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November 27, 2012

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Renter won't leave flat, now lives at jail

A SHANGHAI tenant who refused to move out of her rental apartment even after she was given detention of 15 days was sentenced to two years in prison by the Zhabei District People's Court yesterday.

The middle-aged woman, surnamed Chen, had made many excuses for staying in the apartment on Zhijiang Road M. after her rental contract expired in January 2010, officials said.

The landlord finally filed a law suit that August and the court ruled Chen must move out as well as pay the apartment owner the rent that was due - 750 yuan (US$120) - for every month she was there past her contract expiration.

But Chen still wouldn't move, claiming she had no place to live and no money.

Court investigators found Chen had more than 300,000 yuan in savings. As a result, she was fined 10,000 yuan in August 2011 and, still refusing to leave, detained for 15 days in December. After leaving the detention house, she went right back to her apartment.

"Chen has been turning a deaf ear to the court order, which severely interfered with judicial functions," the judge in the case said.

She was removed from the apartment and sent to jail.

The two-year prison sentence given to Chen is a relatively harsh penalty since the maximum for ignoring court orders is three years behind bars.


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