Can foreigners buy apartments from Vietnamese individuals?

Mon, 27 May 2019 10:55:00  |  Print  |  Email   Share:

( – Mr. Bui Ngoc Anh (in Ho Chi Minh City) would like to request authorities to answer a number of legal provisions on housing ownership in Vietnam of foreign individuals.

Mr. Ngoc Anh would like to ask, in case any foreigner can receive an apartment transfer from an individual? If the transfer is received, what is the procedure?

If a foreigner is issued a pink book with a 50-year ownership, will it be extended after 50 years and if so, what is the fee for extension of  the term  ? If it is not renewed, what will be the regulations on foreigners owning real estate over 50 years?

In addition, if a foreigner uses the apartment until the 10th year and wants to transfer it to another foreigner, will the new person continue to own the new 50 years or only own the remaining 40 years?

Is it possible to get a pink book for foreigners working as a 50-year long-term contract with an investor? If this individual has been using the apartment for 6 years and wants to transfer this apartment to another foreign individual, then the new transferee will be able to own the apartment for many more years?

The Ministry of Construction responds to this issue as follows:

According to Clause 2, Article 76 of the Decree No. 99/2015 / ND-CP dated October 20, 2015 of the Government detailing and guiding the implementation of a number of articles of the Housing Law:

 Foreign entities eligible to own houses in Vietnam may only purchase, lease-purchase houses from owners of housing construction projects, or purchase houses of the foreign entities specified in Point b Clause 4 Article 7 of this Decree, and may only receive houses as inheritance of gifts from households or individuals, or receive houses as gifts from organizations provided the quantity does not exceed the limits specified in Clause 4 and Clause 4 of this Article of the housing construction projects whose houses they may own. Where a foreign entity who is not eligible to own houses in Vietnam receives a house in Vietnam as a gift or inheritance, provisions in Article 78 of this Decree shall apply.”.

Comparing with this provision, if a foreign individual eligible to own a house in Vietnam can only buy a house in the investment project of housing construction of the commercial housing project investor that this project is not in the area of security and national defense, or only buying houses of foreign organizations and individuals owning houses but wishing to resell these houses before the expiration of house ownership, not regulating foreigners can buy apartments from individuals who are Vietnamese.

Procedures for implementing housing transactions are carried out in accordance with Article 120 of the Housing Law 2014.

Time limit for foreign ownership of a house upon receipt of a transfer

According to the provisions at Point c, Clause 2, Article 161 of the Housing Law 2014: “The foreign individuals are eligible for the homeownership as agreed in agreements on housing sale, lease purchase, gifting, or inheritance for not more than 50 years, from the day that they are granted the Certificate and they may be also granted extension as prescribed in regulations of the Government; the duration of the homeownership must be stated in the Certificate.”.

The extension of the term of ownership of houses in Vietnam by foreign individuals shall comply with the provisions of Article 77 of the Decree No. 99/2015 / ND-CP. In case the owner does not ask for an extension of the ownership of the house, also does not sell or donate this house to subjects that belong to ownership of the house in Vietnam. (Point d, Clause 2, Article 161 Housing Law 2014).

According to the provisions at Point b, Clause 4, Article 7 of the Decree No. 99/2015 / ND-CP, If the house is sold to a foreign organization or individual eligible to own housing in Vietnam, the buyer or recipient may own the house for the remaining period. When this period expires, if the owner wishes to have this period extended, the State shall consider granting an extension according to Article 77 of this Decree.

Law on housing and land law only stipulates the issuance of certificates of land use rights, ownership of other assets attached to land to foreign individuals if this object is subject to ownership and sufficient conditions of owning houses in Vietnam through buying and renting houses, does not stipulate the issuance of certificates for foreign individuals to rent apartments for a definite time with investors.

The rights and obligations between foreign individuals renting houses to investors shall comply with the agreements in house-renting contracts. In case the foreign individual needs to re-rent this house, he / she must obtain the consent of the house lessor (investor).

By: Online Newspaper of the Government / Translator: HaiYen-Bizic


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