Fri, May 06, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taipei asks Web sites to pull daily rental suite ads

ILLEGAL OPERATIONS:City officials say most of the suites advertised are in private apartments or office buildings and their operators do not have permits

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

The Taipei City Government yesterday urged major Web portal sites to remove advertisements for individuals or businesses that offer suites or rooms for daily or weekly rentals, as it has vowed to clamp down on illegal operations and fine Web sites that carry the ads.

The so-called “daily rental suites” have emerged as a new business model in Taipei, with individuals and small businesses running ads on the Internet for such suites, which cost only about NT$1,000 per night.

Most of the suites are located in privately owned apartments or office buildings and operate without permits. Individuals or businesses that run the illegal operations face a fine of between NT$90,000 (US$3,150) and NT$450,000.

Department of Information and Tourism Commissioner Chao Hsin-ping (趙心屏) said the department has found 60 illegal rental suites around the city and issued fines to business owners totaling NT$1.4 million since last year.

However, the difficulty of locating the illegal rentals has prompted city officials to turn their attention to Web portals, which offer a platform for the businesses to carry ads and accept online registrations. Authorities have instructed the sites, including Yahoo Taiwan, to remove such ads.

“The daily rental suites are illegal operations and the Web portals should not be accomplices,” Chao told a press conference at Taipei City Hall.

Yeh Chin-yuan (葉慶元), head of the Law and Regulation Commission, said the city government would demand Web portals remove the ads by today and those who fail to cooperate would face a fine of between NT$60,000 and NT$450,000.

Chao said the city would continue the inspection of illegally run rental suites and urged the public not to rent unauthorized suites.

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