China's Illegal Construction: Beijing Villa Atop Apartment High Rise To Be Demolished [PHOTO]

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Late last month the construction of the world’s tallest building, located in the central Chinese city of Changsha, was halted because developers failed to get the appropriate permits required to break ground on the project. While the high-profile 838-meter (2,750 feet) building attracted the attention of the appropriate construction safety bureaus, many other projects go on despite not having legal permits, like the recently discovered faux mountaintop villa sitting on top of a Beijing apartment building.

Nestled on top of a 26-story apartment building in Beijing is a two-story villa, surrounded by rock formations and scenic shrubbery, taking over the 1,000 square meter (11.00 square feet) rooftop area. Though the building, discovered by the Beijing Morning Post, actually took six years to finish, the man living in the rooftop home managed to get all the construction done without obtaining a single legal permit.

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Living in the extravagant house is a man only identified as a Mr. Zhang, who works as a professor. Residents in the building say that they have endured six years of loud construction noise as well as dealing with leaks and cracks in the walls as a result of the additional weight of the roof complex. Unfortunately for Professor Zhang, after six years, Zhang will have to find a new place to live.

The Beijing Morning Post reported that members of the local urban management office came around the building to make inspections, interviewing other tenants last month. “This is definitely an illegal construction, we have issued notice to Professor Zhang, but do not know how to go forward in this case,” an official said to the local newspaper.

While the structure has been deemed completely illegal, destructing the home will be a cumbersome process in itself. Demolition of Zhang’s home will ironically have to pass a series of bureaucratic approvals and permits before going ahead.

It’s unclear what kind of fines, if any, Zhang will receive but rules on illegal construction tend to vary across the country. According to a report by CNN, fines for illegal construction can range anywhere from 5 percent to 20 percent of a building's cost of construction. In he southwestern city of Chongqing, fines are known to have been up to 50 percent of construction costs for a commercial building. 

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