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HCM City seeks to sort out mess over apartment maintenance funds

Update: July, 18/2020 - 08:27

 

An apartment building in HCM City’s Gò Vấp District. — Photo www.sggp.org.vn

HCM CITY — The HCM City Department of Construction wants the People’s Committee and Ministry of Construction to enact coercive regulations to ensure apartment developers promptly hand over maintenance funds paid by buyers to apartment managements.

The country has more than 4,420 apartments, and the managements of around 1.5 per cent of them have disputes with the developers over the maintenance funds.

The current regulations related to the funds are unclear, according to the department.

Besides, the penalties are too lenient to deter violators.

They appropriate large sums paid by buyers for apartment maintenance, but only get fined a few million to tens of millions of đồng.

If the law allows blocking of their accounts, the story might be different.

Besides failing to hand over the funds, developers do not organise a meeting for apartment owners to elect the management either.

The city Real Estate Association has written to relevant departments and agencies to stop allowing developers from collecting 2 per cent of the apartment value from buyers as maintenance fee, saying it is “unnecessary and unreasonable,” and creates an additional financial burden on the latter.

The management board should instead be made responsible for collecting the apartment maintenance fees, it said.

The department too has recommended that the fund should be managed by the management with the rate being decided by the buyers themselves.

But some people warn that collecting the fees after apartments are handed over to buyers would take time and face difficulties.

Forceful measures are required to ensure developers hand over the funds to managements, but the difficulty is that the former often do not maintain separate banks accounts for the fees, and hence their accounts could not be frozen.

Besides, apartment managements only represent the residents and have no legal status and so should be incorporated as limited liability companies to get such status and a seal, according to the department.

Amendments to current laws are needed to tackle these problems, ensure proper management and keep close watch on the use of apartment maintenance funds. — VNS

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