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If you have to leave an apartment before your lease is up...

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    London
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    21

    If you have to leave an apartment before your lease is up...

    Hello! Can anyone please tell me what would happen if you leased an apartment for a year and then needed to leave early? Can you sublet it to someone for the remainder of the lease? Just want to know, as I am looking into moving and would like to have an idea of what would happen if an unexpected emergency back home required departing in the middle of a lease.

    Thanks!


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    4,664

    If you have this mindset, best you stay in a serviced apartment on a shorter lease.

    jrkob and MandM! like this.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Clear Water Bay (In Da Jungle)
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    It all depends on what kind of LL you have as there are many scenarios or options that both you and the LL can agree to or the LL could try to do to you if you left before the 1st 12+1 or 2 (leaving notice) months of the contract are up.

    1. You could give up the deposit as penalty for leaving early if the LL agrees
    2. LL depending on if its a big company or some big shot lawyer could sue you for the remaining months of the contract on top of keeping the deposit.
    3. Sublet is technically illegal but if you can find someone to take over your existing lease with the LLs approval then win win for both.
    4. You do a runner after not paying one months rent so the LL only has 1 month deposit left so you dont loose too much (not a good advise but some people have done it), wouldnt try it with the big companies.

    shri and MandM! like this.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Lovely unstable expats. Welcome to Hong Kong.

    Basically, you forfeit your 2 months deposit. If you piss off the landlord, they can recover the entire term. If you're nice, you can work with the landlord and agents to find a replacement and pay only 1/2 month for the landlords agency fee.

    If you are spending a hefty amount on the rental, you might be able to get an expat clause, where you can break it, with proof of redundancy from your workplace. Please, do not try to ask for this when you are spending 15-30k per month, really a shotty thing to do. If you're 50k up, it becomes slightly more common.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtbhotia
    LL depending on if its a big company or some big shot lawyer could sue you for the remaining months of the contract on top of keeping the deposit.
    wtbhotia, LL could sue for the rentals but he would have to return the deposit unless of course there is a genuine reason not to do so covered under the tenancy agreement. No judge in HK will let the LL keep the deposit as "penalty" (penalties are typically not enforceable in Commonwealth countries).
    wtbhotia and MandM! like this.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtbhotia
    4. You do a runner after not paying one months rent so the LL only has 1 month deposit left so you dont loose too much (not a good advise but some people have done it), wouldnt try it with the big companies.
    This is very interesting

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    18,801
    Quote Originally Posted by jrkob
    wtbhotia, LL could sue for the rentals but he would have to return the deposit unless of course there is a genuine reason not to do so covered under the tenancy agreement. No judge in HK will let the LL keep the deposit as "penalty" (penalties are typically not enforceable in Commonwealth countries).
    Good luck recovering the deposit as a tenant defaulting on the contract, lol. The reality is very few of these cases will ever come to court - the landlord keeps the deposit and sucks up the loss while trying to get the property back on the market asap.
    MandM! likes this.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Yes. I agree, my proposal is quite theoretical in the world of private properties. I myself would most likely do what you suggest ("sucks up the loss while trying to get the property back on the market asap").


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit
    Good luck recovering the deposit as a tenant defaulting on the contract, lol. The reality is very few of these cases will ever come to court - the landlord keeps the deposit and sucks up the loss while trying to get the property back on the market asap.
    That's the usual case but best bet is to work it out with your landlord and negotiate so you don't open up troubles for the future. If you're not ready to commit to HK, then best not to get involved with a flat.