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In Vietnam, apartment owners fazed by investor violations

Thursday, July 21, 2016, 18:09 GMT+7

Residents of many apartment buildings all over Vietnam are being forced to live with unexpected inconveniences and lack of service due to violations of the developers and prolonged penalization from authorities.

Most offenses arise from investors unilaterally making adjustments to the original building designs, including changing the capabilities of each floor, expanding the area of each apartment, and increasing the number of flats in a building.

Despite moving into their new units in 2009, people living in the Hong Linh Apartment Building in Binh Chanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, have not been issued sufficient paperwork proving their house ownership, while the apartment blocks have yet to be equipped with a fire protection system.     

According to N.H.Q., a resident, the developer enlarged the size of the basement, added a few extra apartments to the top floors, and blocked the emergency exits of the building.

Penalization on the violations has yet to be concluded, causing inconvenience for the residents, Q. added.

Nguyen Hoang Loc, deputy director of Hong Linh Company, developer of the apartment building, stated that the firm had admitted to their offenses, adding that it had asked the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment to complete the necessary paperwork for the residents earlier this month.

Other services will be provided to the people after competent authorities finalize their punishment, Loc said.

In another case, hundreds of homeowners at the Ho Guom Plaza apartment building in Hanoi carried out a demonstration in late April to express their dissatisfaction with the investor.

Several components, including the swimming pool, kids’ playground, flower beds, fountains, and fire alarm systems among others, have not been finished.

The area of each apartment was also narrowed down in order to hike the number of apartments on each floor.

A similar situation was also reported at the BMM apartment complex in Ha Dong District in the capital city as the residents have not been granted legitimate house ownership certificates.

The developer of another apartment building in Nam Tu Liem District, Hanoi, was caught adding an extra floor to the original approved design in order to gain additional profits, resulting in many house owners failing to be presented with ownership certificates.

Possible solutions

According to Nguyen Huu Nghia, deputy director of the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the government is considering the provision of house ownership documents for residents in such apartments.

Violations of the investors shall not affect the rights and interests of house owners, who have already fulfilled their obligations, Nghia elaborated.

Regarding the penalization of the violating investors, there are two possible categories violators fall into, due to the amendment added to the law, said Nguyen Viet Dung, chief inspector of the Hanoi Department of Construction.

Violations committed after October 2013 will result in investors having to pay a fine as well as returning 50 percent of the profit obtained from their illegal operations.

For offenses recorded prior to the timeline, violators will be forced to dismantle the entire construction, Dung underlined.

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