China: Nationwide Real Estate Registration Rules Entered into Effect

(July 7, 2015) On March 1, 2015, the Provisional Regulations on Real Estate Registration went into effect. The Regulations aim to establish a nationwide real estate registration system in China. (Budongchan Dengji Zanxing Tiaoli [Provisional Regulations on Real Estate Registration] (promulgated by the State Council on Nov. 24, 2014, effective Mar. 1, 2015), State Council Decree [2014] No. 656, State Council website.)

Real property subject to the new Regulations is defined to include land, territorial waters, and attachments thereto, such as houses and forests. (Regulations, art. 2.) The Regulations expand the scope of real estate registration to include ownership of collectively owned land and the right to use homestead land in rural areas. The land-use right and ownership of buildings and structures, such as houses, above state-owned land in urban areas have previously been registered. (Laney Zhang, China: Real Property Law (Oct. 2014; revised Mar. 2015), LAW LIBRARY OF CONGRESS LEGAL REPORTS.)

According to the Regulations, the Ministry of Land and Resources will guide and supervise the real estate registration system nationwide. Local governments at and above the county level will designate real estate registries in their respective jurisdictions; the local registries will be under the guidance and supervision of the real estate registry authorities of the higher levels. (Regulations, art. 6.) A uniform format for the deed of title will be adopted nationwide. (Id. art. 8; for a sample deed of title, see Quanguo Tongyi de Budongchan Dengji Buzheng Zhengshi Gongbu [Nationally Uniform Real Estate Registration Certificate Officially Published], XINHUANET (Feb. 27, 2015).)

Real property registration has in the past largely been subject to provincial rules, which vary from province to province. In some places, land-use rights and ownership of buildings above the land require separate registration applications with different government departments, and separate certificates of registration may be issued. (Zhang, supra.) The Regulations explicitly provide that the certificates previously issued remain valid after the Regulations go into effect. (Regulations, art. 33.)

A national real property information platform will be established primarily by the Ministry of Land and Resources, in order to ensure “real-time sharing of registration information” at all government levels. (Id. art. 23.)

In March, the Ministry of Land and Resources released draft implementation rules of the Regulations for solicitation of public opinion. The solicitation period was over in April, but the implementation rules had not been published as of the date this article was written. (Text of draft Rules of Implementation (Mar. 26, 2015), Ministry of Land and Resources website (in Chinese).)

Law Library Intern Shi Qiu contributed to this article.

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