Landlords overcharge tenants for electricity

Published: 24/03/2011 05:00



Numerous low-income tenants in major
cities are being forced to pay over the top for their electricity by
unscrupulous landlords.

though Government Decree 68 stipulates that landlords would be fined for
charging tenants too much for the power they use, it has yet to be enforced.

life tougher, power price was hiked by 15.28 per cent on March 1.

Thuy Linh, a third-year student at Viet Nam National University in Ha Noi, who
rents a 10sq m room with her older sister, said they had to pay VND4,000 ($0.18)
per kWh after Tet, VND1,000 higher than before. She also said her landlord had
raised the rent.

“When I
first came to Ha Noi three years ago, it [electricity] cost VND1,500 ($0.07) per
kWh, which was also considered to be high at the time,” Linh said.

VND4,000 ($0.18) per kWh is still less than Linh’s friend has to pay. Dang Duy
Tung, a student at Ha Noi National University of Economics, has to fork out
VND5,000 ($0.23) per kWh – four times higher than the average electricity price
of VND1,242 ($0.056) set by the Government.

difficult for a student to manage on a limited budget with such high electricity
costs. However, it’s even more difficult to find an affordable room for us to
live in Ha Noi now,” Tung said.

To save
electricity, Tung often goes to the university’s library to study in the evening
and manages to consume just 15 kWh per month.

landlord said the price hike was in line with the Government’s new pricing

When the
tenants complained about the unreasonably high cost of electricity, her landlord
refused to listen.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Lac, from northern Nam Dinh Province, works in Ha Noi as a
street vendor. She said: “The electricity price is high, about VND3,500 ($0.16)
per kWh.”

A number
of tenants when approached by the Viet Nam News said they would be kicked out by
their landlords if they refused to pay more for their electricity.

According to the Ministry of Construction statistics, about 7 million people are
homeless in Viet Nam.

Thi Nhu Quynh, a student at Da Nang University of Science and Technology, chose
to live in the university’s dormitory, which is cheaper than private
accommodation. She pays VND1,500 ($0.07) per kWh.

Tran Manh Tuan, an official from Cau Giay District’s Electricity
Department who is in charge of checking monthly power consumption among local
said it was difficult to prevent
tenants being overcharged by landlords.

said most landlords registered to buy power for personal consumption but were in
fact using it for commercial purposes.

Government Decree 68, issued in June 2010, if caught they faced a fine of up to
VND4 million ($190).

fine is not severe enough to prevent landlords from increasing the electricity
price paid by residents,” Tuan said.

He also
said it was hard to prove that landlords were breaking the law.

deputy head of the Electricity Department under the Ha Noi Department of
Industry and Trade, Nguyen Dinh Thang, said his agency was aware that some
tenants were being overcharged for the electricity they used but had yet to do
anything about it.

addition, tenants often changed their accommodation, making it difficult to
monitor the situation, Thang said.

tenants should not accept the price hike,” he added.

Nam News

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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