Buying a house in Vietnam?

23 Feb
VNREHousing is not only a great asset of individuals, households, housing is also considered a necessary condition ranks third after eating and wearing to help people can safely participate in labor, make wealth for society. For foreign investors need to do business, study and live in Vietnam, the housing is one of the top concerns when they enter Vietnam.
Currently, the number of foreigners entering Vietnam to work and live through many different paths. According to statistics from 2004 to the end of 2007 had more than 80,000 foreigners, of which nearly 25,000 people entered Vietnam in the way investment cooperation, about 1,600 people entered Vietnam to work for foreign representative offices, international organizations and over 54,000 foreigners entered Vietnam and worked in the fields of health, education, culture and sports,… By the end of 2007 had more than 60 embassies and 30 consulates general, based in Vietnam. Out of about 1,600 foreigners worked in the diplomatic field in Vietnam, nearly 1,400 people worked for the embassy and more than 200 people worked in the Consulate. Besides above numbers, there were more than 30 foreigners working for 16 international organizations are operating in Vietnam (including UN organizations such as UNICEF, UNPA, UNDP… the other world organizations such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Monetary Fund…).

In the field of foreign investment in Vietnam from 1988 to the end of 2007 there were about 9,500 projects with total registered investment capital of more than 98 billion dollars, of which more than 6,000 100-percent foreign capital projects, more than 2,000 joint-venture projects. The localities had many foreign investment projects are: Ho Chi Minh City had more than 2,000 projects with total registered investment capital nearly $16 billion, Ha Noi City had 800 projects with more than $10 billion; Dong Nai province had 800 projects with more than $9 billion dollars, Binh Duong had over 1200 projects with more than $6 billion…

The views of the Party and Goverment are reflected in the Resolution on the pilot for the organization or individual foreigners to buy and own houses in Vietnam:

a) To concretize the policy of the Party on the initiative of international economic integration in the direction of multilateralism, diversification, taking advantage of every opportunity to develop the country on the principle of maintaining independence and socialist orientation, national sovereignty and national cultural identity; creating the most favorable conditions for foreign investors doing business in Vietnam.

b) Creating favorable conditions for foreigner experts, scientists, managers have better living conditions for stable, peace of mind working long-term in Vietnam. Creating conditions for foreign enterprises operating in Vietnam have conditions to create stable accomodation for employees working in those enterprises (regardless of domestic or foreigner), contribute to social welfare policy.


The foreigner subjects have right to buy and own houses in Vietnam

The Goverment only allows 05 groups subject to buy and own houses in Vietnam, namely:

a) Individuals are investing directly in Vietnam in accordance with the law on investment or working in enterprises in Vietnam (including domestic enterprises and foreign capital enterprises).

b) Individuals have contributions to Vietnam and was offered medal by President Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

c) Individuals have graduated university or equivalent degree, who have the knowledge and special skills which Vietnam needs.

d) Foreign individuals married to Vietnam citizen.

e) The enterprises are operating in Vietnam under the investment law need of housing for people working in businesses. These enterprises include joint venture between foreign investors to domestic investors and enterprises with 100% foreign capital, enterprises have foreigner worked on the basis of business cooperation contracts.

Conditions to purchase and own house in Vietnam

Under the rules of Resolution No. 19/2008/QH12, the five subjects above are only allowed to buy and own house in Vietnam if they meet the following conditions:

– For individuals who must live and work in Vietnam, were lisenced to live in Vietnam for least 01 years. Diplomatic passports are not allowed to buy houses.

– For enterprises with foreign investment which must have investment certificates or documents equivalent to the investment certificates issued by the competent authorities of Vietnam.

– Housing is the apartment in the housing development project and not locating in prohibit or restrict areas.

Purchasing procedures and ownership housing certificate

– The buying and selling houses must through the purchase contract was signed under the provisions of the Housing Law. In case, foreigners buy houses of the real estate businesses the housing purchase contract must not be notarized; If the purchase house of individual in urban areas, the housing purchase contract must be authenticated by the district People’s Committee; If the purchase house in rural areas, the housing purchase contract must be certified by the commune People’s Committee.

– After signing the purchase contract, the parties must pay the financial obligations according to the State, after fulfilling financial obligations buyer must file the record to offer issuance of ownership housing certificate, including housing purchase contract, ownership housing certificate of seller and temporary residence paper of the buyer.

– Time issues ownership housing certificate for buyers in the 30 days.

Rights and obligations of housing owners

a) Foreign individual only owns 01 apartments in the same time. Duration owned apartment is maximum of 50 years and owner only use to stay, must not for lease, must not use the apartment for other purposes.

Owners can only sell or offer apartments after 01 years from the date of issuance of ownership housing certificate, unless special reasons that owners can not continue to reside in Vietnam such as sick must return home… is entitled to sell or donate the apartment before this deadline.

When the time limit expired own house in Vietnam, the owners have to sell or donate the apartment for someone else, otherwise the ownership housing certificate will be revoked.

b) Enterprises with foreign investment have rights to buy and own one or several apartments in the housing development for the employees are working in the business. The duration of ownership of the enterprise correlative to the time limit in the investment certificate issued. As for individual, enterprises can not use for be rented or use for other purposes. When the investment certificate expire or enterprise bankrupts, the apartment will be handled in accordance with the enterprise law, bankruptcy law and other regulations of Vietnam Law.

c) The obligations of owners: the owners have to fulfill the obligations according to regulations of Vietnam law such as: Environment law, social security, fire prevention, rules on residence, travel of foreigners, strict implementation of regulations on housing transactions…

Handling violations and disputes, complaints

The handling of violations: The organizations or individuals are the wrong subjects, unqualified or fake documents to own houses in Vietnam will not be granted ownership housing certificate. If after the issuance of certificates that are detected the certificate shall be revoked and purchased housing can not be used. In case foreigners use the house for illegal activities, foreigners will be expelled from Vietnam, the house will be resolved by decision of the Court and according to the provisions of the Vietnam law.

Reported by lawyer Victory Dang |
Photo Courtesy of Vu Ha Duy

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