NA revives apartment ownership duration flap government had put to rest

By Dat Nguyen   October 26, 2023 | 11:48 pm PT
NA revives apartment ownership duration flap government had put to rest
Apartment buildings in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Lawmakers have revived discussions on the need for an apartment ownership duration cap a few months after the government rejected the proposal for being unpopular among the public.

Ta Van Ha, deputy chairman of the National Assembly Culture and Education Committee, said at a meeting Thursday that no building lasts forever, and when it deteriorates residents would have great difficulty reaching an agreement among themselves on how to fix or rebuild it.

Apartments built a few decades ago and becoming decrepit now are proof of this difficulty, he said during a discussion on the latest amendments of the Housing Law.

"We need to have a [ownership] cap of 50, 70 or 90 years for apartment buildings. When that period expires, the developer can build a new building on the same land lot."

Hoang Van Cuong, deputy principal of the National Economics University, said without a cap there would be no legal framework to deal with apartment buildings in future.

The duration cap should be equal to the designed life span of a building, and could be extended when the cap is reached, he said.

Hoang Thanh Tung, chairman of the National Assembly Legal Committee, said a distinction needs to be made between usage duration and ownership duration.

When a building deteriorates but still meets safety standards it should not be demolished to ensure that the ownership rights of residents are safeguarded, and the bill already includes clauses on safety evaluation, he said.

In earlier drafts the government had considered capping the ownership duration, but did away with the proposal in June this year after a public backlash.

Lawmakers are set to vote on the amendments to the Housing Law on November 27.

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