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Official Gazette

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Construction ministry insists on limited-term of apartment ownership

Updated: 14:00’ - 22/10/2022
Despite controversies about the Ministry of Construction (MOC)’s proposal to set a limited term of ownership over apartments, such option still appears in the second draft of the amended housing law.

New apartment buildings in Hanoi are put for sale__Photo: Tuan Anh/VNA

Accordingly, the ownership duration of an apartment would be determined based on life expectancy of the apartment building stated in the building’s design dossier by a competent state agency when appraising the dossier and counted from the time the building is tested for acceptance and put into use.

Under current regulations, the lifespan of a construction work depends on its grade, i.e., over 100 years for special-class and grade-1 works, between 50 years and 100 years for grade 2 works, between 20 years and under 50 years for grade-3 works, or under 20 years for grade-4 works. As all apartment buildings are classified as grade 2 or higher, it can be said that the term of apartment ownership is at least 50 years.

The draft requires that the term of apartment ownership must be clearly stated in apartment purchase and sale contracts and apartment ownership certificates granted to apartment owners. 

In order to ensure safety for human beings and assets, the draft sets out methods for handling apartment buildings upon expiration of their lifespan. 

Specifically, before the lifespan of an apartment building expires, the provincial-level People’s Committee would conduct quality inspection to determine whether the apartment building is still usable or must be demolished and rebuilt. In case the building remains usable, the apartment owners would request extension of term of ownership based on the authority’s inspection conclusion. If the building is no longer usable and must be dismantled, the authority would terminate the ownership of apartment owners and develop a plan for demolition of such building.

In this case, if the re-construction of the apartment building is permitted under the approved relevant master plan, apartment owners would be entitled to on-spot resettlement if they so wish, otherwise they would receive compensation under regulations. If the State plans to build another construction work in the land plot, apartment owners would be compensated and relocated under regulations applicable to projects requiring ground clearance and resettlement in accordance with the land law.

In case their lifespan has not yet expired but apartment buildings must be demolished immediately as they are degraded due to incidents, disasters, sabotage, or fire and explosion or are subject to demolition under urban renovation and embellishment projects, funds for demolition and re-construction would be allocated from the central budget. Relocation and settlement work would be carried out in accordance with relevant laws.

If approved, the draft law would come into force on January 1, 2024, but regulations on ownership term would not apply to apartment buildings for which construction permits or decisions approving construction designs are issued before such date.- (VLLF) 

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