"Installing elevators" has been written into the government work report for many years in a row

How difficult is it to install elevators in old communities?

  Our reporter Zhu Ningning

  The installation of elevators in old residential areas is a people's livelihood project that is highly concerned by the society. It is of great significance to improve the use of residential functions, promote the construction of barrier-free environments, adapt to the needs of an aging society, and improve the quality of urban life.

  This year, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress identified the representative's proposal on the installation of elevators in old communities as a key supervision proposal.

  At present, although the installation of elevators in old communities has achieved positive results, due to insufficient legal protection and differences in understanding of the Civil Code and other legal provisions, there are still many problems that need to be solved urgently.

Promoting the installation of elevators in various places

  According to information from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, in July 2019, there were 170,000 old urban communities to be renovated in my country, involving hundreds of millions of residents.

There are also surveys that show that among the 170,000 old communities in the country, they were mainly built between the 1960s and 1990s.

Due to the low construction standards of these residential buildings, there are nearly 2 million units without elevators.

  In a large number of old communities, many people live in the elderly.

For them, going upstairs and downstairs has become a "big trouble", and they can only reduce their going out, or even do not go downstairs all the year round, becoming "hanging old people".

With the intensification of the aging of the population, the installation of elevators in old residential areas has become a hot issue of widespread concern in the society, and residents' demands have become increasingly strong.

  The Party Central Committee and the State Council have attached great importance to the installation of elevators and have made arrangements for many times.

In 2018, 2019 and 2020, the "Government Work Report" for three consecutive years mentioned the renovation of elevators in old communities.

The 2022 "Government Work Report" proposes to start the renovation of a number of old urban communities and support the installation of elevators and other facilities.

  This work has been actively promoted everywhere.

Since 2018, the number of elevators installed in existing residential buildings across the country has increased by an average annual rate of 60%.

  Lv Shiming, deputy to the National People's Congress, member of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, and vice-chairman of the China Disabled Persons' Federation, once conducted research on the installation of elevators in old communities.

"From the survey, all departments and regions have conscientiously implemented the decisions and deployments of the Party Central Committee and the State Council, and actively promoted the installation of elevators in existing residences, and achieved positive results."

  According to Lu Shiming, on the one hand, the relevant working mechanism has been effectively established.

Many localities have established a working mechanism of government overall planning and sectoral coordination, and relevant departments and pipeline units such as water, electricity and hotline units have jointly promoted the work of adding elevators.

At the same time, the policy system has been gradually improved.

The approval procedures for projects, land use, planning, bidding, construction permits, quality and safety supervision, etc. have been greatly streamlined and optimized.

Where conditions permit, financial subsidies are also given to the installation of elevators, allowing residents to withdraw housing provident funds and use special residential maintenance funds for the installation of elevators.

It is difficult to unify the opinions of the owners into resistance

  Although various departments have done a lot of work, there is still a big gap between the number of elevators successfully installed each year and the urgent needs of the masses.

Based on the implementation of the "elevator installation in eligible existing residences" in more than 30 key cities across the country in the past two years, more than 90% of the cities encountered resistance in installing elevators.

  "From the survey, the direct reason why the number of elevators installed is not as good as expected is that it is difficult for residents on high and low floors to reach an agreement." Lu Shiming said.

  In practice, for the installation of elevators in old residential areas, the needs of residents upstairs and downstairs are very different, the owners of high floors are more willing, and the owners of low floors are less willing, so it is difficult for the owners to unify their opinions.

How to get 100% consent of residents or at least no clear opposition has become the "number one" problem faced in the installation of elevators in old communities across the country.

The installation of elevators often falls into the vicious circle of "one-vote veto", and even some communities have difficulty in unifying their opinions among the owners, and finally the two sides are brought to court.

  Among the top ten cases of the people's court in 2021, the "elevator installation in an old community" is among them.

In this case, the owner of the first floor of a community obstructed the construction of elevators in the building on the grounds that the installation of elevators would affect the lighting of the house and cause potential safety hazards.

The owners of the third floor and above will sue the owners of the first floor to the court.

The court held that, according to the provisions of Articles 278 and 288 of the Civil Code, the procedure for installing an elevator was legal, and ruled that the defendant should stop obstructing and obstructing the installation and construction of the elevator.

The installation of elevators is a major matter stipulated in Article 278 of the Civil Code, and should be jointly decided by the owners according to legal procedures.

The decision to install an elevator in this case complies with the rules of procedure and legal procedures, and the people's court should support it.

In addition, according to Article 288 of the Civil Code, the adjacent rights holders of immovable property shall correctly handle the adjacent relationship in accordance with the principles of favorable production, convenient living, solidarity and mutual assistance, fairness and reasonableness.

In this case, the owner of the first floor should not abuse his rights and block the installation of elevators according to the ownership of the buildings he enjoys.

Disputes over the relevant provisions of the Civil Code

  From January 1, 2021, the Civil Code will take effect.

Article 278 of the Civil Code clarifies the major matters jointly decided by the owners and the voting procedures.

Among them, item (7) stipulates "reconstruction and reconstruction of buildings and their ancillary facilities".

At the same time, the second paragraph of the article stipulates that the matter needs to be voted by the owners with more than two-thirds of the area of ​​the exclusive part and the owners of more than two-thirds of the number of people, and the area of ​​the exclusive part after voting is four-quarter More than three-thirds of the owners and more than three-quarters of the owners who participated in the voting agreed.

  However, there are some disputes over the interpretation of these provisions of the Civil Code.

  "There are two main aspects of the dispute." According to Shi Jiayou, a professor at the Law School of Renmin University of China, first, is the installation of elevators in the community a "reconstruction and reconstruction of buildings and their ancillary facilities" stipulated in the Civil Code?

Second, is the scope of the owners participating in the voting on whether to install elevators or not, is it the entire building owner or the owner of the unit?

In this regard, there is a view that the installation of elevators will have an impact on the entire building, so all owners should participate in the voting.

However, there are also views that this will greatly increase the voting threshold, and it is difficult to form a resolution in reality, and the actual users and funders of the elevator are the owners of the unit, so they are the real stakeholders.

  In this regard, Shi Jiayou believes that it needs to be clarified that the installation of elevators in the community belongs to Article 278, paragraph 1 (7) of the Civil Code, "reconstruction and reconstruction of buildings and their ancillary facilities".

The Civil Code does not require the unanimous consent of all the owners for the joint decision of the owners, nor does it give any owner the right to veto, and there is no need to seek the opinions of all the owners of the building on the scope of the owners who have the right to participate in the voting.

  Shi Jiayou also pointed out that Article 288 of the Civil Code stipulates that the owners should correctly handle the adjacent relationship in accordance with the principles of favorable production, convenient life, solidarity and mutual assistance, fairness and reasonableness.

Therefore, the owners who install elevators should fully negotiate and communicate with the owners who oppose the installation, and try to reach a consensus based on the principles of mutual understanding, mutual accommodation, unity and harmony.

Taking multiple measures to strengthen the protection of the rule of law

  "The installation of elevators involves actual interests. It is difficult to balance and resolve conflicts and disputes only by residents' negotiation. There is an urgent need to strengthen legal protection. However, the current laws and regulations related to the installation of elevators are lacking, and the compulsory guarantees are insufficient, which cannot meet the implementation of the national strategy for addressing population aging. , The actual demand for large-scale promotion of the installation of elevators." Lu Shiming said.

  To this end, Lu Shiming suggested that the relevant legislation should be improved, the legislation on the construction of a barrier-free environment should be promoted, and specific provisions for the installation of elevators should be formulated to further strengthen the legal guarantee for the installation of elevators.

At the same time, strengthen dispute mediation, and resolve conflicts and disputes in the process of installing elevators in accordance with laws and regulations.

If the mediation fails and it is indeed difficult to reach an agreement, the residents should be guided to resolve it through judicial channels.

  Shi Jiayou suggested that the Supreme People's Court should issue a typical case or issue a special judicial interpretation to clarify whether the installation of elevators in old residential areas is "reconstruction and reconstruction of buildings and their ancillary facilities" stipulated in the Civil Code.

At the same time, it is clarified that the scope of the owners participating in the voting is all the owners of the whole building or the owners of the unit.

  In addition, in Shi Jiayou's view, in order to form a consensus to the greatest extent, the principle of "who benefits, who contributes" can be adopted. The cost of installing, using, and maintaining elevators shall be borne by the actual user, and the owners of the first floor may not participate in sharing.

If it is indeed impossible to reach a consensus through consultation, the decision shall be made in accordance with the provisions of Article 278 of the Civil Code through the joint decision procedure of the owners.

At the same time, the installation of elevators should also go through the procedures of publicity, filing and administrative approval, and relevant departments should review the impact of the installation of elevators on building safety.

If the elevator installation project has passed the owner's resolution procedure according to law, and has passed the publicity, filing and administrative approval procedures, other relevant owners shall not hinder or prevent the construction.

Small elevator big people's livelihood

  Our reporter Zhu Ningning

  Under the realistic background of entering an aging society, the installation of elevators in old communities is a livelihood project implemented by the government in response to the people's yearning for a better life, and it is very necessary.

This will play an important role in improving residents' sense of well-being and achievement.

  Promoting the installation of elevators in old communities involves not only the implementation of laws and policies, but also a process of balancing the interests of all parties.

The reason why the installation of elevators has always been a difficult point in the renovation of old residential areas is that the biggest resistance is that the opinions of the owners of the residential areas are difficult to unify, and the conflict of interest between the owners of high floors and low floors often becomes the biggest obstacle.

This also makes the installation of elevators in old communities in many places not in the "last mile", but stuck in the "first mile".

  The renovation of old communities is not only a livelihood project and a development project, but also an important grass-roots governance project.

To some extent, it tests the governance level of a city.

In practice, some localities have set up a "one-vote veto system" when installing elevators in old communities with the starting point of taking care of the legitimate rights and interests of all owners, but this has also caused many problems.

In some communities, the "elevator dream" of most owners cannot be realized simply because one owner does not agree.

  What is gratifying is that, with the implementation of the Civil Code, some places such as Hangzhou, Zhejiang, Yangzhou, Jiangsu and other places have introduced new policies, using the rule of law to support the installation of elevators in old houses, changing the practice of "one-vote veto", and promoting the increase according to the law. Elevator installation.

These practices are worthy of recognition and promotion.

  As the saying goes, "a distant relative is worse than a near neighbor".

The installation of elevators in old residential areas involves the interests of the owners of all floors.

In the face of various demands, on the one hand, relevant departments should implement the relevant laws and regulations such as the Civil Code, strengthen the guidance, adjustment and balance of the interests of adjacent parties from the policy level, and avoid the previous "one-vote veto" phenomenon. Promoting the installation of elevators in an orderly manner in accordance with the law.

On the other hand, it is also necessary to fully coordinate and take care of the interests of residents on each floor, balance interests, settle disputes, fully listen to the opinions of owners, and make value judgments that conform to legal regulations, socialist core values, and people's expectations.

On the premise of not harming the interests of low-rise residents, the optimal plan is set up, and people are actively guided to maintain a friendly, harmonious and civilized neighborhood relationship, and ultimately achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.

  The installation of elevators in old communities is a people's livelihood project and a people's heart project.

Do practical things, solve problems, and focus on the people's "urgency and hope".

A small elevator will bring a great sense of achievement, happiness and security to hundreds of millions of residents.

Keywords: