What happens to properties in China after 70 years’ usage?

In China ownership of lands belongs to the government, people can only pay to use it within a certain period of time. Under current law, the term of use for residential land is 70 years, then 70 years later, what will happen to the houses? This fear involves two major concerns: First, if the land is retrieved by the government then will the building become a “castle in the air”?; Second, even the land is not taken back by the government; the owners will have to pay a fee the amount of which is unknown.

Since the publication of the draft Property Law in 2005, the issue of limited term of residential land usage once again became the focus of the society in China. The draft Property Law for the first time regulates that: In case the land use right expires, the land use right will extinguish. If people need to continue to use the land, they shall apply for renewal one year before the expiry and shall pay the agreed premium. This provision means that the property owner can own the land use rights for more than 70 years but have to pay the premium amount of which is still not clear.

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