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Jeonse? Mortgage on Property?... Warning for Foreigners about Jeonse Fraud.

Updated: Jun 1

Foreign victims are also emerging among the increasing number of victims of housing lease fraud, as well as domestic victims. Foreigners are even more vulnerable to fraud due to their low understanding of the lease system, as well as language barriers, but it is suggested that it is more difficult for them to receive support than for locals.

Kim (63), a Chinese couple who came to Korea for the first time in 1992 and has been living there for over 30 years, is also a victim of the 'Michuhol-gu District Housing Lease Fraud'. Although Kim's house is a top priority for repayment, with a deposit of 95 million won, the amount of money that can be recovered has decreased to about 40 million won since the house was seized by a bank. Kim complained, "I didn't know anything about real estate, I had no one to tell me, and I didn't have time to investigate because I was working." "I saved money as if it were my lifetime, but I just listened to the broker and went through it."

Foreign foreign students who are unfamiliar with Korean are even more afraid of leasing, which is caused by fraud regardless of nationality. Ahn Jia-chi (24), a Chinese university student living in Seoul's Seodaemun-gu since last August, said, "My friends told me they were charged ridiculous fees by landlords and real estate agents when they moved out." "I can't read Korean contracts and don't know the guarantee system well, so I'll continue to live in monthly rent."

McHellen (26), a graduate student from Ireland, also said, "When I first came to Korea, I mainly used short-term rental services such as Airbnb, where I could read reviews in English, because of the risk of fraud, even if they were more expensive." "If I stay in Korea after graduation, I feel like I'm more likely to be targeted by fraud because I'm a foreigner, so I'm still worried about housing lease fraud."

In particular, foreigners are more difficult to deal with than locals when it comes to housing lease fraud. A Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport official said, "To receive financial support such as loans, proof of damage is required, and local governments issue damage confirmation letters, but foreigners may not be able to obtain them due to unregistered residences or unclear residences, which can ultimately make support difficult." Currently, the police and others do not have statistics on 'foreign housing lease fraud', so the situation is not properly understood. It is necessary to provide counselling by connecting certified real estate agents or lawyers before or when a lease agreement is signed or when a lease accident occurs.

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