Recently while out of town, our landlord called us on our cell phone to inform us that he wanted his apartment back ASAP. Why, we asked? He wanted to renovate it, he said, but we were not convinced. You see, the few of us have been living in this apartment for coming to 3 years now, and there was this implicit agreement that we could stay on for as long as we liked, so some time back we didn’t sign any lease with him, but continued to dutifully pay our rent each month (no delays) as we have done for such a long time.
Okay, call us stupid, we know, for not signing a lease with him, but today we came across an article from the Oriental Morning Post (东方早报) that may be the reason behind our landlord’s latest move. In the article entitled 上海治理群租再出新招 朋友也不能合租一间房 (“Shanghai begins to control shared renting of apartments, now even friends are not allowed to co-rent”):
Shanghai has begun to control the shared renting of apartments and recently the Shanghai Municipal Housing, Land and Resource Administration Bureau (SMHLRA) announced that it has made amendments to the 2005 version of the “Landlord Regulations” and the “Provisional Landlord Regulations”. New regulations for shared renting of apartments have been added… According to those new regulations, each private apartment can now only be rented out to a single individual or a family.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, this means that from now on, you may not share an apartment with your boy/girlfriend. And no, you may not even share an apartment with someone of the same gender. Our first response to the new ruling was something along the lines of “[email protected]#*$&[email protected]*&*!!!!” but hey, this is not the first time we have heard of such crazy rules eh. Some time ago, we told you about the ban by the Ministry of Education on students renting private accommodation during semesters and the mandate that ALL students have to share four to eight-person dormitories. Just plain wonderful now that the SMHLRA has decided to make its presence felt in the lives of all working adults in Shanghai! Certainly the desire to have the freedom to choose whether or not to live alone or to choose who to live with cuts across nationalities. In an online poll on 163.com, an overwhelming 88.0% of 25,916 respondents (as of press time) said that the co-sharing of apartments should not be restricted.
Now does anyone reading this have a nice, small, clean and affordable apartment to rent out to this poor soul here?
Oriental Morning Post: 上海治理群租再出新招 朋友也不能合租一间房
Shanghaiist: Education Ministry mandates curfew and bedchecks for university students
Photo from Mr.Tea