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Cuba: Government Amends Housing Law to Allow Sales and Purchases of Homes

(Dec. 1, 2011) On November 2, 2011, the Cuban government published in the Cuban OFFICIAL GAZETTE an amendment to Law 65 on housing, allowing citizens who live in Cuba and foreigners who are permanent residents to buy and sell homes. Home ownership is limited to one primary home and one secondary home in a vacation area per individual.(Decreto_Ley No. 288, Modificativo de la Ley No. 65, “Ley General de la Vivienda,” arts. 2, 70.3, & Fourth Final Provision, GACETA OFICIAL (G.O.) Extraordinaria, No. 35 (Nov. 2, 2011)[click on “Ediciones Anteriores” (past editions) and search by date and Gazette number].)

Previously, the housing law provided that homes could be bartered, but profiting from such a transaction was penalized with the loss of the property to the Cuban government. (Ley General de la Vivienda, arts. 68 & 7th Special Provision, G.O. (Feb. 8, 1989).) The amended housing law now provides that the parties to a real estate transaction are allowed to freely agree on the price of the property. This amendment entered into force on November 10, 2011.