Drawing up legal framework for office-tels remains difficult

The Saigon Times

HCMC – The Ministry of Construction has written to the prime minister stating that it has encountered a host of difficulties in researching and drafting a circular on regulations for developing and managing the office-tel segment, VnEconomy news site reported.

The ministry, in the document forwarded to the prime minister on July 22, said that the current laws, including the Land Law, Investment Law, Construction Law, and Law on Real Estate Business, and construction standards and criteria do not provide any regulations on, or include the concept of, office-tels.

In addition, in line with Decree 81, the responsibility and authority of the Ministry of Construction does not extend to the management of office-tels, the ministry stated, adding that the governance of the segment is under the purview of the police, and not the ministry.

The ministry stated it had earlier consulted the ministries of Justice and Culture, Sports, and Tourism about the issuance of the circular. Based on the feedback from the two ministries, the ministry came to the conclusion that a circular with regulations on the management of office-tels will not have a legal basis.

Therefore, the ministry has now proposed the prime minister to allow it to collaborate with the relevant ministries and departments to research and prepare a decree on the management of the office-tel segment instead.

As regulated, a circular is a notice providing guidance on regulations issued by State agencies, whereas a decree is an official order issued by the Government to guide laws or introduce some missing regulations.

The legal vacuum on new types of real estate, such as office-tels and condo-tels, has, of late, been a hot-button topic for debate among investors, customers, and State management agencies.

Earlier in April, the prime minister had issued a directive asking the Ministry of Construction to study and propose mechanisms and policies to develop and govern the new property segments. However, the ministry is still facing a number of difficulties in this task.

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