What's the buzz
Updated: 2013-07-29 07:09
Beijing's housing authorities have issued a notice saying a tenant should not have less than 5 square meters of living space and not more than two people should share one rented room. Is the ban on group rentals justified? The views of China Daily's mobile-phone news readers follow:
Renting out an apartment to multiple tenants should be banned. For one thing, most of such apartments are restructured into cubicles and bunks and become fire hazards posing a threat to other people in the building. Living conditions in such apartments are appalling, to say the least. Also, poor security in residential buildings puts other tenants at risk, especially because many such apartments are not registered as "dormitories" and lack proper supervision.
I don't support the ban on group rentals. Many people choose to live in such cramped quarters because they cannot afford a better place. So instead of improving such people's living conditions, the ban could leave them without any accommodation at all. Since the ban cannot root out the problem of group rentals, the government should find ways to increase such people's incomes or provide them with housing subsidy. Or better still, it could build more low-rent housing.
XIAOPANG, Harbin, Heilongjiang province
In some Chinese cities, especially Beijing, many people are forced to live in cramped apartments because they cannot afford better accommodation. If financial conditions permitted, 25 people wouldn't have shared an 80-sq-m apartment in Beijing, as some media reports recently said. Therefore, instead of debating on the new regulations, we should talk about how to control housing prices and regulate the rental market.
XUECAI, Fuzhou, Fujian province
I support the ban on group rentals. Apartments shared by a score or more people are health and safety hazards. Plus, living in such apartments for a long time people could gradually lose their self-esteem and confidence. Worse, if group rentals are allowed to flourish, they could become an accepted lifestyle for people. But since the ban could force many low-income people to move to other cities and cause a shortage of human resources, it could prompt an increase in salaries, which would be a welcome relief for these people.
The government is justified in banning group rentals. Safety is the biggest problem in apartments shared by a dozen or more people because house owners invariably alter the original structure to accommodate as many tenants as possible, which in many cases weakens the building. Besides, it is not at all healthy for a person to live in such crowded and cramped space. But since low-income people opt for such accommodation because they cannot buy or rent a house, the government should build more affordable housing and take steps to lower the rents.
XIXI, Xi'an, Shaanxi province
No one likes to share an apartment with a score of people. People decide to endure such discomfort because they cannot afford to pay for better accommodation, or want to save to meet family needs or buy a house. The government should find the real reason why young people choose to rent a house with multiple tenants. It should also take measures to provide such people with better facilities, instead of making life more difficult for them.
NUANNUAN, Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region
(China Daily USA 07/29/2013 page12)