According to the current Vietnamese law, the ownership of houses in Vietnam by foreigners has changed significantly towards more openness. However, home ownership of foreigners and Vietnamese citizens are still different.
Foreign house ownership is allowed in commercial housing construction projects only (i.e., only in newly formed residential areas), not an area of national defense and security purpose. In case of house donation or inheritance of house not subject to this regulation, the foreigner only receives the value of that house.
The foreigners combined may not buy, rent and purchase, receive, inherit and own more than 30% of apartments in an apartment building; or not more than 250 houses of separate houses including villas, row houses in an area whose population is equivalent to a ward-administrative division
In an area whose population is equivalent to that of a ward, if there is a commercial housing construction project for sale or lease-purchase, the quantity of detached houses that may be owned by foreigner is specified below: where the quantity of detached houses of an project is fewer than 2,500, foreigner may own up to 10% of the houses of such project; where there is only one project whose quantity of detached houses is equivalent to 2,500 houses, foreigners may own up to 250 houses of them; where there are two or more projects where the total quantity of detached houses does not exceed 2,500 houses, foreigners may own up to 10% of the houses of each project. In case a house is donated or inherited in excess of the number of houses under this regulation, only the value of that house is entitled.
The foreigners are eligible for the homeownership as agreed in agreements on housing sale, lease purchase, gifting, or inheritance for not more than 50 years from the date of issuance of the Certificate and have can be extended further according to the Government’s regulations if the need arises; house ownership period must be specified in the Certificate.
In case a foreign individual marries a Vietnamese citizen or an overseas Vietnamese, he/she can own a stable, long-term house and has the same rights as a Vietnamese citizen.
The foreign organization are eligible for the homeownership as agreed in agreements on housing sale, lease purchase, gifting, or inheritance for not longer than duration stated in their Certificate of investment, including extension duration, the duration of the homeownership shall be determined from the day on which the organization is granted the Certificate and stated in such Certificate.
In addition, foreign organizations and foreign individuals permitted to enter Vietnam have the same obligations as Vietnamese citizens but must comply with the following provisions:
If the homeowner is a foreign individual, he/she is entitled to lease house for lawful purposes provided that he/she notifies the agency of district in charge of housing where the house is located of housing lease as prescribed in regulations of the Minister of Construction and pays taxes on housing lease as prescribed before leasing houses. If a foreign individual gets married to a Vietnamese citizen or an oversea Vietnamese, he/she qualifies for stable and long-term homeownership and has all rights of homeowner similarly to Vietnamese citizens.
If the homeowner is a foreign organization, its house is/are only provided for their employees but it is not allowed to use their house for lease, offices, or other purposes.
The above are provisions on rights and obligations of foreign organizations and individuals when owning properties in Vietnam. For specific matters, please consult with property, real estate lawyers for legal advice for the property transaction from deposit agreement, house sales and purchase agreement, and registration of ownership with authorities for certificate of land use right, or house owership certificate of to avoid property disputes in Vietnam, where the house ownership, land use rights are restricted for foreigners.