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September 5, 2013

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5 held for brawl in residential complex

Five people were detained for a mass brawl that broke out between property owners, group-leasing landlords and residents of Zhongyuan Liangwan Community in Putuo District.

According to Putuo police, all the five detained were tenants, mainly from Fujian Province. The brawl started around 8:40pm in one of the residential buildings on Monday. Six people, including two in their 70s, were injured and sent to hospital.

Chen Zhenghua is a property owner and resident in building No. 314, where the brawl happened. He had a 5 centimeter long scar on his face, besides injuries on his head and arms.

“They pushed me to the wall and started beating me up. One of them picked up a chair and hit me with it,” Chen said.

Chen is a member of the building’s property owner committee, which was set up last year by some of the residents.

To deal with the problem of group subletting in the building, the committee asked residents to invest and upgrade the entrance and the elevator system. Each apartment is given four to six digital keys according to their room numbers. The keys carry the user’s picture and personal information, giving only them access to the community.

Trouble broke out on Monday when committee members tried to stop two women from entering the building with keys that did not belong to them.

“They called up more people. At one point there were nearly 100 of them,” Chen said. “They wanted to teach us a lesson.”

Group-subletting has dogged the community. It has 96 buildings and over 10,000 apartments. Apartments are rented out by property owners which is then sublet to others, making space for them by diving living area.

“Most of them behave like gangsters,” Chen said yesterday. “A large number of them are from Fujian Province while others come from Shandong.”

Group renting has been blamed for sanity problems and safety risks. The community guard said they regularly receive complaints about late night noises and people relieving themselves in the corridors as the number of toilets in each apartment is not enough for all the tenants.



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