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Apartment disputes on the rise between residents, investors

Update: December, 31/2015 - 09:46
A dispute at the 4S Riverside Garden apartment area in HCM City in November, which apparently turned violent and injured one resident, was a typical example demonstrating a lack of a mechanism to resolve disputes. — Photo soha.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — A rapid rise of the number of apartments in big cities without fixes to legal loopholes in apartment management has resulted in an increase of disputes between investors and residents.

The latest dispute at the 4S Riverside Garden apartment area in HCM City in November, which apparently turned violent and injured one resident, was a typical example demonstrating a lack of a mechanism to resolve disputes.

The 4S Riverside Garden was invested in and built by HCM City-based Thanh Truong Loc Construction Co., Ltd., in 2009. The company allegedly built a handful of construction works incorrectly which municipal construction inspectors later asked them to dismantle, including a swimming pool and playground.

Those communal areas, however, have been for years the centre of a dispute on the right to access between the company and the apartment's administration board.

Without consulting the administration board, the investor unilaterally decided to pull apart those construction works, which met resistance from residents.

The war of words turned ugly and one resident was hospitalised with brain injuries and a broken rib.

The dispute was still unresolved as the two sides kept exchanging accusations.

Another major dispute between apartment investors and residents occurred at the Dat Phuong Nam apartment building in HCM City's Binh Thanh District when the two sides went to court over several issues – from the parking basement to apartment maintenance fees and management fees on floors rented out for commercial purposes.

A number of apartment buildings in Ha Noi were also caught in the same kind of dispute like the Sky City in Dong Da District or the N07-1 and N07-2 in Long Bien District.

Legal loopholes

Lawyer Huynh Van Nong from HCM City Bar Association said that the reason behind the increasing number of apartment investor-resident disputes was the lack of experience of investors in dealing with disagreements with residents.

"The prolonged disputes also came from the fact that authorities haven't had much experience in apartment management," Nong told Tuoi tre (Youth) newspaper yesterday.

The residential apartment market in Viet Nam has been booming in recent years, but regulations regarding management work were still unclear, he added. Such vagueness led to multiple ways to interpret the law and prolonged the disputes.

Nguyen Dinh Chung, Deputy Head of the Administration Board of the 584 Luy Ban Bich apartment building, agreed on the need for more detailed regulations on apartment management work.

"The current law is very vague on the private-common ownership, meaning investors and apartment buyers have to settle it themselves," Chung said.

"But the fact is that the contracts tend to be fixed by the investors, leaving little chance for the buyers to change. Besides, not many are able to calculate exactly how big the communal services constructions will be".

"That will result in a loss for the residents and trigger a dispute," he said. — VNS


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