Limited-term apartment ownership not contrary to Constitution, Civil Law: MoC

Deputy Head Nguyen Manh Khoi of the Housing and Real Estate Market Management Agency (Ministry of Construction) yesterday had a talk with the press regarding the proposal on the duration of apartment ownership in the second draft of the amended Law on Housing.

Limited-term apartment ownership not contrary to Constitution, Civil Law: MoC ảnh 1

Dreamhome Residence Apartment Block in Ward 14 of Go Vap District in Ho Chi Minh City. (Photo: SGGP)

Deputy Head Nguyen Manh Khoi affirmed that the limited-term apartment ownership proposal is not at all unconstitutional and is in compliance with the Civil Law. In fact, the Constitution stipulates that property rights are not restricted unless there are regulations to ensure the safety of people’s life. Also, the Civil Law stipulates that property rights end when the concerned property (in this case old, degraded, unsafe apartments that must be demolished) is destroyed.

The Deputy Head also stressed that the ownership term does not limit to 50 or 70 years, as the second draft does not mention fixed apartment ownership time. Instead, this term is determined in accordance with the life of the construction, which is clearly stated in the assessed design, and is calculated from the time the whole construction is put into use. This term must be clearly written in the apartment purchase contract. At the end of this term, if the apartment is still safe for use, the owner can ask a competence agency to assess the apartment for an ownership extension.

According to Deputy Head Khoi, this proposal should not stop investors from pouring money into permanent quality construction works as there are different quality levels for buildings, which is clearly stated in the design profile in order for contractors to choose corresponding materials and construction technologies.

This new content, if coming into effect, is not retroactive, meaning apartments bought before the effective time of the law are under the regulation at the purchase time.

As to compensation and reconstruction of limited-term apartment blocks, the State will directly use its budget to renovate or rebuild any blocks that are unsafe due to natural disasters, accidents, fire, or explosion. Residents in the concerned block will be resettled right at the old location. In the case an apartment block has to be dismantled for urban renovation projects according to the common planning, owners of these apartments are resettled in locations specified by those projects. These residents will enjoy new ownership terms of their new apartments.

With regard to expired apartment buildings, if the State does not plan to build new apartments there, owners of these old apartments will receive a compensation in compliance with the land policy and be resettled in suitable locations. If new apartment blocks are to be built there, these owners can contribute money for the construction, with no need to pay for the land anymore. The construction plan will be negotiated at that time.

The Construction Ministry said that it continues to accept opinions from the public to ensure a balanced interest of all stakeholders.