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Frederick W. Hong LAW OFFICES

Legal Issues Related to Houses of Overseas Chinese

January 11, 2018

By Angel Yang, Attorney

Law Offices of Frederick W. Hong

Houses of overseas Chinese is defined as houses owned by people beholding the status of overseas Chinese, relatives of nationals living abroad and returned overseas Chinese. Under the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Protection of the Rights of Returned Overseas Chinese and the Family Members of Overseas Chinese, the state shall protect domestic home ownership for returned overseas Chinese and their family.

Guangdong is one of the most famous hometowns of overseas Chinese in China; however, due to historical development, there are lots of issues related to overseas Chinese’s houses pending for resolution. Rules of Guangdong on the Protection of the Rights of Overseas Chinese clearly stipulates that, overseas Chinese have the rights to lawfully possess, utilize, obtain profit from and dispose of private home. No organizations nor individuals can illegally infringe upon their rights.

Overseas Chinese’s legal rights of real property in China can be realized through various manners. For examples, overseas Chinese can obtain the house’s ownership by buying houses in China, through inheritance or gift. Moreover, overseas Chinese also can legally rent their house to other organizations or individuals. If overseas Chinese’s houses were taken by eminent domain, they have the rights to get compensation either in kind or monetary payment. In general, once overseas Chinese handle the house registration procedures in accordance with the law, their legal rights will be protected.

When overseas Chinese are dealing with the problems of their houses in China, the legal issues involved can be complicated, especially where the houses are involved in historical legacy or infringement disputes. Our firm has handled cases where the descendants of senior overseas Chinese held old title certificates issued during the Kuomintang era or period of land reform. They consulted with us on how to get their titles back. With homes that were involved in historical and political impacted backdrops-some of them have been dismantled or taken by the government-we handled our cases professionally using applicable laws and regulations. In addition, if the overseas Chinese’s houses are in rural areas, it may incur issues of title transfer limitations. Fortunately, the China’s Property Law which became effective on October 1, 2007 provides specific regulations on private property and sets strong legal foundation to resolve the historical problems of overseas Chinese’s houses. When the Chinese government implements specific policies and systems on houses of overseas Chinese for the identified period, the Property Law shall be the legal basis to protect the legal rights of overseas Chinese.

Our firm has handled different infringement disputes over overseas Chinese’s property. Here are examples of cases we have been consulted with to resolve: the legal inheritance right of overseas Chinese was deprived; the right to use overseas Chinese’s houses and rental incomes were encroached upon; and the overseas Chinese’s failure to get legal settlement or compensation due to eminent domain, etc. When we handle complicated and difficult cases, we might have to resolve them through civil lawsuits or administrative lawsuits in China. Although the court proceedings may take time, we are still confident in getting favorable ruling for our clients by working closely with our clients and Chinese litigation lawyers to accurately identify the issues involved in the case, take on proper cause of action, provide adequate justification and use strong evidence to achieve favorable settlements.

Since we set up our representative office in Guangzhou in 1993, our firm has handled many legal cases related to overseas Chinese’s houses, including compensation for eminent domain, buy/sale transactions, inheritance and gift, return of ownership, change of information related to title and property, entrusted property management and property dispute resolution, etc. For complicated and difficult cases, we also cooperate with legal practitioners who have ample judicial experiences in Chinese litigation and court proceedings practice. Our attorneys are knowledgeable and rich in experiences in helping overseas Chinese to resolve property disputes in China.

We make an effort to understand each client’s business and goals. Our attorneys are savvy, innovative, and
focused on getting results that meet our clients’ needs. That’s how we establish lasting client relationships.

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