All those small advertisements that real estate agencies post up all over the place can really ruin a city’s looks, yet according to the Waste Disposal Act the maximum fine is only NT$6,000 — not nearly enough to deter people. In clamping down on these eyesores, Tainan’s Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB) now has a new trick up its sleeve. They have joined forces with the Bureau of Land Administration (BLA), which in accordance with the Real Estate Broking Management Act, is now handing out fines of up to NT$300,000. Nine companies have been fined thus far, amounting to NT$580,000 in all.
Chien Chih-shen, an employee at the EPB’s Environment Sanitation Management Division, says that although the Waste Disposal Act allows perpetrators to be fined between NT$1,200 and NT$6,000, most real estate agencies have the financial wherewithal not to be deterred by the fine. But according to the Real Estate Broking Management Act, if a company puts up an ad that does not clearly state they are brokering, the agency can be fined between NT$60,000 and NT$300,000, more than enough to keep most companies from putting up ads illegally.
The EPB says that most of the small ads seen throughout the city are for homes that are for sale. The agency has been sending out more inspectors to get rid of the ads and fine perpetrators, but now they are also cooperating with the BLA, which is handing out hefty fines to real estate agencies breaking the law.
Chien says that plumbing, moving, and lending companies that paste ads on utility poles are typically fined the maximum NT$6,000 because it is so hard to remove the ads.
Chang Hwang-jen, director-general of the EPB, says she hopes that by having the EPB and the BLA work together, they will be able to effectively deter real estate agencies from engaging in this behavior that is spoiling the beauty of the city. Chang also says that brokers should exercise self-constraint to avoid being fined.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)