I have, what I think is a fairly uncommon situation, and would appreciate any help or advice.
Before I start, this may be in the wrong forum because I have been here for 3 years. Please let me know if it is.
I had a 2 year lease which I saw-through on an apartment. This lease had stamp duty paid ( as there was a rental agent involved).
When the lease was up for renewal, the landlord drafted a new rental agreement, which I did not sign because there were a few small mistakes in it. I asked him to redraft one. It is a 2 year contract.
He never did, and I never followed up with it. To be honest, we had a good relationship, and I never thought much of it.
Now, 7-odd months later, my work is asking for a copy of my rental agreement, which must have the Stamp duty. They need this so I can be reimbursed for my (modest) housing allowance.
After telling my landlord about this, he said it was my responsibility to get stamp duty and that he will not pay. The amount of stamp duty owed now is around 6,000HKD (because of the penalty) which is about 2/3 of my rent.
So, he has 'offered' to redraft a new lease, but only for 1 year. This way, stamp duty is reduced to 3,000 ( which he also won't pay any of).
There are 3 issues for me here, which I would very much like some advice on:
1. I keep reading that splitting stamp duty is a convention, but it does not seem to be a law. Can he refuse to pay?
2. The landlord says that whether I sign a new contract (1 year) or not (stay on the 2 year) that my rent will increase. The current contract says that the term is a 12 month fixed term and a 12 month optional term. Does this mean that he is in a position to raise the rent regardless?
3. Does it make sense that my employer needs to show evidence of stamp duty to apply for tax reimbursement (or tax free status) for my housing allowance?
Any or some answers to these questions would be very much appreciated. To be fair, all involved have been 'nice enough' about things, but I still feel like I am being taken for a ride.
Suggestions are very much welcome.