Sale and Purchase of Property
(Real Estate)
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I. Basic knowledge of land ownership in Hong Kong

The People's Republic of China owns all the land in Hong Kong , except the land on which St John's Cathedral stands. The Chief Executive of Hong Kong has the powers to lease and grant state land to the public for ownership for a limited period of time (legally defined as "leasehold" land). The Chief Executive can do so by: i) granting Government leases for a certain period, or ii) granting licences for individuals or corporations to occupy Government land for special purposes for a certain period (usually shorter than a government lease). In other words, a "land owner" actually leases the land from the Government but the relevant lease period can be very long (e.g. 50 years or more).

  1. Am I holding a Government lease while owning a flat in a multi-storey building?
  2. What are the different ways of owning a property? What is sole ownership and what are joint tenants and tenants-in-common?
  3. I am not the "registered owner" (my name is not written on the title deed of the flat which has been registered in the Land Registry) but I have paid part or all of the purchase money of the flat. Do I have a say in matters concerning the property? For example, can I prevent the "registered owner" from selling the property?