In late 2021, the local council in Azaz, a city under opposition control in the northern part of the Aleppo Governorate, carried out its first demolition of a “building violation” constructed without a licence. Despite the apparent symbolic nature of the demolition, the council attempted to demonstrate that it is serious about addressing so-called “building violations” and reining in the informal expansion of the city. The council also employed military force in the form of opposition National Army fighters to implement the demolition.
Syria’s Prime Minister laid the foundation stone in December 2021 for the Al-Amal residential suburb project in the city of Hama, located in Al-Naqarneh along the Hama-Aleppo highway.
The Minister of Justice issued Circular No. 38 on December 13, 2021, to resolve disputes in the courts about how to calculate judicial fees for real estate cases. The circular affirmed that such fees are based on the appraised real estate value of a given property under the provisions of Judicial Fees Law No. 1 of 2012, rather than based on the “current value” as stipulated in Real Estate Sales Law No. 15 of 2021.
The General Housing Establishment invited occupants of so-called “housing at risk of collapse” within Damascus’ Mazzeh 86 informal housing neighbourhood to choose alternative housing, which was considered to be preferential treatment and contradicted the laws in place that handle informal housing and urban planning.
The Rural Damascus Governorate agreed this past March to allow the return of displaced residents to various sites in Yalda, a town south of Damascus bordering the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp. Though months have gone by, only a few families have returned.
The General Secretariat of the Hama Governorate announced a new decision to allow individuals to invest in farmlands belonging to their forcibly displaced relatives.
The Homs Governorate has finished amending zoning plans for four areas: Al-Qusayr, Al-Rastan, Al-Quryatayn, and Palmyra, and has sent the amended plans to the Ministry of Public Works and Housing for study and approval, according to official governorate statements.
After the settlement deals in southern Syria earlier this year, the regime launched a security campaign against displaced Bedouin tribes from the Suweida Governorate residing in the eastern part of the neighbouring Daraa Governorate. These displaced tribes have faced violations impacting their rights to housing and have few options for relocating, as many are unable to return to their hometowns.
The Real Estate Judiciary in Syria dates back to Delimitation and Census Law No. 186 of 1926. Since the law was passed, there has been no clear definition of the Real Estate Judiciary or real estate judges. However, the body violates the principle of judicial independence by remaining subservient to the executive authority.
The General Establishment of Housing has recently issued a series of statements stating that it would speed up the process of allocating homes to applicants for social housing projects; however, this move comes with amendments to the contract conditions without the prior consent of applicants.
Smuggling operations, which are causing security tensions in populated areas along the Syrian-Jordanian border, are directly impacting housing, land, and property rights.
For displaced residents, returning to the city of Al-Hajar Al-Aswad does not appear feasible in the foreseeable future despite repeated official announcements suggesting otherwise. Rubble still obstructs movement in main and subsidiary streets, while the rehabilitation of infrastructure is still in its initial stages.
Personal Status Law No. 59 of 1953 and its amendments regulate inheritance based on Islamic law. The law includes the Alawites, though it excludes Druze and Christians.
Since 2018, the Directorate of Cadastral Affairs in Idlib has been affiliated with the Ministry of Local Administration and Services under the Syrian Salvation Government, the governing body of Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham.
The real estate market in the Daraa Governorate has witnessed increased supply and lower prices, coinciding with the conclusion of the recent security settlement deal. The likely reason for this increase in supply is due to people selling their properties in order to afford migration outside of Syria.
The Directorate of Cadastral Affairs in Rural Damascus is re-registering real estate records that were lost and damaged during the conflict and re-determining the delimitation and census of some properties, even while the Syrian opposition possesses a copy of the pre-2012 documents.
Law No. 3 of 2018, which is concerned with the removal of rubble from buildings damaged by natural or unnatural causes, or those slated for demolition, was actually issued to deal with buildings damaged by the conflict.
The governor of Damascus recently met with the owners of some plots of the Marota City project, which followed the announcement that the framework for the first tower in the Marota City construction project had been completed.
A private company recently obtained approval to establish the first real estate development zone within the city of Damascus. However, mystery shrouds the identities of the owners of the properties slated for development. The project is also a clear violation of the executive instructions of Real Estate Development Law No. 15 of 2008.
Recent post-conflict settlement deals in the town of Nahteh in the eastern countryside of the Daraa Governorate have coincided with violations of residents’ housing, land, and property rights.