New eviction rules unreasonably limit property rights
The Georgian Parliament discussed a new legislative initiative authored by MP Paata Kiknavelidze and proposed by the Legal Affairs Committee on October 27. The draft law envisions making amendments to the Civil Code, the Civil Procedure Code, the Law on Police, and the Law on Enforcement Proceedings. On June 5, 2015, Transparency International Georgia published its negative assessment of the initiative and submitted it to the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliament.
The current legislation grants a real estate owner the right to request police assistance in evicting persons occupying the property without possessing written ownership documents. The proposed amendment removes the possibility of evicting illegal / unlawful owners of immovable property without a court order. After the second hearing the draft law was amended to allow eviction by the police as an exception, in cases when there is reasonable suspicion of an unauthorized intrusion into an apartment or other property.
The draft law explanatory note substantiates the necessity of this change by pointing to legal flaws of the current non-judicial eviction system, which includes eviction by the police, introduced in 2007.
Transparency International Georgia believes that the new regulations proposed by the draft law unreasonably restrict the rights of rightful owners. The adoption of this draft law will have adverse consequences for citizens involved in commercial banks, microfinance organizations, credit unions, leasing and development companies, and the real estate business. This, in turn, will have a negative effect on the development of the economy in general and the real estate sector in particular, resulting in the country losing positions in relevant international rankings. Also worth noting is that the amendments made to the draft law after the second hearing will not be enough to reduce the above risks.
The following is our statement published on June 5, 2015 containing our arguments in response to reasons presented in the draft law explanatory note: Risks associated with the initiative to evict unlawful owners from private property.