Delay in collecting land-use fees causes late handover of house-ownership certificates

Tardy collection of land-use fees from property developers in HCM City has affected the government’s revenues and created many obstacles for them in turn, a forum heard on Thursday.

 

At the forum, organised by Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper, attendees heard that in the first six months of this year, the city’s budget revenues were down 14.4 per year-on-year to VND163 trillion, just 40.2 per cent of the annual target.

Income from land-use fees was down 21 per cent.

The COVID-19 pandemic was particularly blamed for the fall.

The seminar heard that the difficulties caused by the cumbersome process of paying land-use fees was another major issue since it caused a delay in issuing house ownership certificates.

There are now many housing projects where buyers do not have title deeds yet despite buying two or three years ago.

“Real estate developers in the city are ready to pay land-use fees so that their buyers can get house-ownership certificates, but the issue is not simple,” the forum heard.

In recent times the media has been regularly reporting about the challenges faced by developers in paying the fees.

The HCM City Real Estate Association has also written to the city People’s Committee and other relevant agencies about this problem.

The tardiness in collecting the fees is caused by difficulties in completing legal procedures related to land.

Problems caused by supervision of land use and management as well as corporate equitisation.

These delay the fixing of land-use prices.

Many developers have faced these obstacles, the forum heard.

Novaland Group cannot pay the fees for some projects while Hung Thinh has two projects for which the fee rates have not been intimated.

According to the association, 44 apartment projects with 22,000 units by 11 developers lack house-ownership certificates due to delays in accepting land-use fee payments.

“Most developers are ready to pay estimated land-use fees [before the official rate is fixed] so that they can issue title deeds to their buyers,” Nguyen Ngoc Toan, deputy editor-in-chief of Thanh Nien newspaper, said.

“Helping companies resolve their difficulties will not only enrich the city’s coffers but also help property developers retain their prestige and safeguard the rights of house buyers.”

Making efforts not enough

Many developers in the city have failed to hand over house ownership certificates to buyers in spite of their sustained efforts to co-operate with relevant authorities to fulfil all legal and financial responsibilities.

One of the many developers thus affected, Novaland, has made all efforts to co-operate with relevant authorities to clear the all obstacles faced by each of its projects.

Since 2016-17, when its first project ran into problems, Novaland has been making efforts to resolve them.

Despite this its land-use prices have not been fixed. In 2017 the company has been repeatedly volunteering to pay estimated rates, but this has not led to a solution either.

A long time ago the group began writing to the Department of Natural Resource and Environment asking for the rates for its projects, which include housing and commercial complexes at 119 Pho Quang and 130-132 Hong Ha in Phu Nhuan District and 108-112B-114 Hong Ha Road in Tan Binh District.

The delay in issuing house-ownership certificates is causing tension among buyers, with many suing the company or holding public demonstrations.

It has also had a negative impact on the developers’ prestige.

In order to foster the property market, developers hope to get timely guidance so that they can resolve difficulties and contribute to the development of society.

Timely guidance will also help them fulfil their financial responsibilities and bolster the government’s revenues.

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