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Three Score Rental Soon Possible

Property Ownership Still Taboo for Foreigners in Indonesia, But 60 Year Leasehold by Non-Indonesians to Soon be Possible

(1/8/2012) The desire of the Minister of Public Housing, Djan Faridz, to give full property ownership rights to foreigners has run afoul of the National Constitution and the Basic Agrarian Land Act. As an alternative and in order to encourage foreign capital investment in the property sector, the right to rent or lease land will soon be extended to an initial 60 year period, an increase over the current limit of 25 years.

The government plans to issue the new regulation allowing 60 year lease holds is expected to published by late January.

Under the former Basic Agrarian Law instituted in 1960 foreigners were eligible to obtain a Hak Pakai -- Right to Use Title for a maximum period of 25 years, extendable for additional sequential increments 20 years and 25 years.

The new law still limits foreigner to the rental of property, but now for an initial contract period of 60 years.

The Minster of Public Housing had originally promised to open property ownership to foreigners by opening Hak Guna Bangunan - Building Rights Title, short of the actual outright ownership of land. This idea, however, appears to be a concept that is anathema to the Basic Agrarian Law and the National Constitution.

Caveat Emptor

Despite advertisements in Bali offering freehold property title, the Indonesian law remains absolutely clear on the point that the Indonesian equivalent of Hak Milik is the exclusive right of Indonesian citizens. Efforts to contravene this prohibition on foreign ownership of land through absolute powers of attorney and nominal ownership secured by nebulous loan agreements are “legal constructs” proven likely not to stand the test of time, legal challenge or close scrutiny by tax officials.

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