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First regulation of shared accommodation industry issued

(english.court.gov.cn) Updated : 2018-11-29

A regulation on norms of shared accommodation services was initiated by the Sharing Economy Research Center of the State Information Center (SIC) on Nov 15.

The regulation contains requirements on hot issues of the shared accommodation industry such as lodgers' identity verification and registration, housing resource verification mechanisms, hygiene and services standards, a blacklist sharing mechanism and intelligent security device usage.

According to a report on China's shared accommodation in 2018 issued by the SIC, the market turnover was about 14.5 billion yuan ($2.09 billion) in 2017 and is predicted to reach 50 billion yuan in 2020.

The report also shows that there are about 3 million suites registered on the shared accommodation platform and about 78 million people involved in the industry with 76 million lodgers.

The rapid development of shared accommodation generates problems such as protection of house owners and lodgers’ information and intellectual property rights and settlement of trades and disputes.

According to the regulation, shared accommodation refers to offers of short-term residential services using flats or houses, whether owned or leased, through a shared accommodation platform. The accommodation limit of a suite should be in accordance with related laws and regulations.

Definitions of a shared accommodation platform, the owner of the shared house and lodgers and housing resource verification are set out in the regulation.

The regulation encourages the use of intelligent security devices and sharing of blacklists among platforms, as well as landlord training.

The regulation also requires establishment of a 24-hour hotline or online complaint settlement mechanism to handle complaint and disputes.

A management system should be available to deal with lodgers with dishonest records and landlords who provide fake registration information, refuse to give true information about lodgers and make false remarks.

The regulation states that both the shared accommodation platform and landlords should follow the law and fulfill their obligations to protect consumer rights and interests, cybersecurity and privacy, intellectual property rights and the environment.

Xue Jun, professor at Peking University Law School, said the regulation is an attempt to provide remediation in this emerging industry and will be a reference for future legislation in the area.

Alamus, deputy director of the Policy and Law Committee of the China Electronic Commerce Association's legal committee, agreed that the regulation will assist formation of an orderly shared accommodation industry and contribute to similar legislation pertaining to the sharing economy in the future.

Xue also pointed out the importance of regulations related to security of life and property forfuture sharing economy legislation.

First regulation of shared accommodation industry issued
A regulation on norms of shared accommodation services is issuedby the Sharing Economy Research Center of the SIC. [Photo/Legal Daily]