CHINA> Regional
Owners protest over toppled tower payout
By Cao Li (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-07-13 08:02

SHANGHAI: Furious owners of units in the residential complex where a building toppled over took to the streets in protest Sunday at compensation offers made by the developer.

Police surrounded about 50 men and women as they sat silently outside the municipal government building in People's Square.

The group wanted the government to intervene in the compensation dispute, but no official came out to meet them.

Owners protest over toppled tower payout

The owners spent all weekend in negotiations with the Shanghai Meidu Real Estate Development Company, which is developing the Lotus Riverside complex where one of 11 buildings toppled over on June 27.

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Owners of units in all 11 buildings rejected compensation offers made by the developer. They marched in protest when negotiations broke down Sunday. It was the second time in two weeks they have taken to the streets.

On Saturday, lawyers for the developer said owners of units in the collapsed building could have the loan repaid and be compensated interest based on the deposit and also 5 percent of the property price.

They could also have the loan repaid and be compensated the difference between the property price when they bought it and when the building collapsed or could buy an apartment in one of the remaining 10 buildings and be compensated for the interest and 5 percent of the property price.

Zhu Liting, a lawyer for the developers, said the compensation plans were based on the sales contracts.

Owners protest over toppled tower payout

A woman surnamed Zhong did not believe any of the options were fair.

"I want all the money that I paid on this property refunded, including tax and insurance, and compensation," she said.

"I will definitely not choose to live in any of the other buildings."

Under compensation offers made to unit owners in the other 10 buildings, buyers can choose to keep the apartment and be compensated 5 percent of the total property price. They can be refunded the loan and be compensated interest, or can sell the property to a third party according to the price on June 27, the day the building collapsed.

This price has not been released. According to a previous report, the latest price of the property in the complex was 18,800 yuan ($2,700) per sq m.

Zhang Pengfeng, a lawyer for the Minhang district government, said the government will supervise the process.

"Safety checks on the remaining 10 buildings are ongoing," he said.