7 things to know when you rent a flat in Hong Kong

Here are 7 things you need to know if you are renting a flat in Hong Kong.

1. Pay the rent on time!

In the tenancy agreement, the pay day of the monthly rent is clearly stated. If the delay is more than 15 days, you can get evicted by the Landlord!

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2. Maintenance and good use of the property

The tenant has to maintain the flat in good condition.

He can’t :

  • Degrade or modify the structure of the building
  • Erect new structures (canopy on a roof top)
  • Use the premises for immoral or illegal purposes
  • Cause unnecessary annoyance, inconvenience or disturbance
  • Sublet without the landlord’s consent

If these conditions are not respected, Landlords can prematurely end the tenancy agreement.

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The tenant is responsible to maintain the electrical appliances, except in case of replacement due to fair wear and tear.

3. Release the property at the end of the lease

At the end of your lease, the tenant is supposed to release the property, unless he found an agreement with the landlord to stay a little bit longer.

If the tenant refuses to vacate the property, the landlord should apply for a possession order at the Lands Tribunal. The tenant can be sentenced to pay damages to his landlord and can be evicted.

Before the Landlord and Tenant Consolidation Ordinance 2004, the tenant had the statutory rights to renew the tenancy agreement if he accepted to update the rent at the current market rates.

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4. The deposit

The deposit is generally equivalent to 2 months of rent. It has to be kept by the landlord for the entire lease period without any interest.

The deposit is paid when the formal tenancy agreement is signed, and refunded when the property is released. The cost of any damage, other than fair wear and tear, can be deducted.

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5. The Stamp duty

Each tenancy agreement needs to be stamped by the stamp duty office. The fees are shared between the new tenant and the landlord.

A Stamp duty allows the tenancy agreement to be regarded as an official contract in a Court. If the landlord and the tenant go to a court without having stamped their agreement, it can’t be considered as a relevant proof by the Tribunal.

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6. Quiet enjoyment

“Quiet enjoyment” is the right of the tenant to enjoy the property. It protects against abusive eviction or dispossession or any act of the landlord or one of his representatives which would disturb the tenant.

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7. Know your Landlord

Some agents retain the landlord’s contact details. Then, if the tenant wants to renew the lease, he has to go through the agent and pay his commission again. This use is forbidden, it’s an abuse of dominance.

If the tenant wants to be introduced to the landlord, the agent has to do it. It can be useful in case of lease renewal or if the tenant wants to get paid when he moves out using Snapflat.

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