Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Residential apartments in Hà Nội are still being used as offices despite a ban that took effect last year.
According to Government Decree 99/2015/NĐ-CP, since June, 30, 2015, enterprises are not allowed to use apartments as offices.
However, it’s easy to see stores or office signs in front of apartments in residential buildings in Hà Nội such as HH Linh Đàm Complex in Hoàng Mai District, Golden Land Buiding in Thanh Xuân District, UDIC Complex in Cầu Giấy District or Blocks 18T1, 34T, 29T2 in Trung Hòa-Nhân Chính New Urban Area.
At HH3A Block in HH Linh Đàm Complex, there is a massage parlour on the fourth floor and home decoration store on the third. On HH 2A block’s sixth floor, there is a spa, a laundry and a hair salon.
Nguyễn Đạt, owner of the massage parlour said that he knew about the ban but did not consider moving his business because the business did not affect others.
Manager of HH3A Block, Bùi Công Sự said that businesses were allowed on the first and second floors in accordance with law and the Board of Directors of the company that develops the estate.
“Businesses on upper floors were asked to move and any advertisements/office signs must be removed but it’s been difficult to stop business operations in apartments,” he said.
Hoàng Thùy, manager of an air travel office in N2D Buiding in Lê Văn Lương Street said that her company’s head office was at another address and that if they had to close this branch, the business would struggle.
Nguyễn Thành Hải who rents an apartment in a building on Láng Hạ Street as an office for his company said that renting an apartment was 20-40 per cent cheaper than renting an office.
Residents who share their apartment buildings with companies complained that they were unhappy about the situation.
Phạm Ngọc Thanh, a resident of Block B, Golden Land Apartment Building said that she worried about building security when some apartments became offices.
“Clients of the offices enter and leave the building noisily. I saw my 5-year-old daughter playing in corridor with a stranger who works for the next-door company,” she said.
Another resident, Nguyễn Văn Minh, said that locals had to share the lift with staff of the offices and their clients, forcing him to wait for the lift.
On average, four people live in an apartment but when an apartment is used as an office, there would be 10 or more people.
Phan Đức Hiếu, deputy director of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) said that besides Hà Nội, HCM City also saw thousands of businesses renting apartments instead of building head offices.
Moving from the apartment to a new location could increase their operation cost or force them to suspend operations, he said.
Trần Ngọc Hùng, chairman of the Việt Nam Construction Association said because of high rents in big cities, enterprises, particularly small-and-medium sized ones or star-ups used residential buildings.
He said that the use of apartments must be controlled to ensure rights and safety of people living in apartment buildings. — VNS