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Leaving HK and Landlord won't return deposit

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  1. #1

    Question Leaving HK and Landlord won't return deposit

    Seeking some advice here. We have been living in the same apartment for 5 years and this year, we renewed the lease for another 2 years. The landlord used the simple government provided format and wrote on a clause stating "1 year fixed.1 year renewable" and had us sign this. The break clause section was *not* filled in and was struck out - this would have been the proper place to fill in such terms.
    Now, we have to leave the apartment and also, leave HK next week. The landlord refuses to return our deposit.
    We consulted a lawyer and according to her, the handwritten clause is not valid and the landlord cannot hold back our deposit. The hand written note is also ambiguous. She has advised us to approach the small claims court.
    Does anyone have any experience with small claims court ? Can this be done when you are out of Hong Kong and managed ?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Hong Kong

    This year, you renewed the least for 2 years (1+1) and suddenly you need to leave next week.

    It sounds to me that you are responsible for 1 years rent minus what you paid this year AFTER signing the extension. Unless I am misunderstanding the situation?

    You should complete the first year, then provide a 1-2 months notice depending upon your contract. Given you are leaving, there is no time to go to court, so you might consider this a lost cause and best to sign a mutual release, giving the landlord your 2 months deposit in return for ending the lease early. Otherwise, if you come back to HK one day, we'll see your post "Can immigration arrest me at the airport for unpaid lease for leaving early?" thread here on geo.

    traineeinvestor likes this.