Lin Feng, a 25 year-old programmer who commutes between Shanghai and Beijing for business, was terrified when contacted by the property manager of his apartment rented through Ziroom. The property manager asked Lin to move out of his apartment as soon as possible, which would be torn down in two days.
Lin had to move out because of a new set of regulations announced by the Beijing municipal government this July, which prohibits any changes to the internal structure of the house including the use of partition walls to increase the number of housing units available for rent. The new laws stipulate that “the smallest rental unit shall be the living space designed according to the original construction plan,” and that no renting bunks is allowed.
Ziroom, a rental services company popular among college graduates because of the greater convenience offered by its simplified rental process, has been operating on the basis of partitioning apartments to fit more tenants. It was fine as long as nobody noticed.
“I didn’t notice that the room was partitioned until I realized that the wall makes an echoing sound when you knock on it.
“I had quite a bit of experience of renting in Beijing. I used to rent a single bunk in a room – the so-called ‘group renting’. I was lucky that my roommates were nice. At that time, two girls were staying in the same room next door, while three of us guys stayed together.”
Ziroom claimed that they did not violate Lin’s contract because they have “helped to postpone the deadline” and “paid the required fines for partitioning the room.”
Read more here
Join us February 26-27 for the Property Portal Watch Conference Bangkok 2020.