Hong Kong Information

FAQ

1. Where is House Hunters' office located?

Our office address is: 5/F, 31C-D Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong.

We are open from Monday till Friday between 9 am to 6 pm and on Saturdays between 9 am and 1 pm.

2. What is including in the rental pricing?

Rent usually excludes utilities such as water, gas, electricity, phone and broadband connections as well as management fee, government rates and government Rent

3. What are Government Rates?

A tax paid on the occupation of property and generally paid by the Tenant. Levied as percentage of a Government Fixed Ratable Value.

4. What are Management Fees?

Management fees normally cover building maintenance, security and cleaning services. Fees vary according to the standard of the building and facilities available. The fees are generally charged in addition to rent and is if otherwise not specified payable by the Tenant.

5. Car parking

Provision for car parking space varies from building to building and from landlord to landlord. Generally speaking, larger family homes (>2,000 Sq.Ft.) provide one car parking space per flat, but this must be confirmed when negotiating the lease term. Car parking spaces maybe covered or open. An additional management fee & governement rates may sometimes apply.

6. The question of the Floor area

The quoted size is usually based on the "Gross" square footage when leasing a property. Definition can vary as to what is included in the net usable area. Gross area generally includes common parts.

7. Are fixtures and fittings always included?

Residential premises are generally let unfurnished. Kitchens are usully fitted but can sometimes not be equipped with appliances.

8. What is a rent free period?

Depending on the market conditions, a rent free period can be given by the Landlord to allow the Tenant to decorate the premises before the commencement date of the Tenancy, should this not be carried out by the Landlord.

A rent free period is more common in commercial leases where Tenants usually carry the renovation cost.

9. What is the normal duration of the Tenancy?

The standard duration time of a Tenancy Agreement is two (2) years.

10. What laws apply to protect the Tenancy?

For the most recent regulations please see Landlords & Tenants Consolidation Ordinance available at Government Publications Office.

11. What is a break clause?

A break clause in an option for an early termination of a contract and is normally requested by the Tenant. Landlords may grant a Tenant the option for early termination of the Tenancy by giving prior written notice. It is often negotiatied in the Tenancy Agreement at what time this is accepted, the current standard being after 12 months. This provision is negotiable and normally depends on prevailing market conditions.

The terms are often negotiated to be included in the tenancy agreement with a permission to exercise the right to break the lease after 12, 13, 14 or 15 months with anything from two to three months notice period. A standard break clause is after 12 months and then antoher two months notice period, i.e. you may leave after 14 months and the security deposit is refundable (subject to terms in the tenancy agreement being complied).

In the current market situation, most private landlords (as supposed to large investment companies and developers) demand a mutual break clause which entitles the landlord to break the lease too.

12. Deposits related to the Tenancy

Holding deposit

The holding deposit is paid by the tenant to secure option to lease the premises whilst details of the Tenancy Agreement are being negotiatied. It is advisable to recieve written confirmation that this deposit is refundable. The common practise is for this holding deposit to become the first month rental.

Security deposit

Usually equivalent to two (2) months rent and retained by the Landlord for the duration of the Tenancy. This will be returned in full amount without interest provided that the premises are not damaged. The security deposit maybe three months and maybe including management fee and government rates.

13. What is stamp duty?

Stamp duty is payable on all Tenancy Agreements, and the cost is usually shared equally by the Landlord and the Tenant. This fee is made payable to the Government of Hong Kong SAR.

14. What are the standard for Agency fees?

Property Agents who locate premises, assist in negotiations and conclude a lease or a sale and purchase agreement charge a fee for their services. The purchaser and vendor each pay 1% to the agent. The standard fee for a lease is 50% from each party to the agent.

Short term accomodation - less than six(6) months period is cherged by 10%of the fixed total rental period or 10% per month of a flexible period.

15. Steps to take as you sell property in Hong Kong

1. Vendor appoints an estate agent to sell the property.

2. Vendor and purchaser sign the Provisional (or Preliminary) Agreement for Sale and  Purchase. The purchaser then pays the initial deposit, which is usually 3-5% of the property price.

3. Vendor appoints his own solicitor . Solicitor prepares the formal Agreements for Sale and Purchase.

4. Vendor and purchaser sign the Agreements for Sale and Purchase. The Purchaser then pays the further deposit, which is usually 5-7% of the property price.

5. Solicitor checks the documents related to property ownership and mortgage loan.

6. Vendor signs the Assignment at the solicitors office on or before the completion day, hand over the key of the property to the solicitor, and obtain the remainder of property price.

7. Completion.

 

For more information on calculation of Stamp Duty Stamp Duty

Mortgage calculator provided by Hang Seng Bank  Mortgage calculator

16. Steps to take as you buy property in Hong Kong

Plan your purchase! Check out our step-by-step procedure.

Look out for the prevailing requirements for down payments!

1. Purchaser appoints an estate agent to search for appropriate properties to buy. The purchaser inspects the property and negotiates the price with the agent or the vendor.

Watch out for illegal structures! Consult a surveyor if in doubt.

2. Vendor and purchaser sign the Provisional (or Preliminary) Agreement for Sale and Purchase. The purchaser then pays the initial deposit, which usually 3-5% of the property price.

3. Purchaser appoints his own solicitor. The solicitor checks the formal Agreements for Sale and Purchase submitted by the vendor's solicitor.

4. Vendor and purchaser sign the Agreements for Sale and Purchase. The purchaser then pays the further deposit, which is usually 5-7% of the property price.

5. Purchaser applies for mortgage loan from a bank if needed. Solicitor checks the documents realted to property ownership and mortgage.

6. Purchaser pays the balance of purchase price, maybe arranged between the solicitor and the bank providing mortgage loan, and then sign the Assignment.

 

For more information on calculation of Stamp Duty Stamp Duty

Mortgage calculator provided by Hang Seng Bank  Mortgage calculator