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Landlord/Contract Issues

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  1. #1

    Landlord/Contract Issues

    Hello everyone:

    I am relatively new to HK and just nearing the end of my 1st year on a 2 year lease for a furnished apartment. Everything has been relatively fine until my TV broke and my landlord is refusing to replace it.

    Under my rental contract, it states the Landlord provides two TVs: a 37" and a 21" TV. The landlord took the broken TV but then informed me it could not be fixed and that I may now buy my own TV and take it with me when I leave.

    The lease was undertaken privately without an agent (friends of friends). Things have been pretty decent up until this TV breaking, but they recently raised the rent on me (starting in my second year).

    Does anyone have any advice for dealing with this in a constructive way? Or am I simply out of luck?

    The landlord has been nice up until this point and even helped with some noise complaints I had. I would let it go, but I have this feeling of being ripped off: I'm going to be paying more rent and I now have lost the main TV that they are supposed to provide. (I use it a lot for work at home, etc.)

    Friends are telling me that I'm out of luck because it's my second year and the contract never said 'working TV'.

    Thanks!

    p.s. Please also keep in mind that there is a bit of a language barrier. The landlord prefers to communicate via whatsapp.


  2. #2

    Join Date
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    the biggest problem with something like this happening is usually that the landlord expects you to leave the tv. i would say, if you really want a tv, then buy one and take it with you.

    why are you being ripped off? it will be your tv. if he were saying that you had to buy another one and then leave it there, THAT would be a rip off.

    it's simple enough to buy a cheap tv or a second hand one and then sell it on again after you are finished with it.

    i really think you are making a mountain out of a molehill.

    dear giant likes this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    A "working" TV is implied, none of my leases hv ever specified appliances have to function and I haven't had problems getting my landlord to replace or fix things even though my lease doesn't specify "working". If your lease includes a TV and there isn't one then in a way you are being ripped off because your agreed rental covers the TV. You say your landlord has asked you to buy a new TV and take it with you when you leave but has he actually said he's not buying one if you don't agree to buy one yourself?

    dear giant likes this.

  4. #4

    When renting a furnished flat, the rent covers both the flat itself and the furniture/appliances.

    They may be busy, and you may have to help them fulfil their contractual obligations under the lease.

    Try this: Check out the cost of a new TV of the same size (and same type/brand) as the broken one, and inform the landlord that you will buy it yourself, leave it behind for the landlord when your rent expires, and deduct the cost over the remaining period of your lease.

    You have nothing to lose, since you need a TV in any case.

    Make sure you keep a record of all correspondence, receipts, etc.

    dear giant likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    23,366
    Quote Originally Posted by carang:
    the biggest problem with something like this happening is usually that the landlord expects you to leave the tv. i would say, if you really want a tv, then buy one and take it with you.

    why are you being ripped off? it will be your tv. if he were saying that you had to buy another one and then leave it there, THAT would be a rip off.

    it's simple enough to buy a cheap tv or a second hand one and then sell it on again after you are finished with it.

    i really think you are making a mountain out of a molehill.
    If the lease specifies a TV, the landlord needs to provide a TV. Simple as that. I would make it clear to the landlord you will buy one at $xxxx and deduct it from the rent unless he provides one within 7 days.
    dear giant likes this.

  6. #6

    Join Date
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    Sure. That is the other option. I don't disagree with it either.

    Sent from my GT-I8150 using GeoClicks Mobile

    bryant.english likes this.

  7. #7

    Thanks for the quick replies and advice, all.

    Some extra info: the TV was included as part of the furnished flat and is listed in the lease as 'provided by the landlord'. It malfunctioned before the new year, so the issue has been going on for over a month (the landlord only recently contacted me to say it can't be fixed and wouldn't be replaced).

    Carang brings up an interesting point though, he could blame me for breaking the TV and say I had to replace it (although he has not). It was a genuine malfunction of the TV, however.

    As turtle1 mentioned, he is being careful not to say if he will or will not replace it: he asked me if I wanted him to continue to 'check with friends' to see if they have any 'unwanted TVs' after adding I 'may buy a TV myself and take it with me when I leave.'

    I also want to be careful as to the next move as I don't want to ruin this relationship, so I'm cautious to use TheBrit's deduct-it-from-the-rent approach. I also don't want to look the patsy, either. If I agree to this, who's to say the same thing won't happen with the toilet if it breaks (i.e., you can replace the flushing mechanism and take it with you.)

    One 'middle of the road' option, I thought of after reading your posts was to ask for a couple more months at the old rent which would be a concession and help me pay for a new TV.

    Again, thanks all for your opinions. This is a different culture for me (society/legal/renting) so I want to proceed cautiously.

    Last edited by waiguorenhk; 26-01-2013 at 07:14 PM. Reason: new TV not old.

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    7,195

    On every 2 year rental contract I have had, the rent is fixed for the 2 years, but in the second year the tenant can move out with one month's notice (in most contracts), or either party can terminate the lease with a month's notice (in some contracts). Rent changes have not been part of the contract - so I first suggest you check that.

    Second, if you do end up moving out, you have all the costs in time and money or finding a new place, and possibly paying commission to an agent. At the same time, the landlord has the same costs if you move out and has to find a new tenant. So, unless you are paying significantly under the market rent, I think most landlords are willing to be flexible and are open to negotiation.

    carang likes this.

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Buy a 2nd hand tv. and move on with your life.

    You won't win, how much time and effort.....forget it.

    Do you want a 36 year old black and white tv in your sitting room?

    Plenty of used tellys here: >>>>USED TELLYS HERE!!!<<<<


  10. #10

    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit:
    If the lease specifies a TV, the landlord needs to provide a TV. Simple as that. I would make it clear to the landlord you will buy one at $xxxx and deduct it from the rent unless he provides one within 7 days.
    He's got nothing to lose except time and getting his landlord's back up! Check the lease, I can tell you my office lease says I'm responsible for any repairs to the a/c for example.....If it does break down, I'll buy one of those big portable buggers and take it away when I leave.....

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