New Rules Seek to Ease China Property Disputes

Disputes over forced evictions as land gets sold for redevelopment have resulted in violent protests in recent years throughout China. New rules may give homeowners more rights and help ease tensions, Reuters reports:

With China’s feverish real estate market stoking developer appetite for land, existing guidelines allowing local governments to confiscate homes and claim land have drawn demands for change, which could eventually slow demolitions.

Property disputes in a country where the government legally controls all land can lead to rowdy protests, fights with police, imprisonment and even suicide.

According to a set of State Council Legislative Affairs rules pending review through February 12, anyone losing land should be paid market value, while demolition disputes should go to court and lawsuits should settle contract violations.

Chinese facing removal have long complained that the amount of compensation offered is far below the real value of their homes. Some allege that officials collude with developers to demand land in the name of public needs, such as roads, then turn it over to commercial investors who can reap big profits.

Strong-arm tactics should also be forbidden, they say.

Read more about forced evictions and land rights via CDT.

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