Analysis & Features

In principle, precautionary asset seizure in Syria is a legal procedure in which a person’s movable and immovable assets are placed under the authority of the judiciary to prevent him from disposing of them. This is to ensure the collection of debts owed by him to individuals or official entities. Since 2011, however, the Ministry of […]
According to official statistics, between 2011 and 2021 some 2,600 building code violations were recorded in the city of Suweida, 1,000 in the city of Shahba and its suburbs, and more than 1,000 in other cities and towns across the governorate.
The concept of regional planning was first mentioned in Regional Planning Law No. 26 of 2010, as integrated planning that regulates policies related to housing, location, time and environment, with the aim of achieving sustainable, balanced development on both the regional and national levels.
The expropriations that took place in the old city centre of Hama in 1982 did not receive widespread media and human rights coverage, largely due to the forced displacement and disappearance of most property owners during the regime’s attack and siege of the city.
Despite widespread damage across many neighbourhoods of the Syrian capital, as well as delayed zoning plans for some areas and failure to issue plans for others, the Damascus governorate plans to launch what it calls beautification plans for the city. This comes as part of a government drive to establish the capital as a model […]
Real estate documentation in Syria varies, along with their legal value. The following are the most important real estate documents, in descending order of legal value: A title deed, also known as a “green tabu,” is an official document issued by the Directorate of Cadastral Affairs. It proves the ownership of an individual’s property, and […]

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.


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.


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.