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Businesses sour about 15-day deadline to move out of apartments

Update: December, 23/2016 - 12:00

HCM CITY  HCM City authorities have given all businesses operating out of residential apartments 15 days to move out.

A 2015 Government decree guiding the Housing Law had given them time until June 10 this year, but city authorities had failed to publish it until Thursday.

The city Department of Planning and Investment will now work with the Department of Construction and local authorities to enforce the decree.

Businesses are understandably peeved, especially since this is the year-end when all prices go up and they will be hard pressed to find reasonable places.

Nhiêu Nhung, owner of First Garden Coffee, said: “I opened my coffee shop in an apartment at 26 Lý Tự Trọng Street, District 1, in May and I didn’t hear any thing about the regulation then.”

She has sunk nearly VNĐ1 billion (US$45,000) in the shop.

“Until now I haven’t heard from the department. I will suffer a great loss if I have to move out of the apartment,” she said.

Some businesses have decided to move their office on paper while continuing to do business in their old apartment.

“I don’t have much money and so I have registered my office in my relative’s house while my business still continues here in the apartment in district 10,” a clothes shop owner said.

The director of a real estate company said, “State management offices should reconsider the regulation because having offices in apartments do not affect other residents and they need more time to move.”

Sài Gòn Tiếp Thị (Sài Gòn Marketing) newspaper quoted Trần Đức Phượng, a lawyer, as saying, “If the planning and investment department only forces enterprises to move their headquarters on paper, there is no change.”

Article 6 of the 2014 Housing Law prohibits the use of apartments for doing business, and authorities should scrupulously enforce this provision, he added.

Lê Hoàng Châu, chairman of the HCM City Real Estate Association, said authorities should give businesses one to three years to move out of apartments.

Besides, he said, “The law prohibits the use of apartments for doing business but the law does not spell out the penalty for violation.”

“If authorities work hurriedly, they would get little result.

“Giving them more time would help businesses reduce losses they would suffer from changing their location and leasing a place.”  VNS

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