Vietnam: Draft Legislation Allowing Foreigners to Purchase and Own Residential Housing

Last Updated: 15 May 2008
Article by Dao Nguyen

Originally published May 7, 2008

Keywords: Vietnam, draft legislation, foreigners, purchasing, owning, residential housing, eligible foreign entities, National Assembly, direct investment

Summary

On 14 April 2008 the National Assembly issued a draft resolution on foreigners purchasing and owning residential housing in Vietnam (the "Resolution"). The Resolution provides details and guidance on eligible foreign entities, individuals, conditions, procedures and periods of ownership of residential housing in Vietnam.

This month, the National Assembly is scheduled to work with the authorities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Ba Ria-Vung Tau province to improve the Resolution. These localities, home to the majority of expats in Vietnam, will be most affected by the Resolution.

The National Assembly Standing Committee will consider the latest draft regulation to allow foreigners to own residential housing in Vietnam in a meeting in the middle of this year.

Full Update

Under the Resolution, groups eligible to buy residential housing include:

  1. A foreign individual entering Vietnam for a direct investment in Vietnam in accordance with the law on investment or hired by an enterprise currently operating in Vietnam in accordance with the law on enterprises (including both domestic enterprises and enterprises with foreign owned capital) to hold a managerial position in such enterprise;

  2. A foreign individual whose contribution to Vietnam has been rewarded with a decoration or medal from the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam; or who has been recognized by the State as an honorary citizen of Vietnam; or who was once an ambassador or the consul general of a foreign diplomatic representative office; or who was once the head of an international group (international governmental organization or United Nations organization) in Vietnam;

  3. A cultural activist or scientist awarded with an academic title by Vietnam or by a foreign country and working in Vietnam in the field of science-technology, education, medical health, sports, culture or the arts;

  4. A foreign individual married to a Vietnamese citizen;

  5. In special cases foreigners shall be permitted to purchase residential housing pursuant to a decision of the Prime Minister;

  6. A foreigner not in a category prescribed in clauses (a) to (e) above but who is currently living and earning his or her living in Vietnam and has done so for a period of 5 consecutive years or longer; and

  7. An enterprise with foreign owned capital that is not licensed to conduct real estate business in Vietnam as stipulated in the law on investment which purchases residential housing as a residence for foreigners and Vietnamese working at such enterprise.

According to the Resolution, the above eligible groups must meet the following conditions:

  • Individuals prescribed in clauses (a) to (e) above must be currently living and earning their living in Vietnam, and must have permission from the competent body of Vietnam to reside in Vietnam for a period of one year or longer.

  • Individuals prescribed in clause (f) must have certification from the competent body of Vietnam in the location where they are living and earning their living that they have resided in Vietnam for a period of 5 consecutive years or longer.

  • Enterprises prescribed in clause (g) must have an investment certificate or investment licence issued by the competent body of Vietnam.

The Resolution also provides that foreigners purchase an apartment in an apartment complex from projects for the development of commercial residential housing and which is not within an area in which residence and movement of foreigners is prohibited or restricted.

Foreign individuals entitled to purchase and own residential housing in Vietnam shall have the following rights:

  • To own one apartment in an apartment complex of a project for the development of commercial residential housing. Honorary citizens of the State of Vietnam shall have the right to own residential housing and to exercise the rights and discharge the obligations attached to such residential housing ownership the same as Vietnamese citizens residing and earning their living in Vietnam;

  • To sell or donate the purchased apartment to people eligible to own residential housing in Vietnam at the expiry of one year from the date of issuance of the certificate or upon expiry of the term of residence and exit from Vietnam to return home;

  • To bequeath the purchased apartment. If the legatee is an entity eligible to own residential housing in Vietnam then such legatee shall be issued with a certificate by the body authorized to issue certificates; and if the legatee is not an entity eligible to own residential housing in Vietnam then the legatee shall only be entitled to the value of such apartment;

  • To mortgage the purchased apartment with a credit institution operating in Vietnam;

  • To lend or to allow others to stay in the purchased apartment, or to authorize others to manage the purchased apartment;

  • To maintain and to improve the residential housing in accordance with the law of Vietnam; and

  • To be paid compensation for loss if the apartment must be dismantled and the site cleared in accordance with a decision of a competent State body of Vietnam.

Enterprises with foreign owned capital in the category of entities entitled to purchase residential housing in Vietnam shall have the right to purchase and own one or a number of apartments in an apartment complex (or complexes) in projects for the development of commercial residential housing to enable people working at such enterprise to live in the apartment(s).

Foreign individuals entitled to purchase residential housing in Vietnam must correctly implement the regulations on ownership of residential housing in Vietnam, shall not be permitted to purchase residential housing in order to conduct real property business, and shall not be permitted to own a number of apartments within the same one period of residence in Vietnam.

In addition, the Resolution provides the period of ownership of residential housing in Vietnam, whereby, the entities eligible shall be permitted to own an apartment for a maximum of 70 years as from the date of issuance of the certificate; this period may be extended but only once and for a maximum extension of 70 years. On the expiry of the period of ownership of the residential housing in Vietnam (including any extended period) the owner must sell or donate such apartment to an entity eligible to purchase residential housing in Vietnam. If at the end of 6 months from the date of expiry of the period of ownership the owner has failed to sell or donate the apartment, then such apartment shall belong to the State of Vietnam.

The above period shall not apply to a purchaser being an honorary citizen of the State of Vietnam.

Learn more about our Real Estate practice and Vietnam offices.

Mayer Brown is a global legal services organization comprising legal practices that are separate entities ("Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP, a limited liability partnership established in the United States; Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership incorporated in England and Wales; and JSM, a Hong Kong partnership, and its associated entities in Asia. The Mayer Brown Practices are known as Mayer Brown JSM in Asia.

This Mayer Brown article provides information and comments on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters discussed herein.

Copyright 2008. Mayer Brown LLP, Mayer Brown International LLP, and/or JSM. All rights reserved.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions