China: Around The Nation

‘I can see feet of pedestrians passing by’: Chinese woman shocked to find new ‘first floor’ flat is below street level

Property paid for in advance is, technically, on the first floor – on the downhill side of the building

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 November, 2016, 3:33pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 November, 2016, 5:40pm

A woman who bought a first-floor flat of the plan in central China was shocked to discover the completed property was half a metre below ground level.

The woman, who lives in Xian, Shaanxi province but was not named in the report, was “speechless” when she saw that her window sill was at street level despite the sales contract stipulating clearly that it was on the first floor, local newspaper Huashang Daily reported.

With the contract signed and payment made in full beforehand – a common practice in buying flats in mainland Chinese cities – the woman didn’t realise the problem until the entire project was completed and had received the keys from the developer.

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“The road surface is just outside my window. It’s half a metre higher than the floor,” she complained to the newspaper. “I can see the feet of pedestrians passing by the window.”

I can see the feet of pedestrians passing by the window
Flat owner

A visit by the newspaper confirmed that the building was located in the front of the multi-tower complex and adjacent to a street.

The complex is built on a slope, and observed from the street on the downhill side of the building, the floor on which the woman’s flat is located above a row of shops. But on the uphill side, the ground rises to a height above first-floor level.

The woman was never notified of the anomaly nor was there any mention of it in the contract.

The developer refused to comment to the Daily, saying he was negotiating the matter with the buyer.