In February this year, the eggshell apartment, which was deeply involved in the rumors of a “funding chain break”, has recently caused trouble again. On November 16, a newly resigned employee said in an interview with the media that Eggshell Apartments might declare “bankruptcy”.On the same day, Eggshell Apartments responded via official Weibo, “There is no bankruptcy, nor will it run away.”
However, the above response did not soothe the panic of many tenants. On November 17, a number of interviewed tenants told The Paper that because the landlord did not receive the rent, the tenant was facing the dilemma of being evicted; at the same time, because the eggshell apartment had already obtained loans from the WeBank When the rent is reached, the tenant still needs to repay the “rental loan” every month, otherwise it will affect personal credit.
Not only is the eggshell apartment, but since this year, many parents renting apartment related companies have “exploded.” In response, real estate associations in Guangzhou, Haikou, Hefei, Chengdu and other cities have issued risk warnings to remind tenants to choose housing leasing companies carefully. Many cities have also initiated new measures for the supervision of housing lease funds, such as requiring rent or depositing funds obtained from “rent loans” into supervision accounts.
Tenant of loan rent
Ms. Liu, a tenant in Beijing, told The Paper that it has rented a house through Eggshell Apartments for two years, with monthly rent and service fees of more than 4,000 yuan. It was normal until October this year, and there was no dispute between the two parties.
“At the beginning of last month, the landlord found me and said that Eggshell Apartment had been steadily paying him rent in recent years, but this time he didn’t pay him, so he came to ask me if I paid the rent to the platform.” Ms. Liu said, after passing. Communication, Eggshell Apartment transferred the rent for the month to the landlord, but in November, the landlord once again did not get the money. The landlord “euphemistically” informed Ms. Liu through WeChat that she needed to take back the house.
“But my money has already been paid.” Ms. Liu said that she had borrowed one year’s rent through WeBank before, and the money had been in the account of Eggshell Apartment. In early November, she had just repaid her last month’s loan. After receiving the notice from the landlord, Ms. Liu applied to Eggshell Apartment for a refund of more than 4,000 yuan of deposit, but returned in vain. “If you don’t live in the house, you don’t give money back. How can there be such a reason?” Ms. Liu said that she had gone to the office of Eggshell Apartment. Let’s wait.
Chen Kai (pseudonym), who just graduated from university, suffered even more twists and turns. In August of this year, he and his friends rented a house run by Eggshell Apartments. “The butler of the platform said that monthly payment is possible, which makes us very excited.” Chen Kai told The Paper, but when signing the contract, he learned that the so-called monthly payment is a loan from “WeBank”, “has already paid a deposit. Had to sign”.
“That is, I borrowed half a year’s rent from WeBank through my credit, and paid a total of more than 20,000 yuan to Eggshell Apartment in advance. The so-called monthly rent payment is just to repay the rent loan every month.” Chen Kai said. The other party did not explain to him that the monthly payment is actually a “rental loan.”
Ms. Tang in Chengdu had a similar experience. In October of this year, she had planned to rent a house in Eggshell Apartment. “The other party advertised that one payment is one, monthly payment is enough, and there is a 50% discount in the first month.” Ms. Tang said that when signing the contract, the other party gave her a bunch of documents and asked for signature. “I kept my eyes on it and found that there was a document in it that mentioned the need to borrow through WeBank for one year’s rent, and the tenant would repay the loan every month.” Ms. Tang immediately refused to sign and did not want to rent again. “The other party said that this does not affect personal credit investigation, but I find it troublesome.” Ms. Tang said that she paid the deposit and the other party was unwilling to refund. The two sides have been talking about it until now. “Seeing the news of Eggshell Apartment these days, I am glad that I did not compromise. signature.”
Chen Kai said that he hadn’t noticed the negative information about Eggshell Apartments on the Internet until the beginning of November, when the residence was “disconnected”, he contacted the housekeeper to deal with it, but the other party did not answer the phone and did not respond. “I added the tenant rights protection group, only to realize that everyone’s experiences are similar. There are still many people who may be’ejected’ at any time because the landlord has not received the rent.” Chen Kai said, what worries him most is, After you don’t have a house, you still need to repay the loan, otherwise it will affect your personal credit. “I only have a half-year loan. Some people in the (rights protection) group are even more miserable and have to pay it back for a year.”
The Paper noted that there have been many recent complaints about Eggshell Apartments in the message boards of leaders of People’s Daily Online. One of the netizens said that he completed the refund application on October 1, “According to the explanation of Eggshell Apartment, the refund of the rent should be received within 14 working days, but after more than a month, there is still no refund.” . Another netizen said that considering the high pressure of the family, he accepted the installment plan provided by the eggshell apartment housekeeper, “through the WeBank loan of 22320 yuan for 1 year, the rent was paid to the eggshell apartment in advance.” The netizen worries that if something happens to the Eggshell Apartment, he will not only have no room to live in, but will also be in debt.
There are also complaints from Wuhan netizens who claim to be the landlord that their family has entrusted a suite to Eggshell Apartment for rent. The contract period expires in 2021. Eggshell Apartment needs to pay rent and other expenses to the fixed bank account on the specified date every month. “Except during the epidemic at the beginning of the year, the rent was not paid in October this year. After handling by the relevant departments, the contract was breached again in November.” The netizen was worried about this.
Eggshell Apartment responded: No runaway
In February of this year, Eggshell Apartments unilaterally requested an additional one-month rent-free period on the grounds of the epidemic. This caused many landlords to defend their rights, and even the extreme situation of “the landlord drove away the tenants after not receiving the rent.” At that time, there were rumors that the eggshell apartment “funding chain broke.” On February 17, the official WeChat account of Eggshell Apartments responded to this, saying that this was false information and the company’s operating status was stable. For the issue of “rent arrears”, we will arrange payment as soon as possible after negotiating with the landlord about rent-free matters.
At the same time, Eggshell Apartment stated in the “True Words to Landlords” that the company did encounter difficulties. While renting free for tenants across the country for 1 month and Wuhan for 2 months, “the landlord’s rent is still paid normally. , It may be difficult to sustain it for a long time.”
According to a report by the Shenzhen Special Zone News in early June, information provided by the Shenzhen Consumer Council showed that from March to June this year, 219 complaints were received against Eggshell Apartments. The Bureau of Housing and Urban-rural Development of Shenzhen Municipality stated that it will intervene in investigating the financial, safety, and illegal construction of Eggshell Apartments. Once verified, they will be dealt with strictly.
In the past two months, the eggshell apartment operation problem has reappeared, and many tenants are worried that the company is facing “closure.” “If you withdraw your rent, you will be compensated for one month’s rent and deposit, and the loan will be repaid. If you don’t return, if the eggshell apartment fails to pay the rent to the landlord, the landlord will also accept the house, and you will still stay overnight. Street’.” A tenant told The Paper about his concerns.
On November 16th, in response to the rumor of “bankruptcy”, the official Weibo of Eggshell Apartment responded, “Thank you for your concern and support. We are not bankrupt and will not run away! Please do not believe in rumors!” The company’s public relations department He also told the media that everything is normal for the company, and that “running” and “bankrupt” are all misinformation. The company has indeed encountered funding difficulties and is actively dealing with it. Long-term apartment rental is an emerging industry, and we also hope that all parties in the society will provide support and understanding.
On the same day, WeBank, which is cooperating with Eggshell Apartments in the “rental loan” business, issued an announcement stating that customers are advised to continue living during the paid period to protect their legal rights and interests. If the customer’s legitimate rights and interests have been infringed (such as forced clearance, water cuts, power cuts, etc.), it is recommended to protect legitimate rights and interests through legal channels. If the customer has been forced to move out, he can log in to the “WeBank Rental Consumer Loan” official account to register. The bank will make appropriate arrangements to protect the rights and interests of customers as much as possible. At least until March 31, 2021, credit reporting will not be affected .
“Of course I hope Eggshell Apartments can stand up and everyone’s rights and interests can be protected.” Chen Kai told The Paper, but the current situation makes it difficult for tenants to maintain confidence in the platform. “WeBank still didn’t give the tenant an accurate explanation. The announcement only stated that the credit investigation will not be affected within a certain period of time, but if the house is gone, how will the loan be dealt with in the end, and should it be repaid?” Chen Kai is still puzzled.
The Paper has noticed that the “rental loan” business is no longer available for newly signed houses on the Eggshell Apartment app. Tenants with a one-year lease can only pay quarterly or half a year, and tenants with a two-year lease can only pay in full at one time.
Long-term rental apartments are now “burst of thunder”
Long-term rental apartments have gone through more than 10 years of development from scratch, but it was not until the end of 2014 that the policy and capital were driven by two wheels, and this industry really stood on the front line.
According to the data of the professional version of Tianyancha, in 2015, the annual registration volume of long-term rental apartment related enterprises in the country exceeded 100 for the first time, and since its development, there are more than 900 nationwide. Among them, 65% are limited liability companies and 32% are individual businesses.
Opportunities and risks coexist. According to data from the professional version of Tianyancha, based on the industrial and commercial registration, there are about 170 long-term rental apartment-related companies that have been cancelled or revoked nationwide, accounting for 15% of the total number of related companies. About 22% of long-term rental apartment-related companies across the country have experienced operational abnormalities, and nearly 5% of related companies have received administrative penalties or committed serious violations of the law.
Eggshell apartments in the turmoil are not alone. Since the beginning of this year, many long-term rental apartment companies have experienced problems and even “run away.”
In these “explosive” incidents, tenants not only bear debts, but also face the risk of being driven away by the landlord when they pay half-year or one-year rent through a “rental loan”. Landlords also often face a bleak situation of months of rent being “taken away”.
On November 18, lawyer Zhou Ming told The Paper that “rental loan” means that the tenant signs a loan contract with a financial institution cooperating with a long-term rental apartment company. The financial institution pays the full year rent to the long-term rental apartment company on behalf of the tenant. Repay the rental loan to financial institutions in installments.
“As an intermediary, the long-term rental apartment company collects real estate from the landlord and leases it to the tenant, and requires the tenant to pay the rent through a lease loan, and use the fund pool formed by the above rent to pay the landlord in a wrong time. The company takes this Form financial leverage to expand the scale and absorb new housing.” Zhou Ming believes that the risk is “the management and payment of lease funds by the enterprise”. If the company embezzles the rent or runs away from the payment, the landlord and tenant Both will suffer losses.
Regarding the “explosive thunderstorm” of long-term rental apartments, the regulatory authorities have paid much attention. In September of this year, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development published the “Regulations on Housing Leasing (Draft for Comment)”, which clarified that housing leasing companies have to pay the owner of the house (landlord) higher than the rent of the tenant (tenant), or collect the rent from the tenant If the rent cycle is longer than the rent payment cycle to the landlord and other high-risk business activities, it should be included in the list of business abnormalities, and the supervision of operating conditions such as rent and deposit use should be strengthened.
Obviously, the supervisory authorities hold a negative attitude towards the “high-in-low-out” and “long-term income and short-term payment” practices of long-term rental apartments. Such behavior may be suppressed in the future, which can also reduce the risk of thunderstorms in long-term rental apartments. In this regard, Zhou Ming suggested that for the newly generated collective leasing model, if a fund pool is formed, it should be supervised by the relevant financial regulatory authorities. For example, the corresponding funds should be managed or supervised by the bank; at the same time, the capital party (intermediary party) should not be at the same time Operating lease loan business.
Regulatory measures introduced in multiple places
At present, many cities including Chongqing, Chengdu, Xi’an and Hangzhou have introduced relevant measures to supervise long-term rental apartments with frequent problems.
For example, Chongqing issued a notice on November 13, requiring housing leasing companies to open a unique housing leasing fund supervision account in a commercial bank within the central urban area of the main city. The account must not withdraw cash or collect funds of other nature; lessee pays If the rental period exceeds three months, both the rent received by the housing leasing company and the funds obtained through housing lease loans shall be supervised.
Chengdu also issued a notice in September this year, requiring housing leasing companies engaged in housing leasing operations through entrusted operations and subletting to open the city’s only housing leasing fund supervision account and sign a fund supervision agreement with the undertaking bank. If the rent payment period of the lessee exceeds three months, the company shall deposit the collected rent, deposits and funds obtained from the “rent loan” into the supervisory account. The funds obtained by the “rent loan” need to be financed by the company and the lessee and the loan issuance. The agencies agreed to transfer the rent obtained from the loan to the supervision account.
Hangzhou has made it clear that starting from August 31, the rent paid by housing leasing companies to the entrusted lessor of the house, the rent collected from the lessee, the deposit, and the funds obtained from the “rent loan” shall all be paid into the special deposit account for lease funds. management. Before September 30, “custodial” housing leasing companies should pay the risk prevention and control funds of the corresponding housing for new entrusted houses in 2020; for the existing entrusted housing, they should pay 30% of the risk prevention and control funds .
The Paper noted that according to the Guiyang Daily report at the end of October, the Guiyang Municipal Housing and Urban-rural Development Bureau plans to issue a notice in the near future, stipulating that the newly generated rent and deposit will no longer be circulated through an intermediary company in the future, but the tenant will hand it over to the bank for verification Appropriate to the landlord to protect the security of rent and deposit.
Original title: “Once the eggshell explodes, not only will there be no room to live in, but there may be debts.”
The Paper Journalist He Liquan