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Terminology

  • The Tenant

    A personal lease is signed by an individual whose name (or joint-names) appear as the Tenant in the Tenancy Agreement. The Tenant is personally responsible for matters concerning the property (please refer to Tenancy Agreement).

    For a Company Lease, The Occupant of the premises is usually a bona fide Employee of the Company. The Company is the legal Tenant responsible for matters concerning the property (please refer to Tenancy Agreement).

  • Tenancy Agreement

    The format of a Tenancy Agreement varies but usually the Tenant is responsible for the interiors and the Landlord is responsible for the structural parts of the property.

    In case of any alterations made to the interior by the Tenant, the Landlord normally expects the property to be returned to its original condition on the expiration of the lease.

    Tenancy Agreements are signed by either individuals for a personal lease, or by a company for a company lease.

  • Stamp Duty

    Stamp duty is payable on all Tenancy Agreements. The fee is usually shared equally between the Landlord and Tenant.

  • Rent-free period

    Some Landlords might allow Tenants to decorate their premises – it not managed by the Landlord – during a rent-free period

    Note that rent-free periods are more common in commercial leases where Tenants tend to pay for renovation costs.

  • Rent

    Rent is always payable to on a monthly basis, in advance.
    It usually excludes utilities (water, gas, electricity& internet). Monthly rent usually includes Government rates, Government rent and management fees.

  • Protection of Tenancy

    Please refer to Landlords & Tenants Consolidation Ordinance, available at Government Publications Office.

  • Management Fees

    Management Fees normally cover building maintenance, security and cleaning services. Fees vary according to the standard of the building and facilities available.

  • Legal Fees

    Legal Fees for sales transactions are based on Law Society scales. Each party usually pays their own costs, however, fees may be shared if both parties engage the same law firm.

  • Floor area

    For rental, floor area is usually quoted on a gross basis, however, definitions can vary as to what is included in the net usable area. Note that gross area generally includes common parts such as stairways and lift wells.

  • Duration of Tenancy (Lease)

    A standard lease usually lasts for two years. Occasionally, three years may be agreed upon.

    See also Break Clause

  • Security Deposit

    The security deposit is usually equal to two months’ rent and is retained by the Landlord for the duration of the Tenancy. This deposit is returned in full without interest, provided that there is no damage to the property beyond usual wear-and-tear.

  • Deposits

    Holding deposits are paid by a potential Tenant in order to secure the option to lease a property whilst details of the Tenancy Agreement are negotiated. It is advisable to ask for written confirmation that this deposit is refundable.

  • Car parking

    Provision for one car parking space in villas may be included in the rental price.

  • Break Clause (Early Termination)

    Normally requested by the Tenant. Landlords may grant a Tenant the option of early termination of the Tenancy by giving prior written notice of one month. This provision is negotiable and normally depends on prevailing market conditions.

  • Agency Fees

    Property agents who locate premises and help to negotiate and conclude lease/purchase agreements charge a fee for their services. The purchaser / Tenant pays these fees by either 1% of the sale price or 50% of the monthly rental fee.

    Short-term accommodation (less than a six-month period) is charged on a case-by-case basis.