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China: Real Estate Administration Notice Published

(Oct. 29, 2010) On September 21, 2010, China's Ministry of Land and Resources and Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development jointly issued the Notice on “Further Intensifying Administration and Regulation over Utilization and Development of Land for Residential Purposes.” The aim of this notice is to implement provisions of a notice issued previously. (Rajesh, Two Ministries Jointly Promulgate Notice to Further Intensify Control of Real Estate Market, 36 ISINOLAW WEEKLY (Oct. 11-17, 2010), via email from [email protected].)

The Notice establishes that there must be cooperation between the various local departments of housing and land use in each locality in planning for the development of additional urban housing. This planning is to be done on an annual basis, in accordance with existing housing development plans. The local offices are to include in the planning process the development of low-income housing, renovation of housing in areas where buildings are run-down, and assessment of the existing public and commercial rental commercial housing; they are to tie these plans to specific plots of land. Once land has been allotted and access granted for a housing project, construction must begin within one year and be completed in three. (Id.)

The Notice also requires officials to investigate acts of hoarding land, speculating in land purchase and sale, and leaving land unused; the act of adjusting plot ratio without approval, and acts contrary to relevant statutes on commercial housing construction and sale. When these improper acts result in profits, those profits are subject to confiscation and additional penalties may be imposed. Developers who build structures larger than approved in the plans or who fail to build low-income housing as required and those who miss deadlines for construction will be punished. Officials who have been derelict in their duties in connection with housing projects, including those who have gained financially, are to be investigated and punished as well. (Id.)