Ho Chi Minh City administration orders assertive punishment for illegal house owner


Ho Chi Minh City authorities are ordering a stern punishment for the original owner of several illegally constructed houses who has been dodging penalties for several years.


The municipal People’s Committee issued the order for assertive measures to be taken against the illegitimate construction of multiple houses in Da Phuoc Commune, Binh Chanh District.


The directive was originally made in early 2015 but administering the penalties was delayed after the Department of Construction requested against dismantling the properties.


The case started in October 2014 when residents in Da Phuoc filed reports that Dang Ngoc Han, abetted by local officials, had violated the country’s construction laws.


An inspection by competent authorities disclosed a series of offenses committed with the construction of 17 houses, including building beyond the approved area of the houses and adding extra rooms.


Despite only being granted building permits for 11 houses, Han divided the properties into 48 separate buildings before selling them to her clients.


In March 2015, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee requested that the city’s construction department and the Binh Chanh administration deal with the violations.


The delay in repercussions allowed time for 131 people to purchase and move into the residences by May 2017, many of whom have already been provided with ownership paperwork by the Binh Chanh administration.


The two agencies both agreed that the illegitimate houses should not be torn down in order to avoid affecting the residents already living at the properties.


Instead, they proposed that Han pay a fine worth 40 percent of the value of the properties.



Sold to many buyers


At one of the properties, originally meant to be a 90-square-meter house, Han constructed four 23-square-meter flats and sold them to four separate buyers.


According to H., the owner of one of the four ‘houses,’ there have been problems obtaining the ownership paperwork. 


Instead of being considered the sole owner of her flat, she is ragarded as a co-owner with three other people.


Most people living in the facilities are poor, H. said, adding that they would encounter immense challenges if authorities decided to demolish the houses.


P.P.Tr., another co-owner, stated that he has been trying to sell the flat but has been facing difficulties.


“The buyers keep demanding a price reduction because of issues with the ownership paperwork,” Tr. elaborated.


According to Nguyen Dang Son, deputy head of the Institute of Urban Research and Infrastructure Development, oversights in management by local authorities are to blame for the situation.


Violations of construction laws must be sternly penalized to prevent more serious consequences.


Records showed that in 2016, Huynh Van Pham Hong, head of the office of the Binh Chanh People’s Committee, signed a document approving the illicit houses without the consent of the municipal administration.


Hong’s actions were considered a sign of abetting and he has since been reprimanded by the city’s People’s Committee.


The construction department and the Binh Chanh administration have been ordered to identify an assertive solution to the offense.


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