Like Tree7Likes

Advice Needed

Reply
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wan Chai
    Posts
    46

    Advice Needed

    Hi all,

    I have rented a 3 bedroom apartment in Wan Chai. The lease is in my name. I have a flatmate who has just recently moved in. We want to sign a legal document which states the rent, advance ann the condition that he stays for one year. I dont want to pay 5k to a lawyer. Is there any other way I can get a legal contract of agreement done.

    Do let me know.

    Regards,

    Sang


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Sarcasm - because beating the crap out of people is illegal
    Posts
    14,645

    Subletting is permitted in your lease?


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,977

    Lease

    You can write a simple agreement, stating all the clauses as agreed.
    You both sign. Make 2 copies, and get the documents stamped at the Stamp Duty Office, Revenue Tower, Wanchai.
    Such a document is a legal document, recognized by the HK Courts.


    Quote Originally Posted by endofadecade
    Hi all,

    I have rented a 3 bedroom apartment in Wan Chai. The lease is in my name. I have a flatmate who has just recently moved in. We want to sign a legal document which states the rent, advance ann the condition that he stays for one year. I dont want to pay 5k to a lawyer. Is there any other way I can get a legal contract of agreement done.

    Do let me know.

    Regards,

    Sang

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    44
    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer
    Such a document is a legal document, recognized by the HK Courts.
    If subletting is not allowed in your lease, then I suspect the contract for subletting becomes illegal and not enforceable in our courts. Moreover, the subletting contract becomes written evidence that you have breached your rental agreement.

    If this is indeed the case, you can only hope your "flatmate" does not hold you over a barrel!!
    Fiona in HKG and carang like this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,017

    My sense is that subletting is different than taking in a flat mate BUT you should check your lease and the landlord.

    Do you really want to to be legally bound to someone who might turn out to be a brutal flat mate and now you can't get rid of the person? If you have an easy break clause to boot a flat mate then the flat mate would have the same ability to get out if they so chose.

    If the flat mate disappears on you out of HK to another country the ability to enforce your contract will be quite limited.

    No contract but a general understanding of what is to be paid and how you can boot the person seems better than a contract that if you need to enforce it, now means you have a lot of hassle.

    Fiona in HKG likes this.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    852

    It sounds like the OP wants to rent a room out on a "flat share" basis. That is entirely fine, and does not usually require landlord approval. Here is a form you can adapt: http://www.google.com.hk/url?sa=t&rc...iDtr_qearXBpIQ


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    44
    Quote Originally Posted by big_panda
    It sounds like the OP wants to rent a room out on a "flat share" basis. That is entirely fine, and does not usually require landlord approval. [/url]
    OP should look at the terms of his lease. If it prohibits subletting, then even if he calls it a "flat share" or anything else, it is still illegal.

    What OP proposes to be (vis a vis his "flatmate") is for all intents and purposes a landlord. He wants to set up legal contract establishing how rent is to be paid, the term of lease and security deposit to protect himself. That is "parting with the possession of part of the said premises or any part thereof" which will be considered as "subletting" in Hong Kong courts.

    If OP wants to "flat share", "sublet", "sublease" (a rose by any other name is still a rose) he could discuss it with his landlord, clarify and explain what OP intends to do, and get the landlord's written approval. Everything then becomes above board and this will protect the OP as well.
    TigerSun, Satay Sue and carang like this.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    4,017

    nopain,while there is nothing wrong with your advice- in fact it reiterates others' good advice on checking - I am fairly confident that in Hong Kong legally the OP can only become a landlord in law by actually subletting the flat for a time period. This would mean the flat is now occupied by that new person and the real tenant has gone for good or for some time period.

    You are right though!!!!! There still might be a clause in the tenancy agreement that the OP has preventing flat mates without approval but that is not subletting and turning the premises over to someone else which is my understanding of subletting.

    For me the bigger issue would be do I really want a legal agreement with a flat mate?

    I have had the luxury of not having a flat mate (other than when I first came to HK) since university days and always had friends (we stayed friends) but many other friends had awful room mates and their experiences were awful. Thus I'd want to be in control of the flat and be able to boot the person out if it was not working versus having a legal agreement that binds me.


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    852

    Football is right. Subletting or sub-leasing in the true sense of the word, means the Landlord leases a property to Tenant A, and Tenant A, acting as Sub-Landlord then leases the entire property to Tenant B who is then a sub-tenant. In those situations, the lease usually prohibits this, or makes it subject to landlord consent.

    Flatshares or flatmates on the other hand (whatever you want to call it) are only granted a license to share the property by the head tenant, which is distinct from subletting or a sub-lease. There is no requirement to enter any lease or agreement and to have the arrangement stamped for duty. Its like renting your spare room to a border. I think having an agreement is wise, but i'd want to make sure the notice period works in your favour in case they turn out to be the flatmate from hell, so having a 1 year renting period is a two-edge sword.

    JAherbert likes this.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    91

    It very much depends on (a) the wording of the "no subletting" clause and (b) the facts of the case. For example, a carefully worded clause will stipulate there is to be no subletting in part or in whole of the said premises (or words to that effect). For clauses that are not drafted tightly, there is room for argument, particularly when lawyers are involved and more so if the amount involved is large (of course this is unlikely to be such a case anyway).

    As nopain says, why not discuss it with the landlord? Particularly if in doubt. Most landlords are not fussed as long as the tenant (i.e. OP) pays the rent on time and keeps the premises in good condition. The problem though is when damages arise, the landlord will want the person whose name is on the lease to be responsible.


Reply
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast