Officials get tough on property management violations

Hu Min
Urban management and law enforcement authorities are stepping in to regulate infractions in residential buildings.
Hu Min
Officials get tough on property management violations
Hu Min / SHINE

An urban management and law enforcement official of Malu Town issues a rectification notice to a repair and maintenance company at a residential complex on Thursday. 

Shanghai's urban management and law enforcement authorities have busted nearly 4,000 cases involving property management violations since March under a coordinated and refined approach, officials announced on Thursday. 

From March, urban management and law enforcement authorities in the city started taking over law enforcement affairs of property management service providers, covering areas such as illegal structures, damage to load-bearing structures, turning residential spaces into non-residential properties such as businesses or hotels, and occupying public spaces.

Among 3,998 cases, 1,408 involved illegal structures, 839 involved damage to load-bearing structures, 468 involved improper decoration, 428 involved changing residential properties for non-residential purposes, according to the Shanghai Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau. 

In 61 cases, property service providers failed to stop or notify authorities over the violations of property owners or users; and they damaged, occupied or randomly moved public facilities in another 46 cases, the bureau said. 

The city's urban management and law enforcement authorities have established a coordinated law enforcement mechanism with property management authorities, police and market watchdogs and rely on community-based workshops and "grid management" at the grassroots to spot and stop violations.

At residential communities with large numbers of violations and complaints, databases including information on construction and renovation that cover landlords and tenants will be established and updated regularly, the bureau said. 

Law enforcement against violations that may lead to serious results will be enhanced, and officials are required to arrive at the scene within two hours after being tipped off. 

In serious cases, property management companies will have their information listed in the city's public creditability platform and exposed if they cover up or conceal the violations of property owners, fail to stop violations in time, or fail to report violations, the bureau said. 

Surveillance cameras are used to capture violations and information sharing among authorities will be enhanced.

Officials get tough on property management violations
Hu Min / SHINE

Urban management and law enforcement officials in Malu Town take an intelligent approach in detectingdetecting irregularities. 

The aim is rapid response and accuracy of law enforcement, the bureau said. 

In Malu Town, Jiading District, violations happen from time to time with the construction and development of the Jiading New Town, local officials said. 

There are 78 residential complexes in Malu, with 31 property management companies. 

"Violations such as decoration by companies without relevant licenses, dismantling of walls or changes to pipeline facilities, and turning residential properties into non-residential properties not only effect living environment, but also pose serious safety hazards and lead to neighbor disputes," said Yang Wei, deputy director of the Jiading District Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau. 

"Some property service providers are negligent in their management for fear of offending property owners," said Yang.

The Malu urban management and law enforcement officials are taking combined approaches to curb incidence of violations. 

A notice is delivered to property owners before they start decoration to inform them of regulations, and regular patrols are conducted by officials once decoration starts. 

Property management companies are graded into four levels and they will be listed in the city's public creditability platform for scoring at the bottom based on irregularities detected. 

Officials get tough on property management violations
Hu Min / SHINE

A property owner signs a letter of commitment before starting construction in Malu Town on Thursday. 

Malu officials have imposed administrative penalties in five cases so far this year, with fines totaling 18,000 yuan (US$2,663).

An app allowing property management companies to report irregularities to urban management authorities has also been established to improve handling efficiency. 

In Jiading, a database including 249 property management companies has been established. 

In the future, the credibility files of property management companies will provide reference in project bidding and awarding, said Yang. 

At a residential complex on Hongde Road in Jiading, Longyuan Construction Co Ltd, a repair and maintenance company, was issued a rectification notice by Malu urban management and law enforcement officials on Thursday for storing construction materials in public areas.

It was ordered to clear the materials within three days. 

The irregularity was reported by the property management service provider of the complex after the construction company refused to comply. 

"Property owners only needed to sign a letter of commitment with us in the past before they started decoration, promising they would abide by regulations, which were often neglected," said Li Zixuan, a property management staffer at the complex. 

"The current mechanism requires them to sign another with urban management and law enforcement authorities, which has better deterrent effects," she said.

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