Registering Property

This topic examines the steps, time, and cost involved in registering property in China. 
Procedure 1.
Parties obtain application and notifications sheet, and pay fees
Time to complete:
1 day
Cost to complete:
Deed tax: 3% of property value to be paid by the buyer
Stamp duty: 0.05% of property value paid each by buyer and seller (total 0.1%)
Comment:
The parties visit the House and Land Resources Administration Centre to pick up an application and a notification sheet that gives instructions on how to proceed. The parties fill the application on the spot, impose their company seals on it, and present it to pay the applicable taxes at the Finance Window. Some property registry offices in Shanghai do not collect stamp duty from companies. In such a case, both the seller and the buyer will have to pay stamp duty to the tax authorities with jurisdiction over them.
Procedure 2.
Parties file the application at the House and Land Resources Administration Centre
Time to complete:
up to 20 business days
Cost to complete:
no cost
Comment:
Private ownership of land is not permitted in China; all land is subject to either State ownership or collective ownership. However, a private party is entitled to obtain the right to use the land. Regarding the State-owned land, there are two types of land use rights, the “granted land use right” and the “allocated land use right”. The difference is that the granted land use right is limited in time against payment, whereas the allocated land use right is usually given for free with no time limit, but for specific purposes only. A private party also may transfer to another private party the granted land use right. The allocated land use right cannot be commercially transferable before being converted into granted land use right.
In this case, the land is used for commercial purposes. Usually land for commercial use is owned by the State, and the relevant land use right is the State-owned land use right. As to the term of the land use right in this case the buyer, who will use the land for commercial purposes, will only get 40 years as the initial term (as maximum unless it extends the granted land use rights at the end of the 40 year period by paying to the State the additional land price) minus the period from the granting date from the State to the date of the transfer to ABC.

There is a standard form sale and purchase agreement formulated by government authorities and is required to be used in practice. The contents of the standard form agreement may be revised or supplemented by way of a supplemental agreement attached to the standard form agreement as appendix. The sale and purchase agreement needs to be printed at designated printers. Such printers are only available at licensed real estate brokers and the property registry offices.

Property Ownership Certificate and Land Use Right Certificate are combined into one certificate in Shanghai, which is called "Real Estate Title Certificate".

The documentation shall include:
The seller and the buyer should submit one original real estate sales and purchase contract (duly signed) and a writing representation of the seller and buyer regarding the title transfer. There is no standard form of the contract (except for newly constructed commercial residential properties) nor the participation of a lawyer/notary is required.

The seller should submit the below documents:
(i) The original copy of the Property Ownership Certificate and Land Use Right Certificate "Real Estate Title Certificate" (already in possession of the seller);
(ii) The original copy of the Business License or Organization Code Certificate;
(iii) The original copy of the Board resolution approving the sales of the real estate;
(iv) District Branch-dedicated Form for proof of legal representative’s authority, and photocopy of the identification card (or passport) of the legal representative; and
(v) Photocopy of the identification card of the individual authorized to handle the actual procedures, and the original copy of Power of Attorney.

The buyer should submit the below documents:
(i) Real Estate Ownership Registration Form;
(ii) The original copy of the Business License or Organization Code Certificate;
(iii) The original copy of the Board resolution approving the purchase of the real estate;
(iv) District Branch-dedicated Form for proof of legal representative’s authority, and photocopy of the identification card (or passport) of the legal representative; And
(v) Photocopy of the identification card of the individual authorized to handle the actual procedures, and the original copy of Power of Attorney.
Procedure 3.
Parties pay registration fee
Time to complete:
1 day
Cost to complete:
CNY 550
Comment:
The registration fee is paid at a separate window from that where one picks up the new title certificate.The Ministry of Finance and State Development and Reform Commission issued a notice, effective from May 1st 2008, to standardize the registration fees for real estate property. The registration fee is set at CNY 80 for one piece of residential housing and CNY 550 for one piece of non-residential building. The registration fee is decided by piece, not value of the property.
Procedure 4.
Parties pick up new title certificate
Time to complete:
1 day
Cost to complete:
no cost
Comment:
After paying the registration fee, along with the receipt, the buyer obtains the new Real Estate Title Certificate. In Shanghai the former Property Ownership Certificate and the Land Use Right Certificate have been combined into one certificate, the Real Estate Title Certificate. The title transfer procedure will be complete upon the issuance of the new Real Estate Title Certificate, and the certificate holder thereby becomes the official owner of the premises.
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