Shanghai trials an official online platform for renting homes

The platform is part of the city's move to better regulate its home rental market and foster its steady development.

Shanghai is trialing an official online platform for home rental for three months as part of the local government's move to better regulate the city’s home rental market and foster its steady development.

Launched at the weekend, the public service platform www.shzfzl.gov.cn, backed by the Shanghai Housing and Urban-Rural Development Administration and the Shanghai Housing Administration Bureau, will verify listings, register users' real names and allow for online contract signing.

To enhance the platform's operation, Shanghai has set up a municipal level residential leasing service center which will provide policy-related consultancy through its 962269 hotline. District-level service centers have also opened around the city to offer online contract signing service.

Residential leasing companies and real estate agencies should register with the platform while individual users such as the lessor, lessee and property agent should complete real-name registration with the platform which will adopt a number of verification methods, including face-recognition, to ensure proper identification.

Both institutional and individual lessors can list their houses for rent directly on the platform after their homes have been checked while individual lessors may also go to the district residential leasing service center to get their listing online.

A standardized leasing contract will be available on the platform for online signing. Deals reached between the lessor and lessee without the involvement of an agency may be completed at the district residential leasing service center for online contract signing.

When the platform is fully operational in the future, it will also provide online registration service for residential leasing contracts, which is now only available at sub-district and township-level community affairs service centers.

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