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September, 25, 2016

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Realtors wary of bill requiring safety check before house sales

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The government announced plans to amend the Building Act (建築法) so residential property 30 years and older must undergo a safety assessment before they can be sold.

The proposal was met with mixed reactions, with some saying the policy would help accelerate urban renewal plans and to improve home safety. It drew a backlash from the real estate brokerage industry, which claimed it would drive down property transactions.

Wednesday marked the 17th year since the deadly 921 Earthquake shook Taiwan. The magnitude 7.3 earthquake caused severe damage and spurred the passage of stricter construction laws.

Deputy Interior Minister Hua Ching-chun (花敬群), while attending a conference on disaster prevention and urban renewal Wednesday, said the Ministry of the Interior (內政部) would propose amendments requiring that residential property 30 years and older be certified as safe before they can be sold.

Owners will have to provide documents showing that their property has undergone a "health check," so that buyers can better understand the state of the property before making a purchase, Hua said.

The official said the bill was scheduled to be proposed during the current legislative session. The current session runs from September through December.

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Interior Minister Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) delivers a report at the Legislative Yuan on Thursday, Sept. 22. Yeh told reporters that plans to require owners of property over 30 years old to undergo pre-sale safety tests would not affect property transactions, and that such plans have yet to be drafted into an amendment proposal. (CNA)

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