A new decision by the capital's People's Committee on land use certification, issued on Tuesday, regulates the limit of land area of households and individuals to 30sq.m.
This decision was taken primarily to tackle the issue of deformed and very narrow houses in Ha Noi as a result of road expansion.
According to the People's Committee, the capital currently has 173 houses or land plots located at the surface of roads which have too small areas or are badly designed in their size. These can be found along O Cho Dua - Kim Lien intersection, Dao Tan and Nguyen Phong Sac streets (see box).
This matter has been a subject of intense public debate. Many houses are too small or slim: with an area of 15 to 20sq.m, the front size is small but the length too long. Meanwhile, many others have deformed shapes, which gives the streets a messy and disorderly look.
Pham Van Phuong, vice director of Ha Noi's Department of Justice, said that building houses on too small an area or with deformed shapes is a violation of the Law on Construction, which stipulates that after land clearance, construction can not be carried out on land plots with an area smaller than 15sq.m.
Nguyen Van Khoi, vice chairman of the People's Committee said his committee was investigating the situation in the city. After gathering adequate statistics, detailed solutions will be given out to the houses that fall under the too slim or badly-designed categories.
"The People's Committee will require owners to unroof them," said Khoi.
Phuong also revealed that in the near future, the city's authority will choose 11 street routes to launch an architectural re-design campaign as well as abolish too slim and deformed houses.
The People's Committee has encouraged neighbours of owners of too slim houses to sell their land so that the land plots and houses can become better shaped and spaced. This has not been successful as prices are often set too high.
The owner of the house number 35 Kim Lien - O Cho Dua Street said that his house, which was about 70sq.m, was drawn as 60sq.m for the city's planning project. He was only compensated for this 60sq.m and not the remaining area.
"Some neighbours asked me to sell the rest of the area for VND100 million (US$6,250), but the land price on my street is now between VND80 to VND100 million per sq.m," he said.
He has decided to build another house on this tiny 10sq.m area to rent out.
"I am very worried about the city's decision to unroof very slim houses," he said.
"But many other families on my street are in the same situation. No one wants to buy such a small area, but when it comes to negotiating with neighbours about a plot of land, a mutually agreed upon price cannot be found. If the city assists us in compensation, we arc willing to sell the land to our neighbours," he said.
According to the city's authorities, owners of,too slim houses, who hold land-use certifications issued prior to Tuesday's decision, will receive compensation as part of the Government's regulation. These areas will be converted into ornamental gardens.
Slim and illogical
The city currently has 173 houses and land plots which are too slim or illogically shaped, located in almost every district. Cau Giay District has two cases, as does Hoang Mai. Vinh Tuy, Minh Khai and Le Thanh Nghi streets has 18 cases, Ba Dinh District 53, most of which are located in large streets such as Dao Tan, Van Cao and Kim Ma streets. About 80 houses are located in Tay Ho District.