Substandard Apartment Owners Seek Govt. Help

Substandard apartment owners seek govt. help

Owners of apartments across Japan built by a real estate firm that was found to have erected substandard buildings have asked the government to put the firm under supervision.

Major real estate leasing firm Leopalace 21 revealed last week that more than 1,300 apartment buildings in 33 prefectures have been found to fall short of the government's fireproofing and sound insulation standards.

The company is asking nearly 7,800 residents in 640 particularly at-risk buildings to relocate.

Representatives of a group of apartment owners visited the infrastructure ministry in Tokyo on Tuesday.

They demanded that the ministry put the company under supervision. They want it to make sure that the firm checks for additional flaws and carries out repairs.

The group's leader, Kazuhiko Maeda, told reporters after meeting with ministry officials that the government bears the responsibility for overlooking such large-scale illegal construction. He added that if Leopalace files for bankruptcy, its substandard buildings will be abandoned.

The group also visited the Financial Services Agency and asked for assistance, such as low-interest loans to keep the company afloat.