The Real Estate Business and Pawnshop Regulator (RPR), a body under the Ministry of Economy and Finance, reported that from June 9-26, they received a total of 339 requests for intervention by people whose homes – either boreis or condos – had been seized or repossessed by developers when they failed to make the repayments that were due.

Mao Pov, RPR’s head of license management and legal affairs department, told The Post on June 26 that 229 complaints were reported to his regulatory body, while the other 110 were reported to The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC).

While recording the complaints, officials interviewed each complainant to determine what their preferred final outcome would be. The requests can be divided into four categories.

“79 per cent of those whose homes were seized have requested that half of the payments they have made be returned them, as they have forfeited their homes, while 7 per cent are happy to return their property to the developers, but demand 100 per cent of the money they have paid to be returned,” he said.

“The third category, made up of 12 per cent of the complainants, would like to keep their homes, but have requested that the repayment schedules be delayed or extended,” he added.

He explained that he remaining two per cent of cases involved people who were prepared to complete their payments and take ownership of their borei homes and condos.

“These cases generally involve a person who has the means to pay for the homes, but did not do so until a court case awarded the property back to the developers. Once a court ruling is involved, these cases become very complex and hard to solve,” he said.

Pov added that the RPR have not set a timeline to resolve the complaints, as more and more requests for intervention were being received all the time.

“We will send people notifications of our schedule once we stop receiving complaints. We are giving people more time, as many of them may not yet be aware of the process and have not approached us,” he said.

According to Pov, most of the 339 complaints involve borei houses, with far fewer complaints about condo developments.

“We will look into each case, beginning with those who requested 50 per cent of their payments back. Our officials will meet with each individual complainant to determine their exact demands, and then we will approach the development companies,” he explained.

The push to resolve cases where homes have been confiscated follows a call from Prime Minister Hun Sen. While meeting with factory workers in Kampong Chhnang province on June 9, he appealed to borei developers to be lenient on buyers who made down payments but had their economic circumstances affected by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Instead of moving straight to confiscation, Hun Sen encouraged developers to extend repayment periods.

“This means no one would have to suffer the loss of their home, and the developers would not be disadvantaged. They would actually benefit, as they will be able to collect interest from their buyers for longer,” he said.