Children's home graduate Artur Barseghyan was scheduled to received a one-room apartment under the State Aid to Children's Home Graduates program in 2004.
But for four years now other people have been living in the apartment that was purchased for Artur, and they insist that the apartment belongs to them.
Meanwhile Artur is living in a rented apartment with his wife and two-month old baby until the court determines who the apartment belongs to. “Today, I have no apartment. I work mainly in building construction, but my salary isn't enough to pay the rent and care for my family. It's very difficult for me. For four years I was asking the Armenian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs to give me another apartment if there were any problems or debatable issues with the apartment to be provided to me, so I at least will be freed from paying rent,” Artur Barsegyan said.
He was told in the ministry that it was a very good apartment and it would be good if he received it, but he would have to wait until the court proceedings were completed. “But I have waited for so many years. The answer was evasion rather than support, especially if you take into account that I haven't signed the apartment acceptance agreement,” said Artur.
The 37.8 square-meter apartment at 39/2aLepsius StreetinYerevan's Kanaker-Zeytun district was sold to the Government's Department of State Property Management by Anna Bayatyan in 2004 for 4.9 million drams. That apartment was to be transferred to Artur Barseghyan for a period of ten years, at which point he could have registered it in its name.
Meanwhile Arsen Mardanyan filed suit in the Court of First Instance of the Arabkir and Kanaker-Zeytun districts demanding the nullification of all sales contracts insisting that he was half owner of the apartment.
Arsen Mardanyan's wife Vardush bought the apartment from the Kanaker-Zeytun municipality in 1988 and sold it in 2002 to Anna Bayatyan, who re-sold it to the Department of State Property Management in 2004.
Currently the buyers find themselves facing the fact that Vardush Vardanyan has died and her husband insists that the apartment was sold without his knowledge, as he was absent from Armenia from 2002 to 2005 and his wife had falsely represented herself as single. “Meanwhile according Article 201 of the Armenian Civil Code, property acquired by spouses during marriage is jointly owned; hence I am joint owner of the apartment in question, although it was purchased in my wife's name,” Arsen Mardanyan's suit reads.
Mardanyan's lawyer Mnatsakan Ghazaryan refused to provide clarification as to how it happened that the wife acted without the knowledge of her husband, especially as they had two children, and what happened to the money that the woman made when she sold the apartment. It would be natural to assume that the money was passed to the children or to the husband. Another question is how it happened that the fact of her marriage was not discovered in the notary office when the purchase agreement was being registered.
Aram Glechyan, a lawyer for the Department of State Property Management stated that according to the Law On State Registration of Property Rights, Arsen Mardanyan is deemed informed of the transaction from the time the property was sold for the first time (in 2002), therefore he is considered to be informed of the breach of his rights as well.
“In the three years after that, he had enough time to file suit to restore his violated property rights. But the statute of limitations expired at the end of that period, which may serve as a basis for the rejection of the suit,” Glechyan said.
After several consecutive suits, the sides currently find themselves in the Court of Cassation, and although Artur Barseghyan has nothing to do with the dispute over the apartment, he and his family are the ones who suffer most.