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Apartment service fees surge

Update: June, 07/2013 - 10:31
The Trung Hoa Nhan Chinh urban area in Ha Noi. The city increased rates for services in apartment buildings to a minimum rate of VND800,000 per 100sq m. — VNS Photo Truong Vi

HA NOI (VNS)— The Ha Noi People's Committee has approved new rates for services in apartment buildings. The minimum rate is fixed at VND800,000 (US$38) per 100sq. m and the maximum rate for the same area is VND1.65 million ($79).

This rate, four times higher than the previous one, applies only to buildings with elevators. For those with only staircases, the rates will be VND450,000 and VND500,000 per 100sq. m.

The service prices exclude extra services like swimming pools, tennis courts and saunas.

The new regulation takes effect this month and is valid until next May.

The committee also said that any buildings that receive revenue from providing services within the building complex must decrease their service prices. The management board of each building will set the price for the building. If this causes disputes between managers and households, district People's Committees will settle them, the committee said in Decree 3431/QD-UBND, issued last week.

The new rates were based on a survey by the city's Construction Department. However, some people still objected to the increase.

Chu Huong, a resident of Trung Yen Building in Tu Liem District, said she was surprised to read about the increase.

"I currently pay VND150,000 ($7.2) per month. If the rate is applied, I will have to pay VND400,000-500,000 ($19-24) for the same services. It's unreasonable," Huong said.

Nguyen Ha, 45, a resident of the Keangnam building, said his apartment building already applied a service rate of VND1.65 million per 100sq.m, so the new regulation had no affect on him or his neighbours.

"Residents of Keangnam have already paid the highest rate for several years," Ha said. "We asked the building management board to lower the price but they said they could not." The price depended on the building's investors, he said, so the regulation only served as a reference point for residents. — VNS


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