President al-Assad issues legislative decrees on housing cooperatives and transfer of ownership of general establishments housing properties

Damascus, SANA – President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday issued legislative decree no. 36 for 2014 amending the law for housing cooperatives and legislative decree no. 37 for 2014 on the transfer of housing property belonging to general establishments.

The amendments made by decree no. 36 stipulate for permitting payees to transfer ownership of a housing cooperative property they received as long as they make all due payments, with the housing cooperative charging a sum equal to 1% of total payments or estimated value of the property for the transfer.

As for decree no. 36, it defines popular housing as housing built by general establishments to be allocated or sold to citizens in a facilitated manner, and social housing as a low-to-medium cost housing built by general establishments to be allocated or sold to citizens in a facilitated manner.

The decree permits the sale and allocation of these housings according to effective laws as long as the person to whom the property is sold or allocated has not bought or was allocated a similar property or housing from housing cooperatives.

Those who sign up for one of these housing properties can transfer ownership to another as long as they pay a percentage of the property’s estimated value to the establishment which built the property, in addition to paying no less than 7% of the sums due for the establishment up to the date of property transfer.

Sale of one of these housing properties is permitted as long as they make full payment on the property and pay a sum of no less than 7% of the property’s contractual value.

This decree does not affect savings housing subject to law no. 38 for 1978, housing allocated as reimbursement for individuals evicted from properties scheduled for demolition, and housing allocated for families of martyrs and for individuals who were handicapped in war.

In a statement to SANA, Director-General of the General Establishment for Housing Suhail Abdullatif said that the decrees meet civilians demands and reduce burdens placed on them, as prior laws regulating the sale of housing provided by general establishments prohibited their resale and transfer for up to 15 years.

Abdullatif said that citizens used to circumvent the prohibition of transfer and resale using non-regulation procedures that cannot be documented in real-estate registries, causing legal issues to citizens as many of these procedures couldn’t guarantee their rights, adding that this also encumbered courts with sale and ownership confirmation lawsuits.

He added that the new decrees also allow for resolving the status or properties sold prior to their issuing, noting that paperwork for transfer and sale of the properties in question has also been simplified.

Hazem Sabbagh

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