Original title: investigation of people trapped in eggshells
On December 3, 2020, after the young eggshell tenant committed suicide, Weizhong bank, a financial institution cooperating with eggshell, proposed a solution for rent loan tenants. But disputes continue, and eggshells affect not just young people.
Source: Sanlian Life Weekly
Reporter Li Xiaojie
Intern reporter Zhang Jiajing
Young people jumping off buildings
A three bedroom one living room, the living room is divided into a room with balcony, can live in four households. Push open the Red Gate, a wall and two rooms face each other. In the middle is a corridor more than one meter wide. Turn right at the end of the corridor, and the innermost side is the single room where Xiaozhong lives. The ten square meter house is what it looked like after a fire: the walls and ceiling were blackened, the walls peeled off with irregular white patterns, the yellow seats by the window, the back of the chair softened into a pool of plastic, piled on the ground, and the windows were half open. The fire broke out at more than 3:00 a.m. on December 3, accompanied by another accident, Xiaozhong jumped down from the 18th floor that night.
Xiao Zhong, 20, is a junior in the Information Engineering Department of Luoding vocational and technical college in Guangdong Province. According to the requirements of the University, after the end of the sophomore year, there will be a one-year internship period. The university will arrange a job fair, and students will find internships by themselves. They are not allowed to stay in school during the internship. Therefore, some students regard the end of sophomore as another kind of graduation.
In the middle of August this year, Xiaozhong found the house in Tianhe District of Guangzhou City on the eggshell app, with a monthly water and electricity fee of about 1500 yuan. He signed a one-year contract with eggshell and paid the rent annually in the form of rent loan. From the second month on, he paid the rent loan to the loan institution Weizhong bank every month.
According to public information, eggshell apartment was established in January 2015, behind the operating entity is the purple Asset Management Co (Beijing) Asset Management Co, the chief battalion rent apartments. According to statistics, by the end of 2019, the number of apartments managed by eggshell has increased from more than 2500 at the beginning to about 438000, which is one of the three giants of the same type of long-term rental apartment platform. The business model of long-term rental apartment is “high rent, low rent”, charging the source of housing with the rent higher than the market price, and then renting to the tenant with the rent lower than the market price. At the same time, eggshell will be “long-term charge short payment”, charging tenants a year or half of the rent, monthly or quarterly rent to the landlord. The rent loan is for the tenants who can not pay the rent in full at one time. Eggshell will recommend a loan. The tenant and the financial institution will sign another loan contract. The financial institution will give the money to the eggshell at one time, and the tenant will repay to the financial institution monthly.
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On the 18th floor of Tianhe District, two of the four tenants used the rent loan, and two of them paid off in one time. Sun he didn’t use the rent loan and paid the rent for half a year in a lump sum in early August. He lives in a partitioned living room with a balcony, about 1700 yuan a month, the farthest from Xiaozhong’s room. Sun he remembers that Xiaozhong was the last one to live in. The room was the smallest and the cheapest. Such a price in Tianhe District, which is close to the urban area, can be accepted by Sunhe. In contrast, when looking for a house, he found that the free rent was more expensive, and there was no other way to rent directly with the landlord. “Most landlords also signed up with long-term rental apartments.”
“He (Xiaozhong) was the first person to take the initiative to talk to me. In that room, only the two of us knew each other.” Sun he said that Xiaozhong lived in for the first day. He didn’t know whether some public facilities were in line for different periods of time, so he went to ask him, “it’s very polite”. Later he learned that both of them were from Huizhou, Guangdong Province, so they were more intimate and occasionally chatted on wechat.
For more than three months, Sunhe knew Xiaozhong had been looking for a job. September was real estate sales, and in October he changed to another. Two days before the accident, he had just quit his third internship. The rest of the time, he mostly plays computer games in the room. Xiaozhong occasionally tells sun he on wechat that he doesn’t know what kind of job he wants to find, and he has no way out. Sun he comforts him. He just graduated like this. “Although he didn’t say he was worried, he could feel it a little bit.”
On November 26, a piece of paper was pasted at the door of the four people’s rented room. The owner left a phone call saying that he had not received the rent for two months, and the tenant was limited to move out within a week. The four people built a wechat group for the first time. After discussion, they decided that sun he would come forward to negotiate with the owners, hoping to share the losses with the owners. But the other end of the phone is not the real owner, “he is the agent of the landlord, only let us move away or pay the rent again, there is no room for discussion.” Sun he said that the four decided to wait a week later when the agent came to chase them up and negotiate face to face. But before that day, something happened to Xiaozhong.
At about 3:30 am on December 3, sun he got up to go to the toilet. The four rooms only have the master bedroom with independent bathroom, and the public toilet is next to the bell room. “I open the door, the corridor lights are on, and I can see the smoke. It’s not thick. It doesn’t smell strong. I can’t smell something burning.” Turn right from the end of the corridor and walk towards the bathroom. Sun he sees white smoke coming from the crack of the door of Xiaozhong, thinking that his room is on fire. Beating on the door and shouting, little bell did not respond. Sun he woke up one of the other two roommates and asked him to continue calling. He ran to the first floor to find the property and dialed 119 on the way. When two people of the property went upstairs with sun he, both roommates came out. Sun he didn’t realize that there might be something wrong with Xiaozhong at that time. “His room was so quiet that I thought he went home or went to play with friends.”
By the time the firefighters got upstairs, the smoke in the corridor had turned black and it was difficult to breathe. Sun he and his roommate went to the property on the first floor to wait for the fire. Around four o’clock, the police found sun he and others in the property to confirm their identity. At that time, he heard the police say that someone jumped out of the building outside, and the dead person was Xiaozhong.
Xiao Zhong’s family still don’t know why he chose to jump. Their family is in the town below Huizhou City, building their own buildings. In a video interview with pear, Xiao Zhong’s brother said that he only knew after the incident that his younger brother was renting a house with a loan. However, he felt that a loan of more than 10000 yuan was nothing. There was not too much pressure on the family for more than 100000 yuan. Xiaozhong also had a bank card of tens of thousands of yuan. On the afternoon of December 2, mother Zhong was still chatting with her son on wechat. She heard her son talk about eggshell running away. The landlord posted a notice to drive people away. She called her son and asked if he had money. If the landlord drove again, she could go home directly. Xiao Zhong told her mother that she would send back the things she had just bought in her room when she went back in two days. Later, at 6:30 p.m. on December 3, mother Zhong sent a wechat message: “Yuanyuan, how did you turn off your phone?”
In fact, the eggshell crisis began to show signs early this year. Novel coronavirus pneumonia was introduced in the US in January 17th, but shortly after the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the city’s rent increased and the rental rate declined. In June, Gao Jing, the founder and CEO of eggshell apartment, was taken away for investigation, resulting in a fracture of the capital chain. In early September, regulation was further tightened. The Ministry of housing and urban rural development (MOHURD) solicited opinions from the public on the “housing rental regulations”, and clearly put forward the commonly used business modes of “high in low out” and “long-term receipt and short payment” into the regulatory scope of abnormal business list. Various causes broke out in October, and tenants, landlords, suppliers, employees and other parties were involved.
It was not long before sun realized that he had broken the egg shell in September. “Normally, it won’t last more than a day. I call eggshell customer service and they tell me that the network is out of order and it’s under repair.” Sun he went to the Internet to check the information, and found that eggshell had a capital chain problem at that time. In August, he cut off the network in other areas and signed a new operator. But when the network in his room was repaired and never broken, sun he thought the problem had been solved, “I never thought that the problem would come out so big later.”
Picture | visual China
Similarly, in Haihai, a tenant in Beijing, I heard vaguely in September that there was something wrong with the eggshell, but I didn’t pay much attention to it. After the national day, as a full annual tenant, Haihai did not receive the promised monthly rent of 400 yuan from eggshell. The Bi weekly cleaning break. At the end of October, Haihai contacted the owner and asked several people to go to eggshell headquarters to see the situation. The owner did not agree at that time. On November 12, the day after the owner didn’t receive the rent, he asked Haihai and others to move out.
Haihai began to rent houses with eggshells in June 2019. In the past few years, the group rented houses built by villagers in Beijing. After the Daxing fire, the group rented houses were illegal and were gradually demolished. Haihai feels that the eggshell is more regular. It is decorated in a unified way and cleaned by a specially assigned person. When the rent was renewed in July this year, the full annual payment was selected. There is no rent loan, one is because I don’t want to touch the loan, the other is to pay annually, and the service fee can be discounted. Of the three roommates in Haihai, two of them are also paid in full each year until May and August next year. Only one roommate who uses the rent loan will move out in November.
Tenants who use rent loans are the mainstream of eggshell apartments. According to the prospectus and financial report data of eggshell apartment, among the cash inflow obtained through rent at the end of 2017, 2018 and 2019, the cash inflow obtained by rent loan accounted for 85.5%, 88.4% and 73.8% respectively. It is also a large proportion of the tenants, who were regarded as the biggest victims of the tenants not long ago. Because they not only have to face the danger of no house to live at any time, but also pay off the loan every month, which will affect personal credit investigation.
On December 2, Weizhong bank issued an announcement, promising to extend the remaining loan principal of eggshell rental loan customers without interest before December 31, 2023. On December 4, one day after Xiaozhong’s fall from the building, Weizhong bank announced again that the prepaid rent owed by the eggshell apartment to the tenant after the rental loan customer withdrew the rent could be used to compensate the tenant’s loan in the bank, and could be opened for processing before December 31 at the latest. This means that rent loan users may have a solution at the end of the month. However, tenants such as Sunhe and Dahai, who pay half a year or a year in full, still don’t know when the rent will be refunded.
Since the beginning of November, the sea has been working with the landlord for a month. He told us that many of the annual tenants negotiated or compromised with the landlord. Some people pay half the rent to continue to live, others are driven out by the landlord, but the sea is a firm defender of rights. At first, his landlord insisted that the tenants should move out. Later, it was negotiated that the rent could be paid at half price. On December 6, the town government also intervened in the coordination, and the three tenants such as Haihai could reduce hundreds of yuan on the basis of half price. However, Haihai thought that at the beginning of the conflict, “landlords in Beijing and even all over the country are unreasonable and smash locks and doors when they come up. Moreover, some eggshell housekeepers in October and November are still signing contracts with customers knowing that there is something wrong with the eggshell. I am very angry and do not want to accept mediation easily.” Hai Hai said that he wanted to wait until the end to see who was more reasonable. “I know this is a bit true, but I want to understand this truth first.”
Conflict reception point
Hai Hai’s experience of mediation with landlords under the intervention of the government is by no means unique. On November 19, the Beijing Municipal Commission of housing and urban rural development set up a special group of eggshell apartments, which successively set up more than 100 reception points in Beijing to deal with eggshell related disputes. A large number of landlords and tenants poured in, negotiating with the help of government staff and eggshell employees. In addition to Beijing, street offices in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu and other places are also involved in handling disputes. On December 7, Nanjing confirmed the first batch of 30 sets of free transitional housing. Tenants affected by the eggshell incident can rent for 1-2 months.
On December 11, our reporter visited the capital of Chaoyang, the headquarters of eggshell apartment. There are several police cars parked around the building, and there are long and narrow serpentine railings at the entrance for queuing. Various announcements were posted on the glass doors, including the statement that the purple house (Beijing) asset management company defaulted on the rent of the house and the owner withdrew the house.
Today’s eggshells have become “empty shells”. In the office on the second floor, the personal belongings of the staff had already been emptied, and some eggshell employees remained. They worked together with government staff, public security and volunteers to maintain the order of the scene and mediate disputes. “We haven’t been paid for three months, but someone has to stay to deal with the after-sales service. If we’re not here, they may really have a fight.” An eggshell employee sighed to the reporter during the work break.
Eggshell apartment headquarters on the second floor of the office, is now one of the largest reception points in Beijing. (Photo by Zhang Jiajing)
Different from the sea of people half a month ago, although the number of landlords and tenants who go to the reception point has dropped sharply, the number is still quite large. Entering the building, the security personnel will take the lead in guiding the landlord and the tenant to wait in line in different areas. This move naturally divides two camps. On the one hand, there are generally older landlords, often dressed in thick cotton padded clothes and woollen hats, while on the other are young Beipiao tenants. No matter which camp you are in, it’s easy for strangers before and after the team to talk to each other about similar issues and give advice to each other.
The vast majority of the tenants who come to mediate are those who pay annually or half a year. Compared with the rent loan customers, they are facing greater risks and losses. Recently, Liu Liwen, a tenant paid by the year, was attacked and threatened by the landlord’s daughter-in-law. At first, she and the landlord’s son had reached a consensus in the neighborhood committee to share the losses. “I had a good discussion with him. I should bear 60% of the losses, and he should bear 40%. I think it’s not easy for them in Beijing to support their families by eating the rent.” Unexpectedly, on the day of re signing the rental contract, Liu Liwen politely brought tea and water. She was very grateful, but the other party changed her mind temporarily.
A group of tenants on the first floor of Chaoyang capital (Photo by Zhang Jiajing)
Liu Liwen’s monthly rent was originally 3500 yuan, which was actually around 3100 yuan with the cash back discount of eggshells. The landlord’s daughter-in-law held on to this point and called her a liar. The more noisy she was, the more fierce she became. “At that time, my wife pointed at me and scolded me. I was so angry that I cried.” finally, Liu Liwen had no choice but to call the police, and the dispute was barely settled.
A man at the back of the line discussed with Liu Liwen. His landlord made the tenant bear 95%, “I said how you like to do it. He said we changed the lock. I said it was illegal for you to change the lock.” Liu Liwen shared with him the way of safeguarding the rights of tenants: printing out the relevant rules and pasting them on the door.
Notice of the sea at the door. Dahai said: “there are templates in this notice, which are widely spread. The landlord tore it up for us for the first time, and we pasted it up again.” (photo provided by interviewees)
On the landlord side, most of them are elderly people. They are often not very good at using electronic devices, scanning QR code, booking registration, operating on eggshell app, all need human guidance. An old man with crutches and inconvenient legs said to his wife, “where’s my money? I can’t get any money here His wife explained to him, “money is transferred from the computer now.”
An old lady with a strong body and flexible mind said to me, “you are a reporter. Can you solve the problem for me? It can’t be done. I am an old man, facing six young people, they have not eaten me yet. They won’t move. I’m still counting on the rent, and the money will cure the old man. ” Without saying a few words, the old lady left in a hurry, “I have to go to the neighborhood committee.”
“Bang bang -” in a noisy crowd, a few collisions in the office seem to be very abrupt, attracting people’s attention. A middle-aged woman had an argument with the mediator. She slapped the table vigorously, loud and loud, and asked the mediator for the identity card of the tenant. Her name is Li Fangfei, an agent of an old landlord. “A friend said that he saw the information about the low price sublease of my agent’s house. I want an ID card because I need to know who lives in it. Call the tenant and he won’t answer if he doesn’t want to. Now we can’t get the rent, and we can’t get into our own house. Instead, the tenants on the eggshell have to sublet the house. How can we do that? ” In the face of Li Fangfei’s request, the mediator did not provide information protection.
If you can’t get the rent, it’s not the biggest loss for Li Fangfei and the old man. On the one hand, during the tenant’s rental period, there was a leak in the bathroom. The downstairs resident claimed 6000 yuan for compensation, but she couldn’t get into the house. Now, how to repair it? Who will compensate? On the other hand, there are three tenants in Li Fangfei’s house, which are due in December this year, April next year and July next year. However, according to the regulations of eggshell apartment, after the first tenant expired, Li Fangfei still could not get the room code, let alone continue to rent the vacant room. “Do we keep this house empty until July? How much did the owner lose? ”
A notice posted on the first floor of eggshell apartment headquarters reads: “in order to ensure the safety of tenants, only if all tenants in the whole house terminate the contract with eggshell, can the owner complete the contract termination with eggshell and receive the electronic lock management password of each room.” (Photo by Zhang Jiajing)
Li Fangfei told us that many elderly people are unable to manage their houses, so they choose to give their houses to eggshells to operate and use rent to live in nursing homes. “Now the eggshell is not paid, who will compensate the owner for the loss? They will continue to pay for the nursing home. ”
“Hexini” is a common evaluation of mediation by tenants and landlords. As for the outcome of the consultation, there is no fixed standard. Hai Hai believes that this “depends on the individual’s negotiation ability and his own attitude”. At the reception point of conflicts and disputes, the mediators hope that both sides will step back and share the losses, which seems to be a relatively ideal and fair solution. But for everyone, it seems that none of this should have happened.
(the characters in the article are all pseudonyms)