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February 26, 2013

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'Talents' in subsidized flats profit by subletting

SOME tenants of the government-subsized Talent Apartments in Lujiazui are making a profit by illegal subletting their fully furnished units, sparking outrage online.

The low-rent homes are subsidized by the city to attract skilled, young white-collar workers.

On some apartment websites, tenants of the Talent Apartments are charging 1,760 yuan (US$282) to over 2,000 yuan in rent for a 25-square-meter, one-room unit. Qualified tenants are paying monthly rents ranging from 1,750 yuan to 1,900 yuan and receiving government subsidies of up to 600 yuan a month.

A tenant surnamed Liu who published leasing information on a website said her intention was not to cash in by subletting her room at the Talent Apartments. "I have to leave Shanghai soon, but I've already paid the rent for the following four months," said Liu, "I'm not making it into a business here but only trying to get my rent back."

According to regulations, each resident can get a 600-yuan monthly subsidy in their first rental year, 300 yuan in the second year and 100 yuan in the third.

It was the first year that Liu rented the apartment, which means that she could still get the maximum subsidy.

Netizens expressed outrage.

"Those second-hand landlords are wasting public resources while cashing in from government subsidies. They are truly 'talents,' " was one comment.

Supervisors of the apartments said that tenants are strictly banned from subletting the rooms or they will lose their apartment.

They said they will visit tenants' homes at least once a year to see whether they break the rules.

"Once they are found subletting the rooms, we will inform them to pack up and leave in days, and they will lose the deposit money," said an official who declined to be named.

Residents are warned not to rent rooms from such tenants since they will not be protected by any laws.


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