Summary on foreigners’ right to own house in Vietnam

Writer: Truc Nguyen

Summary on foreigners right to own house in Vietnam

Coming to Vietnam for investing, working or studying, foreigners often think about owning houses in this country. However, how the law of Vietnam allows them to do so and which houses they can own?

By this article, BLawyers Vietnam would like to summarize about ownership of foreigners over house in Vietnam, together with some legal requirements and restrictions.

1. Do foreigners have land use right in Vietnam?

Law on Entry, exit, transit and residence of foreigners in Vietnam 2014 regulated foreigners being persons entering, residing in Vietnam and not having Vietnamese nationality. Those persons could hold foreign nationality or no nationality.

Law on Land 2013 regulated the subjects who can be recognized with land use right in Vietnam, but not include foreigners. Thus, foreigners cannot register for land use right in Vietnam.

2. How is foreigners’ rights on owning house in Vietnam?

Foreigners only can own houses in commercial housing projects, which are apartments or private houses and this ownership is within a certain period. This meant that they cannot own a house attached to land outside of an approved commercial housing project.

Pursuant to Law on Housing 2014 and Decree No. 99/2015/ND-CP, foreigners eligible for the ownership of houses in Vietnam are individuals who can enter Vietnam and satisfy the following conditions:

  • Firstly, having an unexpired passport bearing the entry seal of the Vietnam’s immigration authority; and
  • Secondly, not being given diplomatic immunity and privileges according to Ordinance on diplomatic immunity and privileges of diplomatic missions, consular offices, and representative authorities of international organizations in Vietnam.

Regarding form of ownership over houses, foreigners can legally become owner by purchasing, renting and purchasing, receiving, or inheriting commercial houses including apartments and separate houses in housing construction projects. Foreigners should also note that those houses are in outside of areas under management relating to national defense and security.

3. Any restrictions on foreigners’ rights on owning house in Vietnam?

Foreigners should note some restrictions as follows:

  • Firstly, Law on Housing 2014 limited total number of apartments under the ownership of foreigners not more than 30% of apartments in an apartment building.
  • Secondly, a foreigner is eligible for ownership as agreed in agreements on housing sale, lease purchase, gifting, or inheritance for not more than 50 years, from the date on which they are granted a certificate.

Of note, foreigners could extend the above term before the last 03 months of the expiration date of ownership. Foreigners can register such extension one time only. Total ownership time after extending must not exceed 50 years from the original expiration date of the time limit for ownership written on the Certificate.

4. Right of foreigners in some special case

In that case, foreigners must comply with following regulations of the Law on Housing 2014:

    1. Before the ownership ends, foreigners can gift or sell their houses to entities eligible for ownership in Vietnam. If not doing so, the State shall have ownership over that houses.
    2. In case a foreigner receives or inherits a house exceeding the number of houses he/she can own as mentioned above, he/she shall only receive the value of the house.
    3. Owners can lease houses for a lawful purpose if before leasing, they notify the district-level housing agency on the lease and pays occurred taxes on house leasing.
    4. They must pay off the total amount of apartment price through credit institutions operating in Vietnam.

Lastly, if a foreigner married to a Vietnamese (including oversea Vietnamese), he/she qualifies for stable and long-term house ownership and can exercise all rights of a house owner as similar as to Vietnamese citizens.

If you have any questions, please revert to us at consult@blawyersvn.com. Our real estate and construction lawyers can help.

You can read more about articles at our site.

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