Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Apartment management boards are meant to protect the rights of residents.
But when a dispute between residents and the board arises, things can get ugly.
Opaque financial reports are one major reason leading to conflicts between residents and managing boards.
Residents of Văn Phú Victoria project in Hà Đông District have claimed that the annual operation expenses for the building reach VNĐ17 billion (US$750,000), according to the fees they have paid.
How the money was allocated, distributed and paid remains unknown as the managing board refuses to publish it.
A resident who did not want to reveal his name told Vietnam Television he did not know who held responsibility for undertaking those reports.
“The total amount of money paid and the sum they calculated do not match,” he said.
Residents, therefore, established a supervisory team to watch out for the management board. However, the effort has borne little fruit.
“They do not listen to our opinions to improve the apartment operation. They even find means to obstruct us,” said Nguyễn Văn Sơn, a team member.
As many complaints had not been heard, on April 5, an unscheduled meeting was held by residents, asking for answers from the management board.
They, once again, dodged by refusing to give an accurate assessment of financial reports.
“We will answer at the official apartment conference,” said Trần Minh Tân, head of the management board.
Conflicts between residents and management boards are common in big cities, especially in HCM City.
By the end of 2017, the city has more than 140,000 apartments. Nguyễn Linh from Phú Nhuận District told Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper that the management board of the complex he lived in decided the operation fees without consulting residents.
According to him, the board has never published reports on fee collection, including services, parking and cable televisions.
“Some people doubt the management board’s ability to receive money to let them offer exclusive services for residents. Therefore, we have no choice but to use their services,” Linh said.
Experts stress transparency and responsibility as key elements to help residents and management boards live in harmony.
Nguyễn Tiến Dũng, director of Savista Real Estate Company, said that project investors should be transparent in making apartment sale contracts and indicate public space and expenses clearly.
Nguyễn Bích Sơn, director of NPC Company, said that a common standard of living in apartment should have been developed by residents.
As Vietnamese people choose apartments based mostly on the price ranges, they have to tolerate people leading different lifestyles. Sơn recommended customers of construction projects consider living quality and style before investing in an apartment.
Investors, management boards and residents need to respect each other to solve problems, he said.
In late March, to deal with incidents happening to apartments across the city, HCM City People’s Committee asked all apartments to establish management boards to ensure safety and make apartments livable for all residents. — VNS