22/03/2023 16:05

Vietnam: Do you have to compensate for the damage coming from fire spreading from your house to your neighbors'?

Vietnam: Do you have to compensate for the damage coming from fire spreading from your house to your neighbors'?

The store next door sells stoves. When the gas leaked and caused fire from their store, it spread to my porch and caused damage. In this case, is it eligible for me to ask for compensation? Ms. Ha - Binh Duong, Vietnam.

House fires happen, there are many tragic accidents happen. However, how should the house fire spread to the neighboring house? Learn more about the law on this issue through the article.

1. Subject responsible for compensation for damage in Vietnam

Pursuant to the provisions of Clause 2, Article 601 of Vietnam's Civil Code 2015, compensation for damage caused by sources of extreme danger is stipulated as follows:

An owner of a source of extreme danger must compensate for damage caused by such source

Owners who are possessing or using dangerous sources are performing all acts according to their will to hold and manage sources of extreme danger, but they must not be contrary to law or social ethics; they exploit the utility, enjoy the benefits and profits from the source of extreme danger. When the source of extreme danger causes damage, the owner must compensate, even if there was no fault in causing the accident.

2. Compensation for damage caused by sources of extreme danger in Vietnam

According to the provisions of Article 12 of Resolution 02/2022/NQ-HDTP on compensation for the damage caused by sources of extreme danger specified in Article 601 of the Civil Code 2015:

A person assigned by the owner of the source of extreme danger to possess and use the source of extreme danger in accordance with law must compensate for the damage caused by the source of extreme danger;

For example: the following agreements are not against the law, social ethics or are not intended to evade compensation:

- Agreement to be held jointly and severally liable for the damages;

- Agreement that the owner compensates for damage in advance with their legal property, then the mentioned person will return to the owner the damages in case the owner can afford the damages.

- In case the owner of a source of extreme danger assigns another person to possess or use a source of extreme danger in contravention of law and causes damage, the owner must compensate for the loss.

- Owners, possessors and users of sources of extreme danger must compensate for the damage caused by sources of extreme danger even without fault, except for the following cases:

+ The damage occurred was entirely due to intentional fault of the aggrieved person;

+ Damage occurs in case of force majeure or emergency situation, unless otherwise provided for by law..

An urgent situation is a situation of a person who wants to avoid a real danger that directly threatens his or her own or other's public interests, legitimate rights and interests, or that of others, but has no other choice but to cause less damage than the loss to be prevented. (Compensation liability in urgent situations shall comply with Article 595 of the Civil Code.)

- In case the source of extreme danger is illegally possessed or used, causing damage, the settlement shall be as follows:

+ If the owner or the person assigned by the owner to possess and use lawfully is not at fault in allowing the source of extreme danger to be illegally possessed or used, the illegal possessor or user must compensate for all damage.

+ If the owner or the person assigned by the owner to possess and use lawfully is at fault in allowing the source of extreme danger to be illegally possessed or used, the owner or the person assigned by the owner lawful possession and use and the unlawful possessor and user must jointly compensate for damage.

3. Principles of compensation for damage from fire spread to neighbors' houses

Pursuant to the provisions of Article 585 of the Vietnam's Civil Code 2015 on the principle of compensation for damage, specifically:

- Actual damage must be compensated in full and promptly. Unless otherwise provided by law, parties may agree on the amount of compensation; on the form of compensation, which may be money, in kind or the performance of an act; lump sum payment or payment in instalments; and on the method of compensation.

- The compensation payable by a person having caused damage may be reduced if such damage was caused unintentionally and is very large in comparison to the financial positions of such person.

- If the amount of compensation determined becomes unrealistic, the aggrieved person, or the person having caused damage, has the right to request a court or another competent authority to change the amount of compensation.

- If the aggrieved party is partly his/her fault for causing the damage, that part of damage shall not be compensated.

- The party having rights and interests infringed shall not be compensated if such damage incurs due to his/her failure to adopt necessary measures to prevent the damage.

Thus, the owner of the gas stove shop will be responsible for compensating for damage to the damaged eaves. The parties can agree on the level of compensation, the form of compensation (cash, in kind, or performing a job that can repair the roof); if in kind, it can be a lump-sum or instalment compensation.

If the compensation level is not consistent with reality, she has the right to request that the Court or other competent state agency change the compensation level. However, she may not be compensated if the damage occurs due to her failure to apply necessary and reasonable measures to prevent and limit the damage to herself.

Nguyen Ngoc Tram
170


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