Analysis & Features

Article 2 of Decree No. 40 of 2012, which addressed the removal of so-called unlicensed structures (structures built without proper licence), stipulated that such structures be removed if they had been constructed after the issuance of the 2012 decree. This measure would apply no matter the type, location, investment category or usage of an unlicensed structure in question, which would be demolished and the rubble subsequently removed at the expense of whomever had benefited from the structure. 
The Syrian Prime Ministry issued Notice No. 15/17/B on June 2 to “amend the instructions of the Land Classification Plans Guide and determine its production capabilities in order to obtain the required approval and undertake investments on lands located outside of zoning plans.”
Inheritance refers to any movable or immovable assets left behind by an individual after their death. Their heirs become entitled to this inheritance in accordance with certain rules, and after fulfilling the deceased person’s wills and any debts they owed. 
Endowments properties, particularly those located in opposition-held territory, are today the centre of much discussion about the most appropriate way to invest in them or build housing projects in their place.
Recently in Syria there has been an increased reliance on engineering reports issued by public safety committees to determine structural dangers of buildings, especially in areas affected by fighting during the conflict. Obtaining such reports has become a condition for displaced people who seek to return to their homes in some partially damaged neighbourhoods.
Alternative housing – which is housing granted as compensation for a demolished or expropriated home that was unregistered or built informally – is one of the most confusing concepts in Syrian law. Because there is no clear definition of alternative housing, different Syrian laws have addressed the concept in varying ways.
Syria’s system of delimitation and census, as outlined in Decree No. 186 of 1926, remains in force for surveying zones that have not yet been entered into the Land Registry. As a part of the process, a land record is established for the properties located within a specified zone, with each property assigned a number and entered into the Land Registry under the names of the owners.
For a third consecutive time, the Damascus Governorate Council agreed on March 9 to delay imposing a tax on plots of land within the Marota City project that are slated for construction. The tax has been postponed for an additional year, ending in March 2023.
Customary marriages in Syria have negatively impacted women’s housing, land, and property rights. These types of marriages have increased in recent years as civil courts have suspended their work in many parts of the country. Even in areas where courts remain functional, many people were reluctant to register new marriages out of fear of forced military conscription or detection by security forces.
With Cabinet Resolution No. 1596 of 2021, the Higher Investment Council (HIC) approved the executive instructions for Investment Law No. 18, which was issued in May 2021. The most notable part of the law, with regards to housing, land and property rights, was a provision allowing the use of private investment to establish business projects in some areas of Syria that have been damaged by the war.
The Agrarian Reform Law No. 161 of 1958 allowed the Syrian state to expropriate more than the previously determined ceiling for agricultural land ownership and to redistribute the expropriated land to small farmers. On the other hand, the Agricultural Land Reclamation Law No. 29 of 2012 legalised state expropriation of agricultural land with the goal of increasing its productivity and then redistributing it to rights holders after deducting any land that is considered to be in excess of the ceiling for agricultural land ownership. 
The Law on Building Occupants’ Organisations and Administrative Committees No. 55 of 2002 was aimed at regulating the administration, maintenance, and preservation of common areas in shared buildings and at enabling occupants to resolve any related disputes. The organisations mentioned in the law are not obligatory and many buildings do not have such bodies. 
During the period of Egyptian-Syrian unification in 1958-1961, the unity government issued Agrarian Reform Law No. 161 with the aim of setting a maximum limit on agricultural land ownership.