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Developers withhold maintenance fees

Update: December, 15/2015 - 08:58
Apartment buildings located in Ha Noi's Ha Dong District. BIC Vietnam Joint Stock Company – developer of the Rainbow Van Quan Building – has refused to hand over the maintenance fund to the building's residents' committee, saying it was not qualified to maintain the building. ­­— VNA/VNS Photo Bui Tuong

HA NOI (VNS) — Developers will have their bank accounts or property frozen if they delay transferring maintenance fees to residents' committees of apartment buildings from last Thursday.

According to the Law on Housing passed last year, the owner of an apartment has to pay an extra two per cent of the total apartment sale price for maintenance inside the building.

These fees collected by developers must be passed on to the residents' committees no later than seven days after they are set up.

However, according to Ministry of Construction statistics, less than 20 per cent of developers in 200 apartment buildings around Ha Noi had transferred the fees to residents' committees, Tin tuc newspaper reported yesterday.

Head of the residents' committee at Sky City in Dong Da District, Dang Trong Hieu, said although the building opened five years ago, they had not received maintenance funds of VND30 billion (roughly US$1.4 million ) from the developer.

Residents were worried because they did not have money to fix the building, he said.

The building N05 Trung Hoa-Nhan Chinh faces the same problem as the developer has delayed transferring almost VND70 billion ($3.1 million) in maintenance funds.

BIC Vietnam Joint Stock Company – developer of the Rainbow Van Quan Building in Ha Dong District – has refused to hand over the maintenance fund to the building's residents' committee, saying they were not qualified to maintain the building.

Instead the developer wanted to refund the maintenance fees to apartment owners.

The revised Housing Law, which took effect in July, called for a residents' committee voted for by the residents to manage, operate and maintain buildings.

Economist Vu Dinh Anh said that stronger measures were needed when housing developers were unable to return the fubds. However, it became impossible in cases where the developer went missing or bankrupt.

Anh said the Government should seek ways to stop developers from delaying maintenance fee transfers.

Head of the Viet Nam Building Management and Maintenance Association, Nguyen Quoc Hiep, said that bank accounts that held the fees should include one person representing the developers and two members of residents' committees to prevent risks in case committee members sold their apartments or no longer lived there.

The move would also help ensure the effective use of the maintenance fund, he said. — VNS

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