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Land Registry in China

Land Registry in China

Updated on Friday 22nd February 2019

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The Bureau of Real Estate Registration in China, under the supervision of the Ministry of Land and Resources, is responsible for land registration in China. This authority drafts and implements the regulations regarding land management and issuing special certificates for land use in China. A national real estate registry system is expected to be implemented in China and it will play a key role in property rights protection, property taxes collection and many others. Our law firm in China handles property transaction cases and can help you if you are interested in land registration in China and property purchase. Besides that, you can request details about the rules and regulations in this matter or about how to set up a company in China.
 

The Chinese Property Law

 
Chinese Property Law regulates the purchase of land in China. Foreigners who want to buy a property in China need to satisfy certain conditions in order to be deemed eligible. For example, they have to stay for at least one year in the country before making any real estate transaction. Moreover, according to the Chinese law, foreigners cannot buy land in China because the land is state-owned. An individual who has purchased a property in China must research the property at the Land Registry in order to obtain information about the existing property rights and encumbrances. The buyer can obtain copies of the land and building registration documents. When a real estate transaction is made in China, any title transfer is registered at the Land Registry. At this stage, a new ownership certificate is issued for the property.
 
Our Chinese lawyers can help you submit all the necessary documentation at the Land Registry in China. Moreover, we can give you additional information about the associated costs.
 

The land registration system in China

 
In China, the registration of land and real estate are separate. The owner must register the two at different authorities and obtain two different certificates of registration. The national property registry was implemented at the beginning of this year in China aiming the nationwide property registry and a platform for information management.
 

The simplified registration procedures in China

 
A person interested in purchasing a property or land can apply for an objection regarding the rights to use those assets. According to the rules related to the land registration in China, an inspection is necessary when a house or land registration is about to take place. The procedures, in this case, have been simplified and the authorities can choose not to proceed with this kind of inspection, making the registration process an easier one. Besides that, the future owners of land in China can obtain certificates where information about the space around the land will be mentioned, in order to make a clear idea about their rights, avoiding possible litigations.
 

Shared information about the real estate registration in China

 
The real estate registration system in China contains information which can be accessed on request by those interested in buying assets in the country. The relevant authorities can offer transaction details regarding land registry in areas like agriculture, maritime, construction or forests. Furthermore, the unified real estate registration system in China can be accessed by the police, the financial or the civil affairs and to provide complete information for future buyers.
 

How to sell a property in China

 
Even though the process of selling or buying a property in China might seem complex, the stages aren’t that harsh, especially if you decide for a Chinese lawyer to handle all the requirements. As an example in this sense and according to the Property Law of the People’s Republic of China, a property that it is sold needs to be registered with the Bureau of Real Estate Registration in China, the authority that can issue the ownership titles for new proprietors. It is good to know that in China, foreigners cannot own and sell state-owned properties. There are specific taxes you need to consider when selling a property in China, such as the land value appreciation tax which ranges between 30% and 60% of the value of the property. As for commercial properties in China, these are levied with the enterprise income tax of 25%. Let us remind you that any property sale in China needs to be registered with the land registry and the local offices. Legal advice in this matter can be obtained from our team of attorneys in China.
 

Do I need real estate due diligence in China?

 
Yes, it is strongly recommended to ask for real estate due diligence before you purchase a property in this country. The real estate industry is extremely attractive in China, however, it is important to solicit information about the real estate property before acquisition, whether you are a local or a foreign investor. In this matter, a real estate due diligence can help you:
 
  • know the correct price of the property you want to purchase in China;
  • understand if there are any legal problems or hidden litigations linked to the property;
  • obtain a close and important verification of the documents involved;
  • have a complete idea about the property you are about to purchase in China.
 
We also mention that according to the Chinese legislation, you can ask for environmental due diligence which reports if the property you wish to buy is located in a safe region without any environmental risks involved.  Our experienced lawyers in real estate due diligence in China are at the disposal of foreign investors looking to enter the real estate market and make purchases in this sense. Also, we can represent you with a power of attorney in order for you not to travel to China for buying or selling a property. Feel free to ask us about the legal aspects regarding the real estate sector in China.
 

Registering the property contract in China

 
The Land Registry in China can issue the certificate of property ownership as soon as a contract is provided in this sense. This is an important document which comprises information about the former owners of the property, about the type of construction, the price, the name of the new owners and details about the litigation matters. Information about the property or the building is comprised in a sale/purchase contract, as stipulated by the law. Also, a contract cannot be drafted without the signatures of both former owner and present proprietor, plus all the bank documents showing that the property has been paid for. It is important to verify the documents of the property you wish to buy in order to avoid the cases of hidden mortgages or fees you are not aware of. This is why a real estate and a property due diligence is recommended, a matter where our Chinese lawyers can provide complete legal assistance and information.
 

What is the property reference number?

 
The Property Reference Number or the PRN is issued by the Land Register in China in an electronic format for each property. This number is normally used in any real estate transaction as part of the document’s issuance.
 

The registration of a property in a simplified manner

 
The registration of property in China is subject to specific internal measures and checkups with the help of online and offline registration systems. The entire registration procedure has been simplified since 2009, granting both domestic and foreign entrepreneurs the right to easily purchase properties in China. It is good to know that even if the registration procedure met lots of improvements in recent years, it might take some time until the entire procedure is sealed. However, it is important to pay attention to the ways in which an attorney in China can provide legal advice for all persons interested in acquiring a property in China for which a verification is needed and recommended. A real estate due diligence is a normal procedure suggested by our lawyers, in order for you to be sure that the property you are about to purchase has no litigations involved.
 
For more information about the Chinese real estate market and real estate due diligence services, you can contact our law firm in China.