real estate in Moscow or what to expect from the rental market in 2013?

Renting apartments and rooms has become a full-fledged line of business for many Muscovites and residents of the Moscow region, bringing a stable daily or monthly income, depending on how long the housing is rented. Given the number of visitors who need a roof over their heads, and the natives of the capital who do not have the opportunity to buy an apartment, this business will successfully exist for many more years. In the modern real estate rental market, you will find offers for every taste and budget.

Among the numerous offers for renting an apartment or a room in Moscow, hundreds of offers for renting a room or apartment for an hour, for a day, for several months, to celebrate the New Year appear every day, and often residential premises are rented out as offices to start-up entrepreneurs. By calling on some of these ads, you can almost equally communicate both with realtors working privately or for, and directly with apartment owners who do not want to resort to the services of intermediaries and prefer to rent their property directly. If in the first case, as a rule, an official civil-legal lease agreement is concluded, then in the second case, the majority of owners prefer not to formalize or advertise the fact of renting an apartment. It is obvious that it is precisely this circumstance that explains the fact that, according to official data, only every 20th apartment is rented in Moscow. Although for all residents of the capital, it is obvious that in reality this is far from the case. And our modern reality is actually very close to the pre-revolutionary situation of the last century, when about 60% of the housing stock was rented out in Moscow.

Knowing about the current situation, the Moscow Government is actively trying to bring underground landlords to clean water and oblige them to formalize an apartment lease agreement, and, as a result, file an annual tax return and pay income tax. In addition, in the event that a migrant rents an apartment, the owner of the apartment will also be forced to issue an official temporary registration, which will affect the increase in utility bills by an average of 20-25%. As a result, the current situation leads to the fact that the state and the owners of illegally rented apartments have been playing constant cat and mouse for several years. At the same time, it is not so easy to prove the fact of unofficial renting of an apartment. The owner of the apartment can always say that he let his distant relatives live for free. And, if the fact of transferring money is recorded, he can excuse himself by saying that this is just a one-time gratitude for hospitality, and not a monthly rent.

In 2013, a new round of such a struggle began for the illegal leasing of residential real estate, mainly to private individuals. Why private? Because in the case of renting an apartment for an office to a legal entity, entrepreneurs still try to conclude an official lease agreement, albeit without seals, in order to secure their own business. In fact, the concluded lease agreement is a guarantor of the security of the transaction equally for the tenant, who is guaranteed a fixed and unchanged cost of monthly rent, as well as a specific period of residence in a rented apartment, and for the landlord, who is guaranteed the safety of the property specified in the agreement and compliance with the schedule monthly payments. Only now, if the state finds out about such an agreement, you will have to pay a fine and continue to pay the standard 13% of the income received.

On the one hand, additional income can be very useful in a situation where you are not officially working, but want to get a bank loan or collect documents for a tourist visa. On the other hand, if you continue to work officially or receive a quite decent pension, you don’t even want to advertise another source of income and give the state “just like that” your hard-earned 13%. In addition, many owners of rented apartments, even if they are ready to pay income tax, stop at the need to collect a whole package of documents and stand in endless lines at the tax office. Especially if the owners of the apartments are pensioners, for whom, for health reasons, it is physically difficult to devote so much time and effort to this process. Working apartment owners are faced with the need to leave their jobs and spend time on the process of submitting documents that are actually not particularly necessary for them.

Particular attention is now paid to illegal residence of migrants who do not have citizenship of the Russian Federation. In addition to the consideration of the bill on the introduction of an article for “illegal provision of residential and non -residential premises to foreign citizens or stateless persons”, a fine of 200 thousand rubles is also actively considering an offer of a fine of 200 thousand rubles. The Moscow government is seriously concerned about the situation and believes that the adoption of such measures will force the owners of the rented apartments to leave the shadows and legitimize the rental deal of housing. But, according to experts on the Moscow real estate rental market, this could lead to a completely different situation, when apartment owners simply reduce rental offers for migrants who need to apply for temporary registration. Considering the current situation, when demand exceeds supply by several times, this is quite a possible development. After all, it is much more profitable to rent an apartment in Moscow to a resident of the Moscow region who has Russian citizenship than to a native of the former Soviet republics of the USSR. Considering that the majority of migrants apply specifically for economy-class apartments and rooms, the cost of which is minimal on the real estate market, it is simply unprofitable for owners to bear any additional costs. As for foreigners who are focused on elite and business class apartments, there are usually no problems with paying taxes and formalizing a lease agreement in principle. Firstly, the European mentality a priori provides for the full legality and execution of any real estate transactions, so that the tenant himself will insist on concluding a full-fledged lease agreement. Secondly, given the cost of renting luxury housing, the owner can afford to pay taxes and the increased amount for utility bills, which he himself will include in the cost of the monthly rent.

To avoid all the complexities of the procedure for filing a tax return, there is always the opportunity to contact experienced lawyers and simplify this procedure for yourself as much as possible for a reasonable fee. It is for this category of landlords that the introduction of the patent system since 2013 becomes very profitable, when, having paid 60,000 rubles, you no longer pay any taxes and can safely rent out even a few apartments, having registered your business as a private business activity. Against the background of total income, such expenses will be insignificant. But how much does it make sense to buy such an annual patent for individual entrepreneurship for those who rent, for example, one of the rooms in their two or three-room apartment? In this case, of course, it is easier to remain within the framework of the 13% percent taxation system that was in effect before, that is, continue to fill out a tax return and deduct a percentage of annual income once a year. Using simple mathematical calculations, you can easily calculate that buying a patent and operating under a simplified taxation system makes sense if the cost of renting your apartment exceeds the threshold of 38,500 rubles.

The main leverage of the state at the moment is the conduct of numerous raids to determine the illegal rental of housing, the involvement of district police officers and neighbors in the identification of such cases and a reminder of the current criminal liability for concealing income and non-payment of taxes to the state. Moreover, the punishment for violating the law begins with an order to pay off 100% of the debt and pay a fine in the amount of 20% of the total amount of tax payments up to three years in prison with a fine of up to 500,000 rubles.

If you look at the official statistics on the situation on the apartment rental market in Moscow at the end of January 2013, you can see that demand exceeded supply by about 1.5 times. At the same time, one-room economy class apartments remain the most popular among tenants, requests for which are more than 52%. Among the offers of landlords, at the same time, two-room apartments of the same class are in the lead, accounting for almost 40% of the total volume of apartments for rent. Moreover, the minimum cost of renting a one-room apartment for January was 23,000 rubles, and the maximum was 100,000 rubles. Based on this situation, it is easy to predict which of the owners will prefer to draw up an official lease agreement, and who will want to remain in the shadows and simply follow the elementary rules of caution so as not to fall into the hands of the tax police.

The general conclusion suggests itself. It is unlikely that in the current 2013, even with the introduction of new legislation, the situation with the rental of apartments in Moscow will change dramatically.