Landlord and Tenant
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Landlord and Tenant
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I. Things that you need to know before signing a Tenancy Agreement or a Lease
Is it necessary to have a solicitor to represent me when I enter into a Tenancy Agreement?
I heard about someone who claimed that they were the owner of a property for let. After the potential tenant had paid the deposit and the rent in advance, the "landlord" disappeared with the money. If I am going to rent a property, then how can I be sure that the landlord is the real owner?
What major government departments are responsible for governing tenancy matters in Hong Kong? To which department(s) should a party go to if a tenancy dispute/problem arises?
How can I obtain tenancy information concerning the Government properties (such as public rental housing or shopping centres run by the Government)?
What is the difference between a tenancy and a licence?
Can I convert or use my property (or its sub-divided rooms) to grant short-term leases/licences in providing rooms or bedspaces to guests (similar to Airbnb accommodations or ‘capsule hotels’)?
Before signing the formal tenancy agreement or lease, a tenant may sometimes be asked by a landlord to sign a document called "agreement for lease" or "provisional tenancy agreement". What are the consequences of signing this document?
Can I let or otherwise allow occupiers to stay at subsidized housing under the Housing Ordinance (e.g. Public Housing or Home Ownership Schemes)?
II. After signing a Tenancy Agreement (or Lease), how should the parties handle the document?
How is stamp duty calculated on a tenancy document?
What are the consequences of failing to stamp a tenancy document?
Some tenancy documents must be registered with the Land Registry but some do not. Why?
How is Property Tax calculated?
III. Rates, management fees and other charges
IV. How to recover the outstanding rent and get back the property?
My tenant has failed to pay rent for two months. What can I do to recover the rent and the possession of my property?
My tenant has failed to pay rent for several months. Can I regain possession of my property by breaking open the door, throwing away the tenant’s belongings and changing the lock without resorting to the Court?
My tenant has failed to pay or allegedly 'deducted' the rent for several months by the excuse that he suffered from minor water leakage problems or discomfort/disturbances. Can he/she do so and is that a good defence to the recovery of the payable rent/forfeiture?
V. Regulations on using or occupying a leased property
Why is it necessary and how do we to ascertain the primary use, for example “domestic” or “non-domestic”, of a property?
I have let a residential property to a tenant and I recently found that the tenant is using the property as an office. Would this affect my interests or cause any liability to me as a landlord? If my tenant conducts criminal activities there, then what further problems will I face?
I am a tenant of an apartment unit who has been disturbed by my neighbour (he habitually sings karaoke at high volume at night). I complained to the manager of the building and was told that as I was not the owner of the property, as tenant, I had no rights under the deed of mutual covenant and therefore had no right to complain. Is he correct and what can I do?
VII. Properties with mortgages
I received a letter from a bank claiming to be the mortgagee of the property that I am renting. The bank claimed that the tenancy document between my landlord and me was made without its consent and asked me to move out of the property. What can I do?
VIII. Repair/maintenance obligations
In general, who shall be responsible for maintaining and repairing the property?
If there was a fire broken out on a leased property and the landlord has suffered some losses as a result, can the landlord claim against the tenant?
IX. Terminating a tenancy before expiration(without breach)
I have let my property to a tenant on a three year term. There are still more than 2 years remaining in the term. However, I note that the rental value of neighbouring properties has risen significantly. Can I terminate the tenancy with the existing tenant and re-let the property out for a better rent?
I have recently entered into a lease with the Landlord but, before moving in, the Landlord said that he did not wish to let the property to me anymore. The landlord terminated the tenancy agreement and refused to let me move in. I considered that the terms of the lease was a good bargain to me and I liked the property a lot. Can I ask the Court to compel the Landlord to let the property to me on the original terms despite the landlord has breached it?
I have rented a property on a three year term. There are still more than 2 years remaining in the term. However, I note that the rental value of neighbouring properties has dropped significantly. Can I terminate the tenancy with the landlord so that I can get a comparable property for a lower rent?
I have rented a property on a three year term. As a result, I have incurred rather big sum of money on renovation and purchasing furniture which only fits into the property’s dimension and layouts. However, the landlord relied on the ‘break clause’ and gave my notice to quit at the commencement of the second year. At the same time, the landlord threatened me that if I wished to stay, I must pay extra rent for the remaining term or else I must leave after restoring it into original state at my own costs. Is that fair? Can I sue the landlord for compensation?
X. Landlord sells the property with existing tenancy
My property, which is currently let to a tenant, has risen in value and I intend to sell it. What do I need to do to discharge myself from any liability under the tenancy before selling the property?
My landlord has informed me that the property I am renting was sold recently. I was also told to pay rent to the new landlord on the next due date. Can I object? Will my interests under the “old” tenancy be protected?
XI. Renewal matters
What is the difference between an Option to Renew and a Break Clause?
A landlord and a tenant intend to renew an existing tenancy. Except the rent, all of the terms are agreed upon. Is there any way that the parties can resolve the problem amicably?
XII. Termination of tenancies (by non-payment of rent)
XIII. Termination of tenancies (for breaches of the tenant other than non-payment of rent
My tenant has removed one of the partition walls of the residential unit. Can I use this as a reason to terminate the tenancy agreement?
The neighbor has complained that the tenant of my property in an industrial building has persistently caused excessive noise during late evenings by having overnight binge drinking parties with over 100 guests and a lot of garbage was left at the lift lobby in early mornings. The matter was reported to the police too and certain people were arrested from the scene being suspected of drug abuse. Can I terminate the tenancy agreement? If the case is heard in Court, will the Court grant any ‘mercy’ to the tenant?
XIV. Forfeiture of rental deposit and other consequences following termination by tenant’s breach
XV. ‘Handover matters’ at expiry/termination of a lease
XVI. Subdivided flats
XVII. Case illustrations
Hong Kong Judiciary (www.judiciary.gov.hk)
The Duty Lawyer Service (www.dutylawyer.org.hk)
Hong Kong e-Legislation (https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/)
The Law Society of Hong Kong (www.hklawsoc.org.hk)
The Rating and Valuation Department (www.rvd.gov.hk)
The Land Registry (www.landreg.gov.hk/en/home/index.htm)
Hong Kong Housing Authority and Housing Department (www.housingauthority.gov.hk/en)
Estate Agents Authority (http://www.eaa.org.hk/en-us/)
The CLIC Team
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