Renting an apartment in Hong Kong – FAQ’s
What is a standard Lease Term for renting a Hong Kong apartment?
A standard residential Lease Term in Hong Kong is two years, consisting of one year Fixed and one year Option. Only when the one year Fixed Term has expired there is break clause which allows the early Termination of the Tenancy provided that a written notice is given to the Landlord 2 months in advance. So for a standard Tenancy Agreement the minimum Lease Term is 14 months, consisting of the 12 months fixed Term and the 2 months required for the advanced notice of Termination.
Can I rent an apartment for less than a year?
There is no minimum Term for a Term of tenancy in Hong Kong, but nearly all Landlords prefer to rent at the standard two year Lease Term. If you are looking for a Short Term Lease in Hong Kong it is highly advisable to consider a serviced apartment where Terms are flexible and in Hong Kong there are a plethora of options that can suit your budget.
What are the costs associated to rent an apartment in Hong Kong?
There is the estate agents fee of half a month’s rental, and Stamp Duty which for a standard Lease Term (exceeding one year but not exceeding three years) is 0.5 percent of the average yearly rent, this duty is payable in equal shares by the Landlord and Tenant. In seldom cases the Landlord may require the Tenancy Agreement to be executed through a lawyer which would also entail some legal fees.
How much is the commission when renting an apartment?
We charge the industry standard of half month’s commission from the Tenant and half month’s commission from the Landlord, payable once the Formal Tenancy Agreement is executed.
How much is the deposit in-order to rent an apartment?
The standard deposit in Hong Kong is 2 months worth of rental, and in some cases depending on the Landlord 3 months. Provided that there is no breach of any of the Terms and conditions of the Tenancy Agreement, the Deposit will be refunded to the Tenant without interest from the date of delivery of vacant possession of the Premises. Note that in a standard Tenancy Agreement, in the case that the Landlord suffered a loss or damage other than from normal wear and tear and as a result of the Tenant’s breach, the Landlord may deduct this loss from this Deposit.
All together how much outlay is needed to rent an apartment?
When signing a Formal Tenancy Agreement, the normal requirement is the 2 months worth of rental for the security deposit, 1 month rent in advance, half month’s estate agents commission, and stamp duty payable to “the Government of the HKSAR”.
What documentation do I need in order to sign an agreement?
You will need a Hong Kong Identification Card or your Passport, and in some cases the Landlord may request a copy of your employment contract.
What is the difference between Inclusive and Exclusive Rent in Hong Kong?
In Hong Kong the quoted inclusive rent means that the costs associated with the property including management fees, property rates and government rent is included into the rental price. Whereas the quoted exclusive rent does not include these costs, these costs should be taken account when looking to rent an apartment and should be included into the total rent payable. Most rental prices are quoted as inclusive to avoid confusion, but some agents may quote the more expensive rental properties in exclusive terms to make them seem more attractive.
Does the rent in Hong Kong include the Utilities?
In Hong Kong the apartments for rent do not include the Utilities. But in some cases these Utilities can be negotiated into the rental price at a capped rate for the Utility charges, and any charge over this amount can be the responsibility of the Tenant. For more information on how to apply for Utilities in Hong Kong please follow this link.
What are my rights as a Tenant in Hong Kong?
As a Tenant you have the right to hold and enjoy the Premises during the Term of Tenancy free from any interruption by the Landlord, and it is implied that the Landlord shall provide and maintain the premises fit and safe for habitation. In a standard Tenancy Agreement the Landlord shall keep and maintain the structural parts of the Premises and the main drains, pipes, electrical cables and appliances (if included in the premises) in a proper state of repair given that the defect is not caused by any intentional behaviours or negligence of the Tenant.
Can Hong Kong apartments accommodate pets?
Depending on the Deed of Mutual Covenant of an apartment building in Hong Kong, pets may or may not be allowed in the building, even so, it is at the discretion of the Landlord whether or not pets can be accommodated in the premises. Note that prior consent is required from the Landlord if you were to bring a pet into the premises and be wary that in a standard Tenancy Agreement it is implied that the Tenant shall not produce any nuisance or annoyance to the Landlord or other occupiers of the same building.
Is the Tenancy Agreement in Hong Kong legally binding?
Yes, a Tenancy Agreement is a legally binding contract and once a Tenancy Agreement is stamped at the stamp office it can be admitted as evidence in court (including the Lands Tribunal) and is enforceable against the related parties.
Can I sublet the apartment or get a flat mate?
There is a standard clause in a Tenancy Agreement that states that a Tenant shall not assign, transfer, sublet or part with the possession of the Premises or any part thereof to any other person during the Term of Tenancy and the Tenancy shall be personal to the Tenant named in the agreement. Unless prior arrangement is made between the Landlord and Tenant, any subletting can cause a breach of the contract.
My TV or Air Conditioning for my apartment is broken whose responsibility is it?
A Tenancy Agreement should include a clause that states that any chattels included in the premises shall be maintained and be in a proper state of repair at the responsibility of the Landlord. At Home Net our contracts have been properly prepared, a property is rented “as is”, other than the existing defects, any other defect arising from the normal wear and tear of these electrical appliances, it is the responsibility of the Landlord to fix.
My toilet or drain is blocked who pays for the repairs?
In a standard Tenancy Agreement the Landlord is responsible for the maintenance of the pipes and drains only, if there are any blockages of the toilet and drains which was at the fault of the Tenant, the cost to repair the blockage is borne by the Tenant alone.
Where do I shop for groceries in Hong Kong?
Other than the local Wellcome and Pak'n'Shop Supermarkets, there are many international orientated Supermarkets with many imported produce, for a detailed list of these supermarkets please follow this link.
Where can I acquire the services of a Domestic helper?
In Hong Kong it is common to acquire the services of a domestic helper, be it in house or part time and there are many agents through which you can secure these services. Note that there are strict rules and regulations for the employment of a domestic helper, for more information please follow this link.