China to standardize housing rentals and sales via regulation

BEIJING, May 19 -- China released a draft regulation on housing rentals and sales Friday in its latest effort to standardize the country's housing market.

The draft, currently open to public opinion for revision, listed detailed rules that supervise housing market participants including landlords, tenants, developers, and brokerage firms, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development said in an online statement.

To protect the interests of both landlords and tenants, the draft required a written rental contract to be signed, and specified rules regarding lease terms, rents and the rights of the tenants.

It also contained general rules to regulate the behaviors of developers, restricting them from publishing fake advertisements and artificially inflating housing prices.

Housing brokers should make information such as housing prices and brokerage fees more transparent, and should not improperly release confidential client information, according to the statement.

The draft regulation marked the first of its kind on housing rentals and sales. The public will have until June 19 this year to provide their opinions on the draft.

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