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FAQ - Frequently Asked Question

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Q. Who is responsible for stamping the lease agreement?

A. Stamping is actually a civic responsibility, as according to the Stamp Duty Ordinance, all leases must be stamped within 30 days of the date of signing. If the tenancy agreement has expired and is not stamped, you will also need to pay a penalty for applying for a replacement.

Q. Do I need to pay compensation if I leave the lease early during the Fix Term Tenancy period?

A. In usual circumstances, both the landlord and the tenant cannot terminate the tenancy before its expiration unless either of them has breached the vital terms of the agreement which entitles the other party to forfeit or terminate the tenancy.
Early termination may be possible with the existence of a valid break clause which may be exercisable by either party by giving prior notice at a certain time during the term of the tenancy.

Q. What are the benefits of tenancy for fixed term of one year with option to renew for another year?

A. It is more flexible. For example, when the property market changes and the rent rises and falls, if the owner or tenant is not satisfied, they can exercise the right to withdraw the lease and terminate the lease in advance. And it is not a unilateral protection for the landlord or tenant. For example, if a tenant or landlord is in trouble, one of them can ask for a withdrawal after the death contract period. Early termination of the tenancy only requires a notice period, and does not need to pay the entire death contract rent.

Q. Any penalty for Late Stamping?

A. Where an instrument chargeable with stamp duty is not stamped before or within the time for stamping, such instrument may be stamped by the Collector, with a penalty, upon payment of the stamp duty. 

Q. Do I need to sign a new contract to renew the lease?

A. Upon the expiry of a tenancy, the original Tenancy Agreement becomes obsolete. The terms and conditions specified in that agreement do not bind the parties any more. If the “tenant” continues to stay at the property and the “landlord” makes no objection, the relationship between them will evolve into a tenancy at sufferance: that is to say, the “landlord” suffers the presence of the “tenant” at the property.

Q. Can the deposit be used to offset the rent?

A. No. Legally, the deposit is intended to protect the owner, ensuring that the owner can take back the unit in its entirety when the lease term expires. In case any problems are found, the owner can use the deposit to pay for the repairs. Generally, if the tenant pays the rent on time, maintains the property in good condition, and abides by the relevant laws. After the tenant moves out of the unit, the landlord should pay the deposit back to the tenant within the time limit after inspection. In addition, if the tenant pays the rent with a deposit, it is actually a breach of the tenancy agreement, and the landlord has the right to go to the Lands Tribunal to apply for repossession of the property through legal channels.

Q. How long does it take for the recovery of possession service?    

A. The correct and legal process of repossession is mainly divided into three steps. The time will be determined by each case, but each process requires a certain amount of time. To sum up the entire closing process, it takes about three months at the fastest.

Q. When the rent change, if the landlord or tenant is not satisfied, what can they do to stop the lease?

A. If the lease has a termination clause, such as giving 1 month's notice to terminate the lease, the landlord or tenant can terminate the lease first and then negotiate a new rent. If the negotiation between the two parties is unsuccessful, the landlord or tenant needs to surrender/take back the property according to the release clause.

 

If there is no termination clause in the lease agreement, the landlord and the tenant must agree to terminate the lease agreement before negotiating and entering into a new lease agreement. If the negotiation between the two parties is unsuccessful, the landlord and tenant must continue to execute the original lease agreement.

Q. During the application for the repossession, the tenant had moved out. Can the landlord enter the property, change the lock and suspend the legal process?

A. The landlord must never enter the unit or change the door lock without authorization! If the landlord enters the property without court approval, the tenant may claim that the landlord has unlawfully disposed of or misappropriated valuables left on the property after a few months.The landlord may face criminal prosecution. Under the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance, any person who unlawfully deprives a tenant of the occupation of the premises commits an offence and is liable to fine and imprisonment.
 

Tenancy Management Service

T: (852) 2139-6698

F: (852) 3971-0820

tenancy@mail.centanet.com

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