Buyers pay for nothing as Hausbelo apartment project fails to start

By Trung Tin   May 17, 2023 | 12:10 am PT
Buyers pay for nothing as Hausbelo apartment project fails to start
A land lot where Hausbelo was planned to be developed. Photo by VnExpress/Trung Tin
Hundreds of homebuyers at Hausbelo apartment project in Thu Duc City have seen no construction in four years and face to loose their money due to confusion as to who the real developer is.

In recent weeks, hundreds of customers have been gathering at the headquarters of AHC Minh Son in Binh Thanh District to demand compensation after they found out the project had been canceled.

Kien, who bought an apartment from an employee of AHC Minh Son, said that he had paid 10% of the apartment’s value as a deposit and paid a VND260 million ($11,087) difference as the apartment was originally sold internally only to AHC Minh Son employees.

He has now found out that the project is cancelled, and he will only get the 10% deposit back and not the VND260 million.

"AHC Minh Son only said now that it is not the real developer of this project. I feel shocked and deceived," he said.

Hausbelo is a project with 888 units that were sold out in 2019.

Many buyers, however, are not the first buyers of the units but second or third. This means they had to buy the deposit contract from the first buyer – who put down a deposit of 10% – and paid a difference fee of VND100-500 million for each unit.

CEO of AHC Minh Son, Pham Thi Minh Kha, said that her company in 2015-2016 sought to buy the project from the developer, Minh Son Investment and Construction, for nearly VND147 billion.

AHC Minh Son paid 60% of total at the time, and since then has been paying for additional expenses to develop the project.

So far it has paid VND150 billion, which exceeds the original price tag.

However, AHC Minh Son has not become the new developer of the project on paper.

Minh Son Investment and Construction was supposed to hand the project over by the end of January 2016, but it has been delayed until now, said Kha.

During the wait, AHC Minh Son has been selling Hausbeco units as if it were the real developer.

Kha said that after seeing that the project took so long to hand over, she decided to stop developing it and refund customer deposits.

However, the difference that the second buyers paid to the first cannot be refunded as it was a personal contract between them and the company has no part in it, she said.

Kha, however, added that she would seek to compensate the buyers more by suing Minh Son Investment and Construction by the end of this month.

She added that the two companies do not have the same shareholders or connection, apart from the sale and purchase of Hausbeco.

Minh Son Investment and Construction has yet to respond to VnExpress's request for comment.

As of May 13 around 192 apartment units have not been refunded as the buyers have not agreed to get their money back.

Industry insider Nguyen Loc Hanh, CEO of property developer Ngoc Chau A, said that AHC Minh Son does not have the right to collect money from buyers if it is not the developer.

Lawyer Dang Hoan My from the HCMC Bar Association said that AHC Minh Son could not mobilize funding from individuals without first getting the permits to become the developer of the project.

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