Draft of housing rental ordinance protects both leaser and tenant
China Daily

Potential homebuyers look at a property model in Haian, Jiangsu province. (Photo: China Daily)

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development published a draft of the housing rental ordinance on Monday to solicit public opinion. The ordinance enhances protection of tenants' legal rights and interests.

In recent years, housing rental enterprises that rent houses from their owners and sublease them to tenants have developed rapidly. But without rules regulating this industry, the tenants often find it difficult to protect their legal rights and interests. Regulating long-term rentals is a focus of this ordinance.

The ordinance draft prohibits housing rental enterprises from forcing tenants to take housing rent loans, thus protecting them from financial frauds.

The media have frequently exposed how houses being leased out are not always fit for living in. Often some chemicals used in renovation endangers tenants' health.

Notably, to protect tenants, the draft prohibits companies from leasing out houses whose indoor environment fails to meet national standards

The draft also stipulates that nonresidential spaces such as basement, kitchen, balcony and toilet cannot be leased out as residential spaces. House owners or enterprises that violate this regulation will be punished, according to the draft.

The draft also tries to balance the rights and interests of leasers and tenants. It stipulates that during the period of leasing, the leaser or tenant cannot unilaterally terminate the deal or raise/decrease rent, unless otherwise stated in the contract. Also, the leaser should not force a tenant to vacate the leased house.

The housing rental market's healthy and stable development is good for not only leasers and tenants but also the stability of society. All relevant parties should take the opportunity to submit their suggestion on the draft to the ministry to enable it to better play its intended roles.