Law No. 3 of 1976, which regulates land sales, fully and explicitly prohibits trading lands intended for construction within an approved general zoning plan.
Law No. 10 of 2018, does not differ greatly from its predecessor Decree No. 66 of 2012 in terms of the seven specialised committees that must be formed to establish real estate development zones.
Syrian laws related to zoning and urban planning do not provide any clear definition of the so-called compulsory land readjustment. The process occurs in development zones, through the distribution of shares to rights holders, often not in the original locations of their properties and after deducting a percentage of the area of these properties without compensation.
Law No. 31 of 2018 regulates the Ministry of Endowments, as well as its role in administering and investing in endowment real estate properties.
The city of Hama in central Syria is known for its informally built districts. This is due to decades of stalemate in the city’s urban planning policies and government decrees that stopped the subdivision of lands in 1975 and delayed expansion of the city’s zoning plans.
Last week the Syrian president issued Investment Law No. 18 of 2021, which replaces Investment Law No. 8 of 2007. The most important aspect of the new law relating to HLP rights is a new method of employing private investment for establishing a diverse range of economic projects in some areas that were damaged by the war.
The board of directors of Syria’s Real Estate Finance Oversight Commission (REFOC) was reorganised in recent weeks following a decree by the prime minister in March. The move is an attempt to activate the body, which has remained largely dormant since its inception.
Law No. 33 of 2017 regulates the restoration of partially or completely damaged land records. The law defines the reasons justifying restoration, as well as the mechanisms and procedures to be followed. It also outlines the mechanism for announcing the results of restoration, how to object to them and the penalties for those who destroyed the original records.
Digitising Syria’s Land Registry would require transferring records from their paper format into a digital format, as well as linking them electronically between different governorates. In theory, this would protect information and simplify record-keeping as well as speed up real estate transactions and ease citizens’ access to certain services.
After approval from the Parliament, the presidency in recent days issued Law No. 17, which lists the real estate service fees collected by Cadastral Affairs. The new law utilises the current value of real estate to set and collect certain real estate service fees.
The Syrian Civil Code has not explicitly defined so-called “dissolved” (Mahlolah) real estate properties, but its definition can be deduced from the context of Private State Property Law No. 252 of 1959: they are any real estate properties resulting from inheritances that have no heir, or that have an heir to whom ownership laws do not apply. Also, a property may also be considered “dissolved” if it is an Amiri land that has gone unused for five years.
Cadastral Affairs is the official body tasked with documenting property and any changes to its status. No real estate document is considered completely valid unless it has been entered into the Cadastral Affairs’ records.
On March 24, the Government issued Decree No. 28, which specifies the minimum amount that must be deposited in the bank account of the seller of a real estate property for the documentation of the sales contracts and powers of attorneyto be considered acceptable. The powers of attorney are of particular importance for refugees and people living outside Syria.