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Inadequacies in the policy of apartment buildings with a term of 50-70 years in Vietnam

Recently, there have been a lot of controversial opinions about the proposal to regulate the term of apartment ownership from 50-70 years in Vietnam. Most of the opinions are negative as the people don’t like the idea of just temporarily owning their house and that ownership might not last for their children or grandchildren. In this article, ASL LAW Firm will talk about the inadequacies in the policy of apartment buildings with a term of 50-70 years in Vietnam.

On April 28, 2022, in Hanoi, the Vietnam Real Estate Association (VNREA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Construction and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment held a conference to discuss the amendments to the Law on Housing, the Law on Real Estate Business (Real Estate) to develop the housing and real estate market.

One of the notable contents informed by the representative of the Ministry of Construction at the conference was that the Ministry was studying and proposing the content of applying the ownership term to apartment buildings instead of the current long-term ownership term.

Proposal by the Ministry of Construction

Accordingly, in report No. 53 dated March 28, 2022, the Ministry of Construction proposed two options related to apartment house ownership.

The first option is to supplement the regulation that the term of ownership of the apartment building is determined according to the use term of the construction in accordance with the provisions of the law on construction. The second option is that the apartment building ownership term is determined according to the land use term for the construction of the apartment building in accordance with the Land Law.

Explaining this proposal, the Ministry of Construction said that according to current regulations, the use term of the construction is determined according to the construction design documents or according to the actual use term. Thus, the proposal stipulates that the term of ownership of an apartment building by term does not mean that the apartment is only for a term of 50-70 years but can be longer, meaning it can reach 80 years, 90 years, etc., depending on the quality of the construction.

In case of applying the plan of granting house ownership certificate (pink books) with a definite time, after the expiration of the apartments, the authorities will inspect the quality of the apartment building. If the bearing capacity and safety for use are ensured, the apartment will continue to extend the life of the apartment, and there will be no kind of eviction of residents from the apartment. Residents are still allowed to exercise the rights of property owners such as buying, selling, giving, and inheriting during the apartment building period.

If the building no longer ensures the safety of life and property of the owners and users of the apartment building, it will have to be demolished to rebuild. People who currently own an apartment building (such as the old owner or the person who bought it, received it as a gift, received an inheritance, etc.) and must rebuild it, still have the right to be resettled at the old location without having to move to another place.

Impact on life

Immediately after the proposal, many people living and working in big cities expressed skepticism about the feasibility and effectiveness of this proposal.

One objection to the explanation of the Ministry of Construction is that even if the apartment owner still has the right to resettle at the old location, it is not certain that the apartment building will be rebuilt or even if there is a definite period to rebuild it, will the progress catch up, or will this be an apartment building that is decades behind schedule?

In big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, It is not uncommon for apartment buildings to be abandoned for several decades.

Just waiting a few months is enough to ruin a family’s life, let alone a few years or even decades. Owning the right to the apartment is meaningless if there is no apartment to live in or sell to another party.

Many individuals who currently own apartment buildings or plan to own apartment buildings have stated that they immediately contemplated selling their apartment or abandoning their plan to buy an apartment to purchase land and house on the ground, despite the rising prices of its kind.

They said that they were in a state of panicking because the apartment, which was thought to be owned indefinitely, suddenly became short-term, with nothing left for their children, regardless of the seemingly long term of 50-70 years.

Thereby, on the proposal to impose a term of 50-70 years for apartments, it is best that the competent authorities study more carefully the feasibility of the project, listen to the opinions of the people as well as professionals on real estate to build a more feasible plan, gain the approval and support of at least 2/3 of the people to put into operation.

ASL LAW is the top tier Real Estate law firm in Vietnam. If you need any advice, please contact us for further information or collaboration.


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