By Kim Han-joo
SEOUL, April 25 (Yonhap) -- The parliamentary public administration committee on Tuesday passed a revision bill that aims to give priority to victims of home rental scams in recouping their security deposits before local taxes are collected when their rented homes are put up for auction.
The revision is part of a set of legislative support measures for the victimized tenants of the country's unique rental system called "jeonse." The tenants were put in danger of eviction without getting back their security deposits after their landlords failed to repay debt on their highly collateralized properties.
The central and the regional governments currently have the right to collect taxes imposed on landlords first when their properties are put up for auction. But the revision of the local tax legislation gives tenants priority to recoup their deposits before the regional government collects overdue local taxes.
The revision is a follow-up to a set of support measures adopted earlier that give such tenants priority to recoup their deposits before the central government collects real estate holding tax, inheritance tax, and gift tax.
The passage comes as rival parties have agreed to swiftly come up with realistic support measures for the victims of a series of massive frauds after some cash-strapped tenants took their own lives.
Under jeonse, tenants give their landlord a large upfront deposit worth as much as 90 percent of the home's value instead of paying monthly rent. Then, the landlord earns interest off the deposit and returns the deposit at the end of the lease.
The revision bill is set to be put to a vote at a parliamentary plenary session scheduled for Thursday.
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