Thanks to the web , renting an area has never been easier. Apparently, it also has never been very easy to swindle unsuspecting renters with misleading posts and shady practices.

Local officials have previously taken note of landlords who illegally hire out rooms without proper approval or otherwise come short of the law in their renting practices. Last year, an August crackdown cleaned up Hong Kong’s cheap-end hotel and hostel market, finding many rooms in violation.

In the digital era, however, enforcement can’t believe raids for everything. as an example , how are you able to raid an area that doesn’t actually exist? that’s precisely the matter that a lot of online platforms are struggling to deal with: fraudsters are posting listings for totally fake rooms. In an attempt to abolish these so-called “zombie rooms,” a replacement Hong Kong policy has taken the fight to the cyber realm. consistent with the policy plan, Airbnb-type platforms like Xiaozhu and Mayi are going to be required to dam landlords who upload three or more fraudulent posts.

A Typical Hong Kong Home-Stay Room On a Budget

Some experts have speculated that the move is the maximum amount a sign to the market because it may be a concrete regulation, meant to let landlords know that their crafty ways aren’t going unnoticed. Short-term or home-stay rentals aren’t the sole ones feeling the pressure, either. Xinhua reports that 100 Chinese rental agencies have just pledged to combat common problems with long-term mid levels apartment rentals. That market, too, is fraught with fabricated listings and excessive or unfair fees.

The promise comes after a summer hot with debate on the topic of apartment rental policies. In June, a survey by China Youth Daily revealed that 82 percent of children in China said that they felt heavy economic pressure from high rent prices, and 90 percent are troubled by the misleading advertisements and shoddy facilities found within the renter’s market of today. Moreover, the summer saw netizens pointing to a replacement rule out Berlin, a city that has banned most rent increases for subsequent five years, and wondered why Hong Kong won’t implement an identical policy.

Like many regulations within the world of e-commerce, the particular enforceability of this policy remains to be seen. A pair of reporters for Hong Kong News took it into their own hands to place these platforms to the test. Their investigative reporting found that uploading information a few non-existent room with a fake address managed to realize approval from two separate platforms within 24 hours. Of course, expectations must be tempered when handling online platforms. we will hardly expect these apps to stay a one hundred pc and up-to-date list of all valid addresses within the city, and moreover, such false listings should be caught by user reports instead of being detected upon upload.

What’s more concerning is that the reporters were also ready to falsify their identification information and still gain approval, albeit that’s something the platforms should be ready to catch.

Nonetheless, the three-strike policy applies to quite just zombie rooms. In theory, any fraudulence should count against landlords on the platforms, including misleading photographs, failing to tell renters about broken facilities, or manipulating online ratings. Of particular concern are issues associated with security, like failing to register renters’ identification as needed by law.

Unfortunately, theory and practice don’t always meet eye-to-eye. In short, while pledges and regulations are nice to ascertain , wan chai apartment hunters and travelers alike would be knowing exercise caution when renting in Hong Kong .