10/08/2014 - Taiwan’s Elderly Vs Ghost-Fearing Landlords.
Mr Du lived in a rental apartment in Taipei alone for several years while suffering from mouth cancer. After he died, his landlady swiftly went on a door-knock mission, informing the neighbours, including this writer, that he did not in fact pass away in the apartment - but rather while he had been out on a one-day joyride in eastern Taiwan.
The landlady breathed a sigh of relief. If Du’s body had been found in the house, the value of her property would have taken a thorough beating.
In Taiwan’s capital Taipei, a real estate investment frenzy driven by affluent China-based expatriates has made the average house cost more than 15 times the average annual household income. It goes without saying, then, that many low and middle-income Taiwanese have been having a hard time finding a roof over their heads.
But for Taiwan’s elderly, the task of renting a home is almost insurmountable. As in many superstitious Asian societies, many landlords fear the death of a tenant could bring a revengeful ghost, who would then turn the property into a hot potato on the housing market.
Source: Al Jazeera