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March 24, 2010

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Pudong cracks down on illegal 'Expo families'

PUDONG New Area police are cracking down on underground inns claiming to be World Expo home-stay host family lodgings.

Unlicensed home inns have distributed fliers offering accommodations in the name of "Expo families" for 30 yuan (US$4.40) per night - while hiding security, hygiene and fire-control dangers, police said.

People running these unlicensed inns face maximum detentions of 15 days and cash penalties up to 1,000 yuan.

By yesterday at least four problem apartments had been tracked down, according to police.

A man surnamed Liu was punished with a five-day detention for illegally dividing the apartment in Lane 2008 Chengshan Road and intending to lease it daily as a family inn by posting advertisements online.

Police said they also found two other apartments that Liu had divided for daily leasing and an account book for keeping rental records.

In addition, a couple surnamed Li was fined 200 yuan last week for allegedly dividing a rented apartment into separate rooms and soliciting tenants through the Internet, police said.

Li started to advertise rooms at 30 yuan per day on March 14, but had not leased any of the rooms when caught by the police last Tuesday.

Police said renters who lease their apartments by hours or days as a business would be regarded as operating unlicensed hotels and face a shutdown of the apartments and a fine of 500 to 1,000 yuan.

Authorities clamped down on an illegal home run guest-house last week.

The hotel, located around Metro Line 7 near the World Expo site, had been reported charging sky-high prices ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 yuan per day and using the Expo as the lead in online advertising posts to attract travelers.


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