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November 18, 2010

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Judges say landlords must alter contracts

JUDGES yesterday suggested that local landlords have it explicitly written into contracts that putting nails into walls is prohibited before renting homes to foreign tenants.

It comes after a court decided a German tenant should compensate a house owner because he hammered nails into walls to hang paintings.

The judges of Jing'an District People's Court said landlords should take cultural differences into account and should remind foreigners who might want to hang paintings at home not to do so.

The tenant sued a house owner, surnamed Liu, after Liu refused to return his 6,000 yuan (US$903.17) deposit and 1,833 yuan spare rent. Liu said the money would be used to fix the walls of his house which the tenant had left with many holes.

Liu told the court that he had spent 5,000 yuan redecorating the wall and was willing to return the rest.

Liu signed a contract with the tenant in mid-February, 2009, to let the house on Xikang Road in Jing'an with a monthly rent of 6,000 yuan.

The German national hung paintings in the rooms, which the tenant said was common practice in Germany and used paint to fix the walls before moving out on June 18, 2010.

However, Liu said many holes were noticeable in the rooms and he had to hire workers to redecorate the house.

The court decided the tenant should pay Liu 3,000 yuan, while Liu should return the rest of the deposit and spare rent to the tenant.

The court said Liu had also repainted the ceiling of the house and the payments were not all the responsibility of the tenant.


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