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November 12, 2010

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Property proposal dropped

PEOPLE will not be sanctioned when buying or selling their apartments if they fail to pay property management bills, as the latest draft version of the residential property management regulation dropped the controversial proposal.

The original proposal, which would not allow residents to make apartment transactions until the property management bills were paid, has caused heated debate since it was first put up for discussion last month.

The revised version, which was deliberated by lawmakers yesterday, said the buyer should be notified about any unpaid bills so that they can work out a payment plan before selling their property.

"It would over-protect the interests of property management companies," Ding Wei, an official with the Shanghai People's Congress, the city's legislation body, explaining the clause's modification.

The issue of why people do not pay property management bills is a complicated one, Ding said.

Cai Dafeng, a local lawmaker, proposed a system where other residents in a neighborhood are told if someone has not paid their bills and that person should not receive public services.

Many insisted that delayed payment or refusal to pay is a way of objecting to poor service.

If that is not actually the case, management companies can bring a lawsuit against those who refused to pay bills, said Gan Zhongze, an SPC deputy.

He believed it would be a better solution to the dispute.

Some lawmakers also proposed yesterday that a special neighborhood arbitration committee should be set?up to verify the reasons for a delayed payment.

Shanghai introduced the property management policy in 1991. About 72 percent of the city's 10,870 residential communities have property management bodies, but 20 percent of households in new complexes do not pay monthly bills in time. The rate seems to be much lower in some old communities, Liu Haisheng, director of the Shanghai Housing Support and Building Administration Bureau, said, but did not say why that is.

The newly revised regulation also specifies the use of a public main-tenance fund where property management companies, if professional agencies approve it, will be able to use the fund to repair leaking roofs and walls and strengthen cracked walls.


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