Sat, May 14, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taipei City to inspect rental suites

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter

The Taipei City Government yesterday promised to start inspections next week to clamp down on illegal operations that offer suites for daily or weekly rentals, as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilors urged the city government to manage the emerging business model.

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 (US$35) to NT$2,000 per night.

The suites can be found in -privately owned apartments, office buildings and even shopping centers such as Q Square near Taipei Railway Station, and they are popular among backpackers.

DPP Taipei City Councilor Chien Yu-yen (簡余晏) said the daily rental suites, which are all operated without permits, are easy to find on the Internet. She lashed out at the Taipei City Government for what she called its lack of effort in clamping down on the illegal operations.

“There are more than 200 suites above Q Square, which also houses Taipei Bus Station, but the city government claims that it’s hard to find the suites. It’s obvious that the city government has not made any effort to solve the problem,” she said yesterday at the Taipei City Council.

DPP Taipei City Councilor Lee Ching-feng (李慶鋒) said giving fines to the businesses would not put an end to the illegal operations, and said the city government should also work with the central government to manage the suites.

“Coming up with measures to manage the suites and make sure the businesses offer a safe and clean environment for tourists would be a better way to protect the rights of consumers,” he said.

Hsue Chiu-huo (薛秋火), chief secretary of the Information and Tourism Department, promised to hold a joint inspection next week with the Fire Department, the Law and Regulation Commission and other departments to clamp down on illegal operations around the city.

Individuals or businesses that run the illegal operations face a fine of between NT$90,000 and NT$450,000.

Hsue said the department has found 60 illegal rental suites around the city and issued a total of NT$1.4 million in fines to business owners since last year.

The department has also instructed major Web portal sites to remove advertisements for the suites, as most operators advertise their businesses on the Internet.

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