Raiding is not a relic or artifact of the “dashing 90s”, but a modern reality. Moreover, the seizure of someone else’s property in a way that falls under this definition is rather a phenomenon of a “period of stability”. In the 90s, everything was much more prosaic, the reket did not require a veil of legality, raiding, on the contrary, is disguised as a legal deal. And the more professionally prepared the cover for the attack, the more difficult it is to prove the fact of illegal seizure of someone else’s property or power.
The most sensitive area for the inhabitants of Russia is housing and communal services, and everything connected with it. When a raider attack is carried out against a comfort facility, it is fraught with a temporary shutdown and can lead to unrest. In addition, raider attacks have become more frequent lately. These two factors make it worthy of your attention, and therefore it is worthwhile to devote a whole separate article to it.
But, what even is a raider attack?
As already mentioned, raiding is the transfer of property rights or power to another individual or legal entity without the consent of the first under the influence of supposedly legal mechanisms.
Raiding in the housing and utilities sector is quite widespread due to the profitability of utilities. Yes, this business cannot boast of the margin of oil producers or drug dealers, but unlike the former, it still brings a very stable and high income. The recent reforms, which endowed raiders with a whole range of effective tools to achieve their criminal goals, contributed to the increase in raider attacks in the housing sector.
The new Housing Code gives residents of an apartment building the right to a share in common property, which makes it possible to make decisions in accordance with the size of this share. Including at the choice of the utility provider. An individual tenant’s property, as well as his or her voting power to choose a service provider, is the target of raiders. With regards to numbers, then, for example, a homeowners association for high-rise buildings in Moscow or St. Petersburg operates with an amount of about 1 million rubles a month.
Examples of negative things that can happen if the raiders’ goal is achieved.
- Loss by the owner of rights to his property in an apartment building or access to it.
- When a homeowners’ association is seized by raiders, residents cease to influence the management company, which always leads to unreasonably high rates.
- The tenants of the premises are lost, which deprives the HOA of a significant source of income.
Methods and forms of raiding in housing and communal services.
With all the variety of tools, raiders have only two goals facing them:
– seizure of power, mainly in the HOA.
– seizure of property. Generally, non-residential premises fall into the field of vision of raiders, since they are relatively easy to seize and possession of them brings an order of magnitude more income.
The seizure of power.
The seizure of power is primarily expressed in the change of the management company. If one fine morning you find yourself in a payment order with inflated amounts and new details, and you did not even know about the process of changing the service provider, one could be sure that there was a raid attack. However, one should also not think that ordinary residents are powerless against raiders. There are enough ways to deal with them, and contacting the law enforcement agencies is one of the most effective. However, even such efforts require cohesion and initiative from residents, which is often not observed. This is exactly what the attackers are counting on.
Sometimes raiders go even further and create large homeowners’ associations for their dark affairs. These companies serve one purpose – to rob tenants by setting unreasonable rates. The rest is secondary for them. And if you think that it is difficult to create such a criminal organization, you are mistaken. Registration of a new HOA is of a notification nature, and the Federal Tax Service (FTS), which is responsible for this process, does not have the right to verify identity and documents. The company is registered in a matter of days, and soon the residents will receive new payments. Such a fraudulent scheme can be stopped only through the courts, and while the proceedings are underway, tenants are required to pay at inflated prices.
However, more often than not, the raiders are limited to the usual change of management of the HOA. The supervised chairman of the board works in the interests of the raiders, bringing them good profits. This procedure is also simple and short-lived. To change the leadership, it is enough to send the minutes of the meeting of tenants to the same FTS, and the HOA is in your pocket. Needless to say, how are these meetings held? Residents who allegedly signed the protocol will be very surprised how their handwriting has improved. The only challenge the raiders might come across is that the signatures of the board are notarized, however, as we know, this problem is also being taken care off.
Cancellation of your signature is possible only through the courts, and this means time, effort, money and more money.
All the techniques discussed above require ingenuity and energy from the raiders. Nevertheless, there is a method of seizing power by simply ignoring requirements and regulations. We are talking about NOT transferring powers to other persons after they have carried out the measures specified by the law to change the leadership. Everything is possible in housing and communal services, even doing nothing can bring dividends. In addition, the chairman of the board who does not want to legally transfer power to his successor can take advantage of the situation and have time to do a lot of dark deeds.
The delegation of authority is not as simple as it might seem. You need to sign many documents, transfer technical, service documentation and much more. Isn’t there a reason to demand tasty bonuses in the place of the outgoing chairman? This happens everywhere. It’s like raiding, on the contrary, but property rights in this case can pass from one person to another, and not entirely at the will of the first.
One has only to add that the more inaccuracies are contained in the package of documents of the HOA, the more reasons the unscrupulous chairman has to refuse to transfer his post.
In addition, modern legislation helps passive raiders very well. The main problem is the lack of mechanisms forcing the transfer of powers. In other words, there is no punishment for a chairman who has grabbed onto a chair with both hands. This official may, with complete impunity, fail to report to tenants, hold regular meetings, and do or not do whatever he pleases.
Transfer of power from the developer.
This issue cannot be ignored either, since there are many loopholes for seizing power in the process of transferring documentation from the developer. From its position, the company putting the building into operation is interested in additional amounts from the tenants, and is also not at all eager to bring the premises into the agreed state. Knowing how complicated the process of transferring power is, they may require the settlement of the issue on their own terms.
It should be remembered here that the creation of a HOA at the stage of building a house is possible (Article 139 of the RF LC), but the choice of the chairman, as well as the form of management, can be carried out only when the tenants take ownership of the apartments. Plus the speed of this process depends entirely on the developer, which is often used by unscrupulous architects.
Seizure of property
As for the seizure of property rights, the raiders cannot do with any semi-legal and passive methods. In this aspect, only outright crime is possible. However, if the documents are forged, or the owner was forced to give up property rights, then it is possible to prove the fact of fraud only through the courts. And as you know, the judicial system of the Russian Federation, at least with its slowness, works for criminals. Nevertheless, the facts of gross occupation of housing are not so common, since in the end the deception is not so difficult to prove, of course, if it took place.
As you can see, raiding in the housing and communal services sector flourishes on a weak legislative base, carelessness of residents. And although it is difficult for an average person to fight the first reason, they are obliged to be vigilant. This is the only way to recognize a raider attack in time and manage to stop it. After all, raiders are not much different from ordinary thieves. They both love silence, the noise raised in time can confuse their cards.