Owner of Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower told to return $4.5 billion in fees to residents without further delay.
At Keangnam Vina’s annual general meeting on June 14 the Nam Tu Liem District People’s Committee directed it to immediately refund $100 billion ($4.5 million) in maintenance fees to residents at Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower, via a joint account of the company and the management board.
“Keangnam Vina has to directly refund the rest of the money to the management board after the auditor announces the final sum,” Mr. Le Thanh Binh, Deputy Head of the Urban Management Department under the District People’s Committee, told the meeting.
Mr. Binh, who has been assigned as representative of the district government, and all residents attending the meeting also protested against the extension to the deadline sought by Keangnam Vina for refunding the maintenance fees.
Keangnam Vina submitted written documents to the meeting in which it said it expected to gradually refund the fees at VND20 billion ($917,400) per month, starting on July 20.
According to Mr. Binh, the company has seriously violated legal regulations, as the law also requires the company refund such fees to residents immediately after a management board has been established. Three years after a management board was set up this is yet to be done.
Keangnam Vina was previously directed by the district government to refund the maintenance fees before June 10, with the amount to equal 2 per cent of the combined value of apartments purchased.
Keangnam Vina, however, sought an extension to the deadline, saying it was yet to agree on a number of issues with the management board, such as the final sum, the total area that was charged maintenance fees, and the specific payment method.
The developer has calculated that maintenance fees collected from residents totaled some VND125 billion ($5.6 million), while the management board puts the figure at VND160 billion ($7.4 million).
According to a source at the Nam Tu Liem District People’s Committee, Keangnam Vina’s business in Vietnam may face a complete investigation by local authorities.
The 72-storey tower, also known as Landmark 72, in Hanoi’s Nam Tu Liem district is the tallest building in Vietnam. A court in Seoul recently issued a decision permitting the South Korean-based Keangnam Enterprises to sell the tower to address its debts.