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Private, communal property contracts must be made clearer   2009-03-30 - VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

Gia dinh & Xa hoi (Family & Society) newspaper spoke to Trinh Hong Quan from the Housing and Real Estate Department about disputes related to private and common possession of residential property.

Many conflicts have arisen over private and common possession involving housing contracts signed before the Law of Housing 2005 came into effect. What is the basis for delineating the two types of land?

Under the ministry’s regulations for residential area management, local people’s committees can issue ceiling fee levels that project owners use to calculate costs. Project owners cannot set fees exceeding these ceiling levels.

The Law of Housing 2005 came into effect on July 1, 2006 and clearly stipulated private and common possession. For conflicts related to contracts signed before this date, those between project owners and buyers (private) have the highest legal basis.

However, the problem is that the distinction between private and common possession is usually not clearly outlined in these contracts. In such cases, project documents approved by authorities can be used as reference materials. In these documents, the properties of project owners and customers are usually clearly defined.

According to current laws, conflicts can be solved by agreement. The court is only needed as a last resort.

Under the Law on Housing, parking lots are in common possession. In fact, currently, most residential buildings have basements and they are often used as parking lots. Can we assume that basements are generally parking lots?

I confirm that we cannot confuse basements and parking lots. Parking lots can be located either in basements or in a separate area, such as in the Ciputra residential area in Ha Noi. Regulating which part of a residential site can be used for parking lots depends on project documents.

Regarding services fees, each residential area has its own fees and project owners set the fees. This situation can lead to confusion. What is your view?

Under the ministry’s regulations for residential area management, local people’s committees can issue ceiling fee levels that project owners use to calculate costs. Project owners cannot set fees exceeding these ceiling levels.

In the near future, the ministry will require localities to issue the ceiling price levels. However, even in the same locality, the levels may not be the same because of the difference in infrastructure investments. Prices can be based on classifying each type of residential area.

Fees for value-added services, such as swimming pools and saunas, can be beyond the set levels. In principle, project owners and private owners must sign agreements on the supply of services. In these contracts, the kinds of services and fees must be stated clearly.

Project owners must also publish the investment costs on which they base their service fees.

Will project owners be punished if they don’t comply with regulations?

It is necessary to have sanctions. Decree No 126 on punishments for administrative violations in construction activities, urban-infrastructure project management and housing usage management has a clear list of these sanctions.

On the other hand, in terms of State management, we have an effective tool - groups of inspectors. Inspection is needed to make project owners comply with the requirements of the State management agencies.



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