Such a key piece of legislation cannot be left with ambiguity, say campaigners At least 180,000 homeowners on the mainland have joined an online signature campaign seeking clarification of the Property Law passed by the National People's Congress last Friday. The campaigners say the vagueness in the law, which has gone through seven readings after it was first put to legislators in 2002, could prevent homeowners taking collective action against developers and property management companies. They have sent an open letter, and the signatures collected thus far, to the offices of President Hu Jintao and NPC chairman Wu Bangguo . Chen Bing , one of the campaign's organisers, said they started the campaign in late January after the final draft of the law failed to clarify some legal issues in connection with the protection of homeowners' legal rights. The Property Law, which will come into effect from October, stipulates that homeowners need a two-thirds majority, both in the number of homeowners and in terms of ownership rights to all building space in their estate, to proceed with any legally binding actions against developers and for matters such as the dismissal of property management companies. But Mr Chen said homeowners could, at most, own only a combined 60 per cent of the space in their residential blocks because areas such as car-parking spaces were also considered. This 'makes it impossible for them to come up with a two-thirds majority in ownership rights to building space in their estate'. 'And this technicality has actually deprived homeowners of a say in the management of their own estate and a chance to take collective action in legal disputes with developers and property management companies,' he said. Mr Chen said that one of the other areas of the law that needed to be clarified was the ownership of underground parking space and how the space should be managed. Campaign organisers have also called for homeowner committees to be given legal status as non-profit organisations, so that they can defend the rights of homeowners. However, Beijing-based lawyer Meng Xiansheng said that it was still too early to comment on the new law, 'but such a key piece of legislation cannot be left with a major ambiguity'. Mr Chen said the new Property Law was a landmark legal document in line with the country's constitution and an important safeguard for market-oriented economic development on the mainland. 'But it does need more clarification to serve the interests of the wider community including homeowners,' he said. Organisers have suspended the online signature campaign after people had problems accessing the website. 'But we will definitely see more guidelines and interpretation of the law in the near future,' Mr Chen said.