A inspection found that 32 of 50 contracts offered by 25 rental agencies across 10 administrative regions contravened regulations, the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee said on Friday.
It ordered the rental agencies to correct their contracts as soon as possible.
This year was the first that the committee had inspected contracts offered by rental agencies in tandem with the Ministry of the Interior’s Department of Land Administration and local governments’ land administration bureaus, committee official Chen Shih-yuan (陳世元) said.
Photo: Taipei Times
The Rental Housing Market Development and Regulation Act (租賃住宅市場發展及管理條例), which was promulgated in 2017, requires rental agencies to be registered with their local government.
Some of the contracts that breached the regulations set a longer rental time than was agreed to by the landlord, while some included clauses saying that the return of the unit would considered official even if the lessee was not present, Chen said.
Some of the contracts deferred down payments, despite the act specifying that down payments should be returned to the lessee upon the return of the unit, he said.
The lessor is obligated to repair, maintain or replace malfunctioning or broken equipment, and the lessee can, if the lessor agrees, repair or replace items, with the cost to be deducted from the rent or the lessor to pay, he added.
However, some contracts limited the lessee’s rights or reduced the lessor’s responsibility regarding malfunctioning or broken equipment, Chen said.
The committee also found that many of the contracts breached the law and infringed on lessee rights by stating that the lessor can unilaterally terminate the agreement while the lessee cannot, or stating that the lessee must forfeit their down payment — which is usually two months of rent — if they do not give the lessor a month’s notice before terminating the contract, he said.
Twenty-eight contracts — including some that were already signed — have been corrected, while four lessees were unwilling to make the changes, as they feel that the contracts favor them more, Chen said.
Department of Land Administration Director-General Liao Ching-an (廖慶安) said many forms that contravene the law adhere to previous practices, adding that the department would inspect contracts every year with local governments.
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