In-depth
Residents in Vietnam’s highest building oppose sky-high service fees
  • By Phuong Anh | dtinews.vn | December 05, 2011 05:07 PM

Hundreds of households living in a tower in Hanoi’s Keangnam apartment complex, the highest building in Vietnam, are in uproar over their service fees.

 

Hundreds of residents opposed Keangnam’s decision to cut services 

On December 3, residents in the 48-storey A Tower were banned from using the lifts if they did not pay the required fees.

The complex’s management board required a service fee of VND18,843 (89 USD cents) per square metre per month.

Despite occupying some of the most expensive real estate in the country, the residents claimed they could only afford a fee of VND4,000 per square metre a month.

The residents are arguing for a VND4,000 per square metre per month service charge based on the regulation set by the Hanoi People’s Committee, that specifies limits of charges based on provision of services such as lifts.

The residents are already in a long-term dispute with the block’s service provider over the poor quality of services, and the dispute has further added to the bitterness.

In response the building’s investor, the Keangnam Vina Company, sent a document on November 21 to the residents warning them that they faced a suspension of services, including use of the lifts if they refused to pay.

At noon on December 3, the lifts for hundreds of residents stopped operation.

Hundreds of well-to-do residents gathered in front of the building to call for the company to see sense.

Tran Xuan Trach, head of the residential area, said, “I wanted to access my house but I am banned. This behaviour is unacceptable.”

“We have spent a lot buying a home from Keangnam, it’s unbelievable that we’re banned from using the elevator,” Minh Thao, a local resident commented.

According to Thao, nearly 400 households shared her situation.

Worse still, exit of the stairs was locked.

Keangnam is also accused of cutting electricity to families that had not paid their service fees, despite them having already paid their electricity bills.

On the afternoon of December 3, hundreds of residents gathered at the office of Chetsnut Vina, a South Korean firm that manages the building, for negotiations but the company’s staff refused to talk.

Several residents who were banned from accessing their houses slept and cooked their meals in front of the management board’s office to wait for a chance to talk to Keangnam Vina’s Chairman Ha Jong Suk.

They wanted Suk to explain the company’s behaviour and to resume services.

Police in Tu Liem District, where is the building is located, also required the management board to allow residents to use elevator.

By 9.30pm on December 3, the management board resumed operation of the lift.



Residents camped outside the management board’s office

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