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VietNamNews

Laws needed on apartment building management

Update: March, 08/2019 - 08:00
Cars belonging to residents of the Golden Palm apartment building in Hà Nội parked on the pavement outside the building rather than in the parking area with signs protesting inflated parking fees and other issues with the building’s investor. — Photo infonet.vn
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The lack of a clear legal framework managing the operation of apartment buildings has been blamed for disputes among home buyers, investors and building management boards, a Ministry of Construction official said at a conference yesterday.

Deputy Director of the Housing and Real Estate Market Management Agency under the Ministry of Construction, Hà Quang Hưng, said that in some cases, home buyers and investors failed to reach an agreement on how to calculate the area of a building’s apartments and public spaces because of vague regulations.

In other cases, current regulations were not strict enough to deter investors unlawfully transferring projects or violating rules on real estate trade or fire prevention, Hưng said.

Government bodies, investors, management boards and even home buyers in some cases failed to fulfill their obligations, he said. In some cases, home buyers signed an apartment purchase contract with investors but were unaware of all the terms of the contract, especially those covering the rights and obligations of relevant parties in managing and using the apartment.

Deputy Minister of Construction Nguyễn Văn Sinh said disputes in apartment buildings sometimes had a negative impact on social order and security.

Angry residents of disputed buildings have complained to local authorities and the media, and even gathered to protest the investors.

According to the ministry, there are about 3,000 apartment buildings across Việt Nam, mostly in big cities like Hà Nội and HCM City.

Complaints and disputes usually relate to public areas, maintenance funds for public facilities, funds to manage and operate the buildings and the quality of the apartments. 

For example, on March 5, 2019, residents of the Golden Palm apartment building at 21 Lê Văn Lương Street in Hà Nội complained of numerous issues with the building’s investor, Hà Nội Investment Joint Stock Company Sunrise.

The residents reported they had been overcharged for parking. In addition, they said they had contributed 2 per cent of the value of their apartments to the building maintenance fund, but the investor did not transfer the sum of about VNĐ24 billion (US$1 million) to the building management board.

The residents also said they were given less living space than they had paid for. They said the area of each apartment was between two and four sq.m smaller than their signed contracts promised. Each square metre in the housing project costs up to VNĐ40 million.

In July, 2018, residents of Hoà Bình Green City in Hà Nội’s Hai Bà Trưng District protested because the investor had delayed transferring the building’s maintenance fund for four years.

In October, 2018, roughly 100 families in Golden Field Mỹ Đình apartment building were upset to learn the investor had mortgaged their apartments to a bank despite the fact they had been living there since 2017.

According to the HCM City’s Real Estate Association, disputes among home owners, building investors and management boards have been reported at 105 apartment buildings out of 935 in the city. On average, disputes happen at more than one in every ten apartment buildings in the city.

In Hà Nội, a report released by the municipal Party Committee’s Internal Affairs Desk last October showed that 129 out of 745 apartment buildings in the city saw disputes.

At the conference, held by the construction ministry yesterday, a representative from Hải Đăng Real Estate Joint Stock Company called on the ministry and relevant agencies to review and complete a legal framework on apartment building management to address the issues.

For example, it is necessary to have technical criteria and standards to accurately measure the area of apartments and distinguish between public and private areas.

The representative said apartment building management boards should be eliminated because they are ineffective at addressing issues.

Many board members do not have the necessary knowledge about construction or building management. In the worst cases, members of the board wrongly used the maintenance fund or even stole from it.

In place of management boards, the company suggested the Ministry of Construction establish companies that specialise in managing apartment buildings and operate independently from home buyers and investors. — VNS

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