Homebuyers gather at Empire Group headquarters to claim condotels

February 15, 2020 | 09:00
A lot of buyers of Cocobay Danang gathered at the headquarters of Empire Group in Tay Ho district, Hanoi, demanding that the developer either hands over overdue units or terminates the contracts and reimburses them after reneging on their yield commitment.
homebuyers gather at empire group headquarters to claim condotels
Buyers protesting at the Empire Group headquarters

Over the past days, condotel buyers gathered to protest against Thanh Do Investment Development and Construction JSC's (Empire Group) violations at its Cocobay Danang project.

The cause of the protest is that in late-2019, Empire Group announced that it could not keep its commitment of paying annual yield and would stop paying from December 1, 2020. The group proposed three solutions, including buyers co-operating with Empire Group on the commercial operations of the condotels; buyers leasing their condotels out by themselves; or liquidating the contract and receiving a refund from the developer.

Protesting customers do not agree with the solutions that the group provided without having consulted them. N.M.T., on behalf of customers, said that they did not accept transforming condotels into normal apartments.

He explained that they would have to pay an additional 15 per cent of the apartments’ total value under this scheme. Moreover, they do not believe that the developer, Empire Group, could hand over the apartments on time, after collecting almost the total investment value and even additional sums.

"If we wanted to buy a normal apartment, we would have bought one in Hanoi, not in Danang," a buyer told media.

Some buyers, who had decided to liquidate their condotel purchase contract, said that Empire Group has published no information or plans of repaying them.

A buyer told media that they have yet to receive their condotel unit, even though they have paid 95-97 per cent of the unit's value, while the committed handover time was January 2018.

All buyers expressed concerns and outrage over the developer stopping yield payments because many of them have taken up loans from SHB to invest in Empire Group's projects. After the period of preferential interest rate is over, SHB will raise the interest rates and due debts.

Meanwhile, several buyers who placed a deposit for units at the Musica and Wonderland projects (also part of the Cocobay Danang project) of Empire Group, asked for a refund because these two buildings have yet to be built.

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