By Chi-hao James Lo ,The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taipei City Deputy Mayor Chang Chin-e (張金鶚) hosted a press conference yesterday on behalf of the Taipei City Government to report to the public the current status of the Pre-Sale Houses Inspection program, disclosing a high rate of violations. In the hopes of improving the real estate market and promoting transparency in trading information of pre-sale housing, as well as reducing disputes during transactions, the Taipei City Government conducted pre-sale home inspections within Taipei City recently, releasing the results of their examination today. This marked the first program conducted collaboratively by the Department of Land (地政局) and the Department of Legal Affairs (法務局) of the Taipei City Government with the Taipei City Construction Management Office (建築管理工程處) and the Ministry of Finance’s National Taxation Bureau of Taipei (聯合財政部台北國稅局). According to Chang, the rising prices of the real estate market in Taipei heavily and negatively impact the rights of residents. Hence, the city government created the inspection program to conduct detailed investigations on pre-sale homes located in the city’s jurisdiction. From March 11-27, a joint task force spot-checked 21 on-sale construction projects. The inspections focused on the legality of pre-sale home contracts, model homes and so-called red sheet transactions. Not a single home passed the examination without any violations.
Violations in Every Case of Inspection Chang went on to state that among the offenses, 16 are contractual violations and 16 are illegal consignment sales, while seven are cases of model home violations and six are cases of false advertising. All incidents resulted in warnings and penalties accordingly. In the case of model homes, developers have been found to be using the homes illegally before declaring the property. Not only are unauthorized reconstruction and redecoration frequent, the model homes are also remodeled to advertise other projects under development by the same company. The inspection also brought to light the fact that current developers are frequently exaggerating sales numbers and increasing the asking prices as forms of marketing to bait consumers into signing contracts. Chang warned all consumers during the conference to verify all marketing information and to learn more about the details in the specs of a project, and not to buy into the schemes of developers easily. According to the Department of Land, all consignment sales violations are mainly cases of consignment agencies failing to submit proper forms for employed brokers, followed by undocumented establishment of business offices. Along with unspecified broker agencies, most of the violations are in breach of the Real Estate Broking Management Act, all of which are subject to a maximum fine of NT$300,000.