Finally, the new regulation on house rental in Shanghai come out at the end of th last month.
This regulation is aiming to get rid of the group cohabitant.
What is Group Cohabitant
I may use the wrong translation, but it is a popular way for people to share rental cost. In Shanghai, there are people who buy or rent the whole apartment, and separated into different rooms, and then rent it separately to different people. This is very common nowadays.
For example, last time I visited my friend and saw a “modern apartment”. It was originally an apartment with 3 bed rooms and 2 living rooms. The owner pull down some walls and setup some new walls, to create a 5-room apartment. Each has doors. At the entrance, there are 5 electricity meters, and 5 gas meters, so they can pay their share of the utility cost. They have satellite TV, bed, TV, air-con, shower, micro-wave, and many facility young people need. This apartment is in a very good residential area, and they charge for 1500 RMB per month.
There are also some low end apartments which allow 20 or more people to live in. They rent only a bed within a room and there may be many beds in the room. They charge only 300 – 400 RMB per month.
The regulation coming out two days ago prohibit this kind of group renting. It requires apartments in Shanghai must be rented to a family, or an individual, not many people. Everyone should has its own room or at least 5 sq. meters.
I don’t like this Regulation
Recently, it seems there are more regulations coming out every month than before. Every time I see some regulation like this, I just smile and comment: the government is just getting crazy.
- There is need for people to share apartments. Shanghai’s real estate price just raises to be even as expensive as Tokyo, and even people with very good income cannot afford to buy a house. Where can those low-income people live? On the street? Maybe not a good idea. They have to think of ways to solve this problem.
- To simple solution to complicated issue.. There are many problems brought by group renting, like security, noise, damage of house… but the key is solve these problems instead of just kill the whole way of living. Policy makers just want to find easy way to complicated situation. It is just like this: “How to solve the problem that the China’s population is too big?”, they may answer: “Easy. Kill half of them.” It sounds an easy and really working solution, but you need to respect the right of everyone, not just the half that survive. To ban group renting is the same thing.
- Not practical. There are so many situation that is not covered in it. The media’s attention was draw to the fact that this regulation may forbidden unmarried couple to live together, or several friends living together. Some media outside China may even mis-read the rule as a way to ban Gay Couples (look at here: Shanghai Orders Landlords Not To Rent To Gay Couples). I would say this obviously exaggerated the situation since the regulation didn’t mean it, although it caused similar result.
Every time I read the release of a new regulation, I just worry how that can be implemented, and what they think when they make it. Well. The good thing (actually the bad thing ) is, since any regulation is just a piece of paper, and no one really follow it, it does not matter, and people don’t care. Maybe, it is just because of the abundance of ridiculous regulations that created the chaos of unregulated market even with the most regulations.