Taiwan home owner blocks rescuers from dying man over fears of her house turning 'unlucky'

In Taiwan, sellers of these unlucky houses are obliged to notify potential buyers of the properties' status, which is legally regarded as a flaw.
In Taiwan, sellers of these unlucky houses are obliged to notify potential buyers of the properties' status, which is legally regarded as a flaw.PHOTO: THE CHINA POST

TAIPEI (THE CHINA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A home owner in Taiwan reportedly refused to let first responders pass through her house to reach an injured man in a back alley.

Her reason for that? She did not want her house to be linked to an unnatural death.

It started when an electrician fell 2m to the ground while he was installing an air-conditioner outside a house in New Taipei on Aug 11.

According to an online article written by someone claiming to be a volunteer involved in the rescue, the owner of the house refused to let firefighters through her home to the back alley where the electrician had fallen because she did not want her home to be associated with any death.

The article said the home owner's decision delayed the rescue by about 15 minutes. The injured man was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

So it seems the home owner's alleged actions have ended up causing what she was seeking to avoid.

Soon after media outlets last week picked up the online article, the house was listed in an online "unlucky house database".

Properties in which people die of unnatural causes such as homicide, suicide and by accident are regarded by some as unlucky - a label that can drastically reduce their prices on the market.

In Taiwan, sellers of these "unlucky houses" are obliged to notify potential buyers of the properties' status, which is legally regarded as a flaw. Online databases, with many entries based on news reports, are a popular means for people to keep track of "unlucky houses".

There are no clear legal definitions of an "unlucky house". In court precedents, "unlucky houses" have been referred to as individual apartments - but not the entire buildings the apartments belong to - where deaths from unnatural causes have occurred.

If an "unlucky house" has been changed drastically to the degree that the social stigma of bad luck could be deemed removed, the property will no longer be considered unlucky.