The article was first published in the November 08 edition
of the magazine "Asian Counsels",
The newly promulgated Measures for Building Registration,
effective as of 1 July 2008, complement the relevant provisions of
the Property Rights Law and the recent Measures for Land
Registration. The building registration measures categorize
buildings and structures that qualify for real estate title
registration, and outline the procedure for creating and protecting
an ownership interest in such real estate. In order to clarify
owners' property rights, certain certificates will bear proof
of the holder's interest in a building. In general,
registration is permitted as long as fixed boundaries, independent
use and a sole serial number are provided for. Importantly, a
forenotice registration of land interests under certain conditions
will help protect the interest of the original purchaser.
The building registration measures also clarify the distinction
between a registration certificate and the registration book, with
the latter prevailing in case of conflicts, and provide for new and
re-categorized types of registration.
Although the registration procedure for the interest in land and
buildings was to be unified, it remains unclear if the new Ministry
of Housing and Urban Rural Construction and its local offices will
retain this competence as set out in the building registration
measures. The land registration measures, in contrast, provide for
a uniform governmental authority to be designated by local
government as the competent authority.
Although amendments made to the Law on the Administration of
Urban Real Estate in August 2007 cover expropriation under the
Property Rights Law, no implementing rules have addressed the issue
of "public interest" or "residential
conditions" in terms of relocation costs.
The last 15 months have seen both an increase of restriction and
supervision of foreign investment in the real estate sector and a
decentralizing of approval competence to provincial level
The Circular on Improving Filing Procedures in relation to
Foreign Investment in the Real Estate Industry, effective as of 1
July 2008, intends to shorten time consuming verification and
filing procedures by transferring substantive review and
verification powers to MOFCOM at the provincial level, who will
review applications together with other local government agencies.
A summary will be submitted to national-level MOFCOM, which will
make random checks of five to ten enterprises each quarter.
Environmental Issues: The Circular Economy Promotion Law
Commentators have been debating the effect of the Circular
Economy Promotion Law-- which comes into effect on 1 January
2009--on the real estate and construction sector. Based on a
reading of the draft law the law will cover the supervision and
administration of industries that consume large amounts of energy
and water, including construction, and sets out the requirements of
utilizing water-use reduction facilities and energy saving
techniques, including environmentally friendly energy sources and
recyclable materials. Since it demands the comprehensive
utilization of construction waste, it will presumably raise
standards in the construction sector. So far the law only employs
broad terms, and further specifications by subsequent
administrative regulations are expected.
Yet, a reward scheme providing preferential tax treatment and
investment policies as well as a punishment system are by now
aiming at the efficient implementation of the law.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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