SEOUL, Korea, Jan 14 (Korea Bizwire) – There have been so many instances in which tenants of commercial buildings are kicked out on the street without being paid back with their deposit money. Although there are laws intended to protect tenants from exactly such unfortunate situations, enforcement has been spotty at best. The main reason disputes between building owners and tenants keep springing up has to do with the fact that the “premium” money paid over and above the normal deposit to the previous tenant is not recognized in court as part of normal transactions.
Kim Sang-cheol, secretary-general of the Seoul chapter with the New Progressive Party, said, “The current laws that are supposed to protect tenants in commercial properties are doing nothing to protect them because these were rather designed to protect building owners’ interest. Courts are encouraging building owners to expropriate intangible assets that tenants created from years of hard work. Under current laws, there is no avoiding for this to happen.”
Amid the situation where thousands of tenants losing tens of thousands of dollars every year within the city, the Seoul city government has stepped in and created a task force to deal with the issue. The task force, consisting of lawyers and members of the association for commercial tenants, is currently working on finding out how serious the problem is within the city. A task force official said, “As soon as the investigation is completed, we will set out to publish recommendations and proposals for legal reform.”