Shanghai ban on group rentals: “I don’t like this Regulation”
Since September, 2007, Shanghai government released a new regulation about house renting, in which group rentals are considered harmful and have to be got rid of. Lots of apartments were checked and walls were destroyed by government people. Young people living in this kind of apartment were persuaded or even forced to sign a paper and move away in a certain period of time. Let’s take a look at some of the pictures of one task getting rid of a group rental in Shanghai.
I used to be living in a 2-bedroom apartment, similar to the one in the picture above, and it was slightly changed by the landlord and rented to three people including me. Now, the landlord decided to change the apartment back to the original structure and raise the rent. So finally I had to make a decision to move, though it is not easy to find a place for only one person with that price( 1,500 rmb/month) nearby.
I don’t like the Regulation getting rid of group renting. Sometimes I just feel helpless and hopeless since I am not a Shanghainese and if there is no cheap, clean and convenient place to live, how could I work here anymore?
I found WangJianshuo’s blog, in which he discussed about this issue and expressed his pity to people like me. In his blog, he writes:
I don’t like this Regulation
Recently, it seems there are more regulations coming out every month
than before. Every time I see some regulation like this, I just smile
and comment: the government is just getting crazy.
- There is need for people to share apartments.
Shanghai’s real estate price just raises to be even as expensive as
Tokyo, and even people with very good income cannot afford to buy a
house. Where can those low-income people live? On the street? Maybe not
a good idea. They have to think of ways to solve this problem.
- To simple solution to complicated issue.. There are
many problems brought by group renting, like security, noise, damage of
house… but the key is solve these problems instead of just kill the
whole way of living. Policy makers just want to find easy way to
complicated situation. It is just like this: “How to solve the problem
that the China’s population is too big?”, they may answer: “Easy. Kill
half of them.” It sounds an easy and really working solution, but you
need to respect the right of everyone, not just the half that survive.
To ban group renting is the same thing.
- Not practical. There are so many situation that is not
covered in it. The media’s attention was draw to the fact that this
regulation may forbidden unmarried couple to live together, or several
friends living together. Some media outside China may even mis-read the
rule as a way to ban Gay Couples (look at here: Shanghai Orders Landlords Not To Rent To Gay Couples). I would say this obviously exaggerated the situation since the regulation didn’t mean it, although it caused similar result.
One day, one of my friends sent me a website, on which some law professors thought this regulation was illegal. In fact, my friend told me, there is no specific law about this issue in China. Well then why should people say we were not allowed to live in that kind of houses? Where shall we go if the rent continued rising and rising？…