Legal basis and procedures for buying residential houses in Vietnam for foreigners

Although it is not allowed to own land in Vietnam in accordance with the Land Law, Foreign organizations and individuals (hereinafter referred to as foreign entities) still have the ability to own property attached to it

In this article, we will present the legal basis and procedures for foreign entities to buy and own houses in Vietnam.

Legal basis:

First of all, pursuant to Clause 3, Article 7 of the Housing Law, foreign entities that satisfy the conditions of Article 159 of this law are one of those who have the right to own houses in Vietnam. According to Article 159, the above foreign entities include:

  • Foreign entities who invest in project-based housing construction in Vietnam presented by the Investment Registration Certificates (IRC) and having houses built in the project.
  • Foreign-invested enterprises, branches, representative offices of foreign enterprises, foreign-invested funds and branches of foreign banks operating in Vietnam presented by IRC or other documents related to the permission to operate in Vietnam
  • Foreign individuals who are allowed to enter Vietnam. This individual is not granted diplomatic immunity and privileges as prescribed.
  • Forms of housing ownership of foreigners (foreign organizations and individuals) can be mentioned:
  • Invest in project-based housing construction in Vietnam
  • Buy, rent and purchase, receive, or inherit commercial houses including apartments and separate houses in the projects for housing construction, except for areas nder management relating to national defense and security as prescribed in regulations of the Government

An important note for this form is that foreigners can only buy, rentand purchase, receive or inherit no more than 30% of of apartments in an apartment building or more than 250 houses regarding separate houses including villas, row houses in an area whose population is equivalent to a ward-administrative division. The duration of homeownership is 50 years and can be extended with the same conditions as previously specified.
If a foreign individual is married to a Vietnamese citizen, he / she may own a stable and long-term house like the Vietnamese. Foreigners owning houses still have full rights such as renting, giving, donating, inheriting, ... the house.

Procedures for buying houses in Vietnam:

To get the homeownership right certificates in Vietnam, the following documents need to be prepared by the foreign entities:
1. An application for a certificate of homeownership and land use right in Vietnamese and English in the prescribed form.
2. Documents of the seller 's homeownership rights:
a) In case of buying apartments in commercial housing development projects of real estate business enterprises (including cases of buying apartments formed in the future and buying available apartments)

  • Decision on approving commercial housing development projects of competent authorities.
  • Land lease contract or land allocation decision or land use right certificate issued by the competent authority to the enterprise.
  • A drawing of the plan of the apartment for sale.
  • The handover minutes of the apartment attached with the regulations on management of apartment use issued by the enterprise (applicable to the purchase of available apartments)

b) In case of buying, receiving inheritance, receiving gifts for apartments in commercial housing development projects of individual (apartments available)

  • Certificate of house ownership and land use rights at the level in accordance with the Housing Law and Decree No. 60/ ND- CP dated 5/7/1994 on housing ownership and land use rights in urban areas, market or certificate of house ownership under Decree No. 95/2005/ ND-CP dated 15/7/2005 on granting house ownership certificates and construction works ownership.
  • Certificate of land use right with house recognition on the land granted in accordance with the Land Law 2003

3. Original contract of sale, purchase, donation of houses or papers on house inheritance in accordance with Vietnamese law.
4. A certified copy of a foreign passport and one of the prescribed documents.
5. The certificate of the real estate trading floor about the apartment has been traded on the floor in accordance with the law on real estate business, if buying an apartment of a real estate business.
6. Tax and registration fee receipts according to law provisions.

Fees and taxes obligations:

When buying and owning houses in Vietnam, foreigners are subject to the same budget remittances, taxes, fees and charges as Vietnamese include:

  • Land use fees;

  • Value added tax (VAT): 10% of the selling price.

  • There are also other fees such as: cadastral mapping and administrative fee services, measurement fees, etc.

Registration, cadastral mapping and administrative and apartment measurement fees are often included in the contract, which requires the parties to incur the procedures for granting ownership certificates. House.