Construction ministry scraps apartment ownership cap

By Dat Nguyen   April 11, 2023 | 03:30 pm PT
Construction ministry scraps apartment ownership cap
Apartment buildings in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
The Ministry of Construction has canned a proposal to limit how long apartments can be owned amid backlash from lawmakers and the public.

The ministry told the government in a recent report that there should be no limit on the amount of time apartments are allowed to be owned as the issue has become sensitive and controversial, affecting large segments of society.

The ministry had previously been considering 80-100 year time limits on apartment ownership.

The ministry will, however, hold true to its commitment to draft regulations calling for old and unsafe apartment building to be either renovated or destroyed in a timely manner.

The ministry’s retraction of its proposed ownership time limits came after members of the Standing Committee of the National Assembly opposed the ownership cap, saying that it would be a violation of people’s rights.

Other analysts have said that the ownership cap could make apartments less attractive and push land prices even higher, creating even more of an unbalance in supply and demand, which is a problem the nation is already dealing with on a significant scale.

In its report to the government, the construction ministry also discussed what seemed to be a conflict between housing law and land law concerning whether foreigners can own land in Vietnam.

The 2014 housing law stated that foreigners can buy houses and apartments and can receive title deeds on land and assets attached to land. This rule does not apply to land in national security areas.

The 2013 land law, however, does not allow foreigners to use land in Vietnam.

The ministry has now proposed that foreigners can own a house or apartment, but cannot buy land.

The proposals will be discussed at a National Assembly session in May.

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