This is one I hadn’t heard before – suing the family of your former tenant because he stigmatized the property by committing suicide. Actually, in this area of the world, this is serious stuff.
A landlord, surnamed Chen, lost a lawsuit yesterday in a case in which he pursued reparations from the parents of his late tenant, surnamed Hsu, believing Hsu’s suicide to have depreciated the value of the apartment.
Hsu committed suicide via charcoal asphyxiation in June, 2012. Chen believes that Hsu haunts the property, which forced Chen to sell the unit at a 40-percent discount.
Holding Hsu accountable for the loss, the plaintiff pursued a lawsuit against Hsu’s parents, requesting NT$3 million in compensation for damages suffered during the ordeal.
After hearing the case, the Taipei District Court dismissed the suit, finding the defendants free of responsibility after deeming that there was no legal ground for Chen’s claim.
In reality, the landlord has a problem. Stigmatized properties do lower the value. We’ve also heard about this ingrained superstition in Hong Kong where perhaps the demand for housing overcomes the aversion.
The Tawainese are extremely superstitious regarding death and preoccupied with ghosts. But regardless, in this case the family was not responsible for the issue and the landlord is literally, out of luck.