From flimsy fixtures to pestilential pipes, Beijing apartments generally come with one defect or another. So who needs an angry ghost added to the equation?
To help potential residents suss out whether their apartment might be
prone to supernatural visitors with axes to grind, one Chinese property
agency has created a database cataloging unnatural deaths—murders,
suicides, etc.— that have occurred in Beijing homes.
According to an analysis posted
on a site operated by China’s Ministry of Justice, no clear law exists
that requires Chinese landlords or would-be sellers to disclose, say, a
particularly brutal history attached to an apartment. To be sure,
there’s precedent for buyers who weren’t aware of such a past to gain
compensation through the courts if they feel duped. In one 2011 case, a
buyer surnamed Wang ended up being awarded about 60,000 yuan after the
seller failed to make clear that a previous resident had committed
suicide on the premises.
Still, the site warns, caveat emptor.
Enter the haunted-home database. Such databases have also been
created in cities such as Hong Kong and Taipei, where residents likewise
have a strong aversion to homes with violent histories. In Hong Kong,
for example, such homes are meticulously documented. Traditionally, they
have been sold for discounts of as much as 30% and are particularly
popular with expats, who agents say are less superstitious and disturbed
by such pasts.
Read Full Story: Wall Street Journal