In Vietnam, private ownership over land is not recognised under the Constitution and Land Law 2013. Instead, one may acquire certain rights which are close to the ownership rights over the land (land use rights) in accordance with the land regulations. A foreign investor does not fall under the scope of subjects that are entitled to obtain land use rights in Vietnam, but a local company (Local Co) wholly or partly owned by such foreign investor may acquire land use rights to conduct its investment projects.
Previously, a land user who leases land from the Government with annual payment is not allowed to lease houses and building attached to the land unless such land user registers for real estate business under the Law on Real Estate Business 2014. The restriction has been removed by Decree 1/2017. Decree 1/2017 has, among others, clarified the issue of right to lease buildings attached to land with annual rental payment. In particular, Decree 1/2017 provides that a land user who leases land from the State and pays annual rental may lease their assets attached to the land piece if:
A foreign investor who wishes to set up a new company in Vietnam for a residential housing project in Vietnam may need to follow two different licensing routes depending on whether the project will require an in-principle approval under the investment regulations (Investment In-principle Approval)
If an Investment In-principle Approval is required then the key licensing steps for the foreign investor would be:
A land user who leases land from the Government with annual payment is not allowed to lease houses and building attached to the land unless such land user registers for real estate business under the Law on Real Estate Business 2014. At first, it seems quite illogical to limit the owner of an asset to lease it while still allow such asset to be sold. However, this is the position under the current land regulations. In particular,