Voitsekhovsky's fake construction scheme in Kyiv: Avalanche of defrauded investors

Author : Olena Holubeva

Source : 112 Ukraine

Why do thousands of defrauded families, who have invested their own funds in construction, have every chance not to ever get a desired and hard-fought house and home
10:47, 11 October 2021

Open source

The authorities continue to turn a blind eye to massive construction scams, as a result of which tens of thousands of Ukrainians have either lost their savings, being left without the coveted square meters in the capital, or are forced to complete the high-rise buildings erected with many violations themselves, connecting them to city communications on their own.

Back in 2006, Artyom Logvin's grandfather, who now lives in this house with his family and heads the association of residents of the building - Starodarnitsky condominiums, invested money in the purchase of an apartment in a 29-storey building on Kharkivske highway, 17-A, back in 2006. For a one-room apartment with an area of ​​54 sq. m in 2006 was paid 65 thousand dollars. The house was at the stage of the excavation.

“My grandfather put his whole life aside for an apartment, dreamed of living in a new building. He did not live to see the day when the house was built. The developer promised that this would happen in 2008, but this did not happen even in 2012, grandfather passed away in 2010," said Artem Logvin. The house on Kharkivske highway, 17-A, like its neighbors - multi-storey monsters, is the legacy of the empire of Anatoly Voitsekhovsky, who turned out one of the largest scams on the real estate market.

A source from the Ministry of Regional Development, with whom we talked about a sore subject, says that the history of this house is perhaps the most prosperous. Its inhabitants, at the cost of incredible costs and efforts, were able to improve their life.

Artem Logvin told the story of the house and the ordeal of its residents, who believed the developer and hoped to live happily in modern apartments. We tell the story as we heard it firsthand.

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Buying a frame of a building does not mean buying an apartment

I have been living in the house since 2013. According to the law, within 120 days after the issuance of a certificate for a house to a developer, he had to transfer external networks to suppliers of heat, electricity, and water services. But in practice, from 2012 (when the certificate was issued) to 2015, no one gave anything to anyone.

Voitsekhovsky's fake construction, Kyiv
112 Agency

Heating was switched on in November, or even closer to December, according to temporary mechanisms from "Euroreconstruction." And this happened because the developer did not fulfill the technical conditions and did not transfer it to the network provider.

The technical conditions for the water supply were not met either. There were no permanent networks at all, only temporary ones, which took water through a tie-in into the old city water supply system. This whole colossus (29 floors, 4 residential sections) received water through a pipe with a diameter three times smaller than it was supposed to be according to the standards with so many apartments.

As a result, there was not enough water for the house, and there is not enough water to this day. There were situations when the house pump physically pulled all the water out of the pipe, and a vacuum was formed in it. There is no hot water in our house at all. Because the pumps from the individual heating station in the basement, to which only the developer had access, were stolen by someone. Somebody! For this reason, water is heated only in those apartments that have boilers. But without electricity, boilers do not work, and with electricity there are constant interruptions (while the house is not gasified - so residents cannot alternatively heat water on the stove).

The common areas of the house are not heated either during the warm or cold months. The ceilings and walls are uneven.

Until 2018, the tenants of the house paid the electricity tariff for electricity - that is, not 0,06 kW, but 0,14 USD per kW. Also for heat until 2018, also with an advance payment of 36,000 USD (collected from all residents of the house, - ed.). The commercial tariff is charged to this day for the lighting of public places, the operation of elevators and pumps.

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The house is powered by electricity from the construction site of the neighboring "Flagman" residential complex - this is only a third of the required capacity. This means that during peak hours, when consumption reached its limit for the home, a blackout took place in the home. If the automatics survived after that, then we waited for it to cool down and went to turn on the house. But if it broke, which is also not uncommon, I and the members of the board of condominiums had to pick up tools, go and change it. Our electric cables are also temporary. For this reason, every time after a shutdown, the house has to be turned on in the switchboard on the floor, otherwise, the cables will burn out. All this time, people sit in apartments without heat and water (since the pumps do not work).

The elevators also do not work at this time, and you need to climb to the 29th floor, like all other floors of the house, on foot. Personally, I had to repeatedly carry a stroller with my child to the 13th floor without an elevator on foot.

Voitsekhovsky's fake construction, Kyiv
112 Agency

In 2012, the developer handed over the house as a 25-storey building and then added 4 more floors. Therefore, in principle, the elevator does not go to the upper 4 floors. There is a staircase.

In 2017, we were forced to introduce a schedule for electricity consumption - it was supplied for two hours per section. During this time, residents had to have time to wash, prepare food, charge mobile phones, enjoy TV and a computer. Well, or at least tea: without electricity, it is impossible to heat the water in the apartments of the house, even if you make a fire on the balcony.

The basement was knee-deep in water. The developer's representatives assured that it was groundwater. But in fact, these were holes near the house, through which rainwater entered the basement. Because of this, in 2017, we did not turn on the heat: it was physically impossible to do without walking through this water. We pumped out this water on our own, removed the dirt. And then, for the money of the tenants, they repaired the holes, shifted the asphalt.

In December 2015, the tenants of the house created a condominium - in an apartment without repair, with the electricity turned off. It took some time to solve the problems. Until 2017, the board was re-elected several times. But already since 2017, the condominiums have been headed by our team. And let's be honest, in my position for four years now I have been performing the functions of not only the head of condominiums, but, in fact, partly the director of a construction company.

Most of the problems have already been resolved. Since 2018, the house has been transferred to direct contracts for heat with "Euroreconstruction," and now residents are charged bills at the rate for the population. From day to day, we will have a different water supply scheme, and there will be enough water for all apartments.

Voitsekhovsky's fake construction, Kyiv
112 Agency

The electricity problem is the biggest one. We went through the allocation of the local area, which was not, - for the money of the tenants. This process took three years. Everything was hard, including due to the fact that the Kyiv State Administration had a different vision of the development of events.

Now we are awaiting permission from DTEK to fully connect to the power grids. After that, the residents of the house will pay like all Ukrainians (including for pumps, elevators and lighting in the entrances). They got rid of the outage schedules in 2018, adjusted the automation by installing LED lighting in common areas, thereby reducing the energy consumption of the house.

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After the creation of condominiums, we found out that our house was not even assigned a postal address. And he, by the way, is not there to this day.

At the beginning of the cadence, President Volodymyr Zelensky met with the residents of the troubled house on Kharkivske highway, 17-A. The bottom line, they said: no help.

Voitsekhovsky's fake construction, Kyiv
112 Agency

The quality that the developer left us is concrete. Everything else was done with the left foot of a drunken Indian - from pipes to tiles. Three pumps have already been changed. The porch tiles in front of the entrance were changed twice. The ramp was replaced in the summer because it was all cracked. At the expense of the residents of the building, video surveillance and access control in elevators were installed.

There was no separate infrastructure - educational institutions were old and overcrowded. It's good that the city reconstructed the school for its own money. The playground also had to be built at the expense of the residents.

In 2006, one-room apartment with an area of ​​54 sq. m costed 65,000 dollars. Therefore, it is a shame to hear what they say, allegedly we paid prices for apartments below the market. It is not true. Now apartments in the building are sold at a price of 30,000 USD for a single room. But after our last problem, electricity, is finally settled - the price of square meters in the house will align with the general market.

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The situation with new buildings in the capital is disastrous

Sivashska, 12/2, is another problematic new building from the Voitsekhovsky empire - the Lego House residential complex with one lined and inhabited, and on the other - an unfinished section at all.

The section "Lego House" inhabited by people is also on temporary contracts for water, electricity. But the worst thing is that the house is not supplied with heat at all. The inhabited 25-storey section is heated by a pellet boiler. Residents have to dump on the purchase of pellets, pay for the work of the boiler room service personnel.

One of the registers of problematic new buildings in Kyiv is posted on the Kyiv city administration website.

Voitsekhovsky's fake construction, Kyiv
112 Agency

Today they can be divided into three categories. The most prosperous are houses in which people were able to move in and live, receiving intermittently electricity, water, heat, or even without them. The second is unfinished houses, which have been erected to the stage of a box without windows, doors and elevators (not connected to communications). In Kiev, there are even examples when tenants, organizing reinforced concrete structures, themselves completed their high-rise buildings, installed windows, doors, elevators, pumps in them. The third category is houses in which the residents invested during the excavation stage, but they have not been built and it is generally not known when they will be built.

The third and last one is perhaps the worst situation for people who have invested in buying an apartment.

The skyscraper was driven out to Theodore Dreiser on the land allocated for the construction of the school. On the Kharkov highway on the land allocated for the shopping and entertainment center, "Mega City" - a 32-storey residential building has grown.

Voitsekhovsky's fake construction, Kyiv
112 Agency

The developer is protected from all sides, the buyer is absolutely defenseless

People fall for the scams of developers, because they are not able to save up to buy an apartment in the overheated capital market of the secondary housing. Nevertheless, at the stage of the excavation, square meters are about half as much as in the secondary housing. In the sales department, the buyer is lulled with assurances, demonstrations of 3D models, on which modern, colorful facades coexist with green areas, barbecues, and playgrounds.

Most people do not want to give their hard-earned money for 25 sq. m of the old layout in the murdered entrance and with a depressing-looking courtyard. They want to live in "little Switzerland" - a clean, modern new building with an improved layout. Of course, at the stage of investing in a future apartment, most buyers do not even think about such familiar things as electricity, tap water and the state of internal communications.

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MPs propose to increase fines

The only initiative against the background of the egregious situation in the construction industry was the bill No. 5877 on amendments to the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offenses and the Criminal Code of Ukraine regarding the strengthening of responsibility in the field of urban planning. Recently, the Committee on Law Enforcement Activities recommended the Verkhovna Rada to support it in the first reading.

Voitsekhovsky's fake construction, Kyiv
112 Agency

The document provides for an increase in fines for violations in the field of urban planning activities, determines the circle of persons on whom administrative penalties can be imposed, regulates the issue of compliance with the orders of the regulatory authorities regarding unauthorized construction objects by arresting them, increases criminal liability, in particular, for unauthorized construction on particularly valuable lands (including - on the territory of cultural heritage monuments or historical and cultural reserves).

At the same time, the bill does not touch upon key problems. He does not provide answers to important questions. For example: how to protect those who have already suffered from construction scams? How to protect the rights of those who are going to take their last savings to the next sales office today? What does the investor get from the fact that the fines will increase?

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