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New laws require details on auctioned houses

TAIPEI -- The Legislature passed laws yesterday designed to better protect the rights of people bidding on houses at auction, requiring courts to inform them of substandard materials used in buildings or incidents that have taken place in them that some might consider inauspicious, such as suicide.

The laws stipulate that courts should make known whether the houses at auction were built with radioactive materials or corrosive sea sand.

The laws also require courts to make public whether the houses for sale have been damaged in fires or earthquakes, have had serious leaks, or have had residents who did not die of natural causes, among other details that might influence buyers' bid prices and help them make better-informed decisions.

As parts of efforts to safeguard buyers' rights and reinforce court authorities' investigation rights, the laws also allow investigators access to the houses and to question sellers, occupants, police officers or other agencies about the properties in question.

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