The Government has banned enterprises from using residential apartments as offices in 2015. However, the use of apartments for business operations is rampant. Vietnam News Agency talked about this with Nguyễn Mạnh Khởi, deputy director of the Ministry of Construction’s Housing and Real Estate Market Management Department.
What is your comment on the use of apartments as business offices in spite of the ban?
Four or five years ago, we did not act against such practice because there was no legal basis for requiring apartment owners not to rent their apartment for business operation. Now, we have specific regulations on the issue in the Housing Law, which was passed by the Government in 2015.
Decree 99/2015/ND-CP stipulates that within six months from its entry into force, enterprises and companies must move out of the apartments they rented for their operation and must relocate.
This involves many industries and sectors, and localities have begun to implement it. The Ministry of Construction has organised training courses for local authorities. In the future, local authorities must strengthen compliance with the regulation.
There are different opinions about the responsibility for ensuring compliance. Could you talk about the responsibilities?
The Housing Law says that those using their apartments as an office or leasing it for business purposes, must change their location. Business registration agencies, such as the Department of Planning and Investment and local authorities, must also ensure a change of address.
The decree also clarifies that the Government assigned the people’s committees of district and city levels to implement the provisions on banning the use of apartments as offices.
To implement the decree, the Ministry of Construction has organised dissemination and training courses. According to the Housing Law, primary responsibility for the implementation of the decree is the district-level people’s committees.
Could you tell about the penalties for violators?
The penalties for those who violate the law are currently being finalised. The ministry’s inspectors will be in charge of the issue.
The Housing Law bans the use of apartments for business purposes. The registration of business locations in apartment buildings will be banned.
The district-level people’s committees will be in charge of guiding the departments of Planning and Investment and Construction to inspect premises and fine violators. – VNS