Fine looms for property management company

11:15, December 17, 2009      

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An unlicensed Beijing branch of a US property management company could be fined as much as 200,000 yuan ($29,291.15), a local government department said.

Pinnacle Realty Management International, which has looked after 1,400 households in the east district of Jian Wai SOHO since October 2008, was found to be in possession of an expired temporary third-level certification. When valid, it would limit its actions to a property complex of less than 200,000 sq m of floor space.

According to the Chaoyang district department of housing management, Jian Wai covers more than 300,000 sq m.

"When it was reported by local media that Pinnacle was unqualified, we investigated the company and found its third-level certification had expired on Sept 21," a press officer at the department was quoted by the Beijing News as saying.

Qin Guohua, section chief at the department's management office, said Pinnacle would be fined between 50,000 and 200,000 yuan according to Chinese law.

He added that qualified certification for a property management company is determined by its registered capital and its numbers of employees.

A press officer at Pinnacle said executives were unable to comment.

"The problem of Pinnacle is not only that it was unqualified, but that the service was bad," a homeowner surnamed Zhang said.

He said the heating supply had been delayed for more than one week when many residents were stuck in almost freezing conditions in November. The local heating supplier posted a power cut notice in November after Pinnacle failed to pay up millions of yuan in electricity fees.

The situation turned worse this Tuesday. Two of the four cleaning companies that serviced the compound stopped work and asked local government to help them receive 6.4 million yuan in unpaid cleaning fees.

Angry residents say the mess has affected their housing prices, once commented by local media as the most famous landmark on Chang'an Avenue. "The average price of second-hand properties in our community was 30,000 yuan per sq m six months ago, but is now less than 22,000 yuan because of the dirty environment," Zhang said.

Fan Xijun, president of Pinnacle, said in an earlier interview with State broadcaster CCTV that the company owed heating and cleaning fees because some homeowners didn't pay their management fees.

According to financial data reported by CCTV, Pinnacle received 23.88 million yuan of management fees out of a billed 40.41 million yuan from October 2008 to September 2009.

Source:China Daily
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