Laos to Allow Foreign Ownership under Condominium Law

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Condominium at the That Luang Lake Special Economic Zone

Foreigners will be allowed to own condominium units in Laos under a newly amended Law on Land.

The new Law on Land has been published on the official Lao Gazette, where Lao laws can be accessed online.

Article 132 of the revised law covers the land use rights of condominiums, allowing foreigners the right to purchase and own the rights to a suite or unit inside a condominium for the life of the building.

According to Vientiane legal advisory firm, VDB Loi, the revised Law on Land entitles both Lao and foreign nationals to purchase individual units of a building with the right to use, sell, lease, mortgage, and bequeath the ownership of the unit. However, the ownership of an individual unit is not perpetual; the term of ownership of the individual units depends on the nature of the ownership of the land itself.

Under the same article, a Lao citizen may own parts of the land where the condominium is located or may own the entirety of the land in accordance with a technical and economic study undertaken prior to construction.

All units and suites in the condominium must be officially registered with the relevant department of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The same revised law now allows foreigners to take out land concession agreements with Lao citizens for up to thirty years, or with the government for up to fifty years.

Laos is the final country in ASEAN to include a law on condominiums, or strata title, in its land legislation.

The new law is likely to assist the government in attracting foreign investment and will give the country’s real estate market a boost at a time when the economy is in need.

Despite the lack of legislation, some condominium projects had already been constructed within Specific Economic Zones, such as the That Luang Lake Special Economic Zone (SEZ), where Chinese developer, Wan Feng Shanghai Real Estate Company, constructed a number of 19 storey condo structures.

This is the first time that Laos has included land legislation separating ownership of land from the structures built upon it.

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