Chinese couples faking divorce to dodge new regulation on property ownership

Beijing, Oct 15 (ANI): China's latest regulation, limiting families to the purchase of only one new apartment, has led many couples in the city to fake a divorce to dodge the rule.

According to a regulation issued by the Shanghai government on October 7, every household in Shanghai is allowed to purchase only one more commercial residential property, and anyone who is found violating it would not be able to register his or her ownership of the property.

Some couples are now taking advantage of the norms and are reportedly turning to fake-certificate companies for phoney divorce certificates in order to buy more new apartments, China Daily reports.

A staff member at a fake-certificate company has said that a fake divorce certificate usually costs 300 Yuan (45 dollars), while two certificates for a couple could be bought at a discount rate of 500 Yuan, and added that except for the serial number on the certificate, which is random, the other elements are the same as real ones.

The concept of fake divorce certificates was popularised following the government tightening measures in March to curb property speculation.

"It was the bank staff who recommended I fake a divorce when I planned to buy an apartment in May, as it was my third apartment, for which I had to pay a bigger down payment and it's hard to get a loan," a Shanghai-based purchaser said.

He further claimed that on following the banker's advice, he not only succeeded in getting a loan with a favourable interest rate, but also lowered the down payment.

Meanwhile, the municipal civil affairs bureau said that there is a national serial number on every divorce certificate, and an anti-counterfeit mark on the certificate also helps to distinguish fake certificates from official ones.

Experts have suggested that housing management departments should share information with civil affairs authorities to prevent fake-divorce certificates from being used during housing transactions. (ANI)

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