Tue, Aug 24, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Minister says firm broke promise

PROOFThe Minister of the Interior said a construction company in Keelung continued to list the main surface area of a house with added structures in contracts despite warnings

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday countered denials by a construction company that it had violated a new rule on real estate sales contracts and said the firm had broken its promise to make improvements after several warnings.

According to a new rule that took effect on May 1, the surface area of the main structure of a house must be listed separately in the contract from those of attached structures, such as the balcony.

The new rule is meant to combat skyrocketing real estate prices, because when the surface areas are listed separately, a buyer may be able to negotiate a better bargain on attached spaces.

The Chinese-language China Times reported yesterday that the ministry had found the sales contract for a Jay San Lin Construction Co (JSLC) building project in Keelung was in violation of the new rule, adding that the company had been fined NT$300,000 (US$9,390).

Following the report, JSLC management denied the company had violated the rule, arguing that it had been abiding by the new contract format since March.

The company also denied ever being fined by the ministry.

However, with documents in hand, Jiang said those claims were false.

“What [JSLC] said in the media is not fact,” Jiang told a news conference at the ministry in the afternoon. “In fact, the fine was sent via registered mail and the Post Office record shows it arrived last Friday.”

Jiang said the ministry discovered 160 violations of the new rule after it became effective in May.

“We first issued warnings and all of them — except for JSLC — made corrections before the deadline we gave them,” he said.

The minister said JSLC was found to have violated the new rule on contracts on May 5 and was given until May 31 to revise the contract.

“We went back on May 31, June 2 and June 22, but they were still in violation,” Jiang said. “On Aug. 10, we found that the contents of a sales contract JSLC signed with a female buyer surnamed Chang (張) still did not follow the new format. This time around, we decided we had to act.”

Jiang showed copies of inspection forms from each of the ­inspections signed by the inspectors and representatives from JSLC.

“They cannot claim that they don’t know about it, because the JSLC chairman actually talked to us and promised to make the changes on June 2,” Jiang said, showing a paper signed by JSLC chairman Chu Wen-yu (祝文宇) with a statement promising to revise their sales contract according to the new format.

“We gave them 15 days to fix it, [telling them that] if they failed to do so, we would continue fining them,” Jiang said. “If they won’t change their practices, we’ll shrink the buffer period to three days or even one day and may ask them to pay the maximum fine of NT$1.5 million for the violation.”

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