MCEA asks gov’t to enact Apartment Law

DSC 7254 An aerial view of Yangon City with high rise buildings.
An aerial view of Yangon City with high-rise buildings. Photo: Phoe Khwar

The Myanmar Construction Entrepreneurs Association (MCEA) said it has asked the government to enact the Apartment Law.
Although there are about 300,000 apartments in the Yangon Region, there is no guarantee when it comes to purchase of apartments because there is no binding law, according to the association.
If the Apartment Law is enacted to develop the housing sector, apartment owners will be able to get their titles registered, enter into legal deeds of sale, and the government will earn a good revenue from sales tax. Additionally, apartment owners will be able to sell, transfer, and mortgage their apartments legally.
“The enactment of the Apartment Law will turn around 300,000 apartments into strong assets. In the absence of the Apartment Law, most sales contracts are being drawn up in an informal way. This being so, if owners try to mortgage their apartments with banks, they are not granted loans. Apartment owners cannot exercise their consumer rights. There are also unwanted problems such as cases of construction contractors absconding, brokers cheating, and apartments owners being at risk of losing their apartments. As for the government, it cannot impose taxes. If the Apartment Law is enacted, registration will be required when purchasing apartments,” said U Myo Myint, the General Secretary of the MCEA.
Yangon Region has higher apartment occupation compared to other states and regions. Therefore, the MCEA is planning to draw the Apartment Law for Yangon Region along with the regional government.
The Myanmar Licensed Contractors Association has submitted a bill to the Pyithu Hluttaw after drawing up the National Apartment Law. The law is to be implemented by the Urban and Housing Development Department, under the Ministry of Construction.
Currently, the National Apartment Law is being discussed at the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw construction committee meeting.
According to the constitution, the Apartment Law can also be enacted at the state and region levels. Before work begins on a building, the construction plan needs to be submitted six months in advance to the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) for approval as designing buildings, copying municipal maps, etc., take time. So, if the YCDC makes changes once work begins, construction cannot be completed on time, creating differences between home-owners and contractors, according to the MCEA.
The MCEA has requested that contractors be granted at least 6 months’ grace period at the 25th regular meeting between Vice President U Myint Swe and entrepreneurs, held on 15 March at the Office of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

By Aye Yamone (Translated by Hay Mar)

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