Many houses in Tan Thoi Nhat Ward of District 12 have been sold with an informal contract for the last 20 years, and house owners have not received an official ownership certificate yet
Director Nguyen Toan Thang first informed about the current status of city dwellers trading land use rights using an informal contract.
Some households or individuals owning the land use right for agricultural land lots (issued by the People’s Committee of their district) want to separate that lot into smaller ones for residential purposes, for gifting others, or for selling a part of their lot.
Without formal permission, those owners divide their lot into smaller pieces, one of which has its land use right transferred to others under an informal contract (without confirmation of a competent authority, and thus not ensuring legal value), or even change the land use purpose (to build houses or other constructions onto an agricultural lot).
Over many periods, the Land Laws related to these cases have not been sufficient for the person receiving this land use right transfer to obtain a formal certificate so that they can officially own the land use right and all assets on it. Clause 2 of Article 82 in Decree No.43/2014/ND-CP allows handling cases of receiving the land use right via a transfer, gift, or inheritance with an informal contract signed before July 1, 2014. However, as most pieces had been self-separated by previous owners, these lots do not meet the requirements of the provincial People’s Committee.
At present, there are no specific statistics as to the locations with the most informal contract for land use right transfer in HCMC. Yet these cases mostly exist in suburban districts, especially those with a high urbanization speed like Binh Chanh, Hoc Mon, and Binh Tan. There should be a survey and declaration round citywide to update necessary data related to this matter. All city dwellers must understand their duty and right, and must cooperate with the authorities to declare their land use rights precisely and transparently.
Director Nguyen Toan Thang of the HCMC Natural Resources and Environment Department
Answering the question on the process to issue a formal land use right certificate for such cases in the upcoming time, Director Thang said that to prepare for this, the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment has sent various reports and asked for instruction from the municipal People’s Committee as well as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
On October 18, 2023, the Office of the HCMC People’s Committee released Notice No.821/TB-VP about the conclusion of Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Bui Xuan Cuong.
Accordingly, the city’s Natural Resources and Environment Department assigns the HCMC Office for Land Registration to direct its sub-units in each district and Thu Duc City to work with the People’s Committee, the Natural Resources and Environment Division, and the Urban Management Division of every ward or commune in order to investigate necessary conditions for this certificate issuance of each land use right transfer case under an informal contract. Punishments will be done correspondingly when needed.
To issue a formal certificate for land use right from a transfer with an informal contract, these matters should be considered: the time to sign the informal contract, the handling of land-related or construction-related violations (imposing a fine, forcing construction dismantling or accepting registration, demanding a return of illegal profit), the review of valid planning for compliance with regulations on land lot separation and infrastructure development.
Mr. Nguyen Toan Thang then stressed the strict observance of all applicable laws during this certificate issuance so as not to fall into cases of taking advantage of the process to legitimize violations (insufficient evidences for the authentication of contract signing, separation of land lots not according to regulations). Any law offenses must be administratively punished.
More importantly, the People’s Committees of all districts and Thu Duc City must issue a land use right certificate for each case depending on current planning, land use plans, land separation conditions, infrastructure.
In order to increase the responsibility for land management of all local authorities and to prevent separation of land lots not in compliance with regulations or illegal construction, which ultimately leads to fragmented residential areas, the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment proposed that the municipal People’s Committee should release a common direction for all of its sub-units at district level to develop their own conditions for the process as well as handling measures for violations.