Ministry ignores backlash, reiterates need to limit apartment ownership duration

By Duc Minh   September 15, 2022 | 05:11 am PT
Ministry ignores backlash, reiterates need to limit apartment ownership duration
Buildings in southern Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Putting a limit on apartment ownership is necessary to ensure residents’ safety, the Ministry of Construction said, reiterating and clarifying a proposal that was faced with backlash four months ago.

The ministry clarifies that it does not put a specific duration on apartment ownership and this will be determined by the safety duration of the construction, Nguyen Manh Khoi, deputy head of the department of housing and real estate under the ministry, said at a press briefing Thursday.

This means a building that was designed to be used safely for 70 years will have an ownership duration of 70 years, but after that period owners can ask authorities to evaluate its safety and extend this period to even 80 or 90 years.

The proposal, if approved, will only affect a building after it has come into effect.

This means if the new law comes into effect in July 2024, buildings with permits issued before that will still have unlimited ownership.

When the ownership expires and authorities deem the building no longer safe, residents can pay for the reconstruction of the building at the same location and do not need to pay land use fee.

In the case that the government does not want the same land lot be re-used for another residential project, apartment owners will be compensated and will be arranged to relocate.

Khoi said that the proposed bill does not violate the constitution and this has been confirmed by the Ministry of Justice.

He added that the bill will help speed up the renovation of decades-old building in Vietnam which has faced with challenges for many years, and that apartment prices could fall and allow more people to be homeowners.

When the construction ministry first made public its proposal in May, some experts have voiced against it, saying that it is yet the time to put limits ownership duration.

Le Hoang Chau, chairman of the HCMC Real Estate Association, said at the time that the proposal could drag the apartment market down since a majority of people want to buy residential property with long-term ownership.

Su Ngoc Khuong, senior director at real estate consultancy Savills Vietnam, said that limiting apartment ownership could move people from apartments to independent houses, driving their prices even higher.

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