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Landlord refusing to return deposit, despite written agreement

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  1. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by big_panda:
    Ordinarily that would be true, but if you dont pay the last two months rent (as suggested by others), as Landlord you are out of pocket should there be any remedial items that need fixing.
    From what I heard in HK when you rent there is not that much to cover. In the States we used to have to pay (and I charge) for everything that needs to be done to return it to original condition. Here you can just clean everything yourself and be done with it. In the US I've always had professional cleaners do it so nobody really had to do any cleaning themselves. Last time I moved out in HK I didn't even have to pay for the cleaning.

  2. #92

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    B

    Quote Originally Posted by jack55:
    From what I heard in HK when you rent there is not that much to cover. In the States we used to have to pay (and I charge) for everything that needs to be done to return it to original condition. Here you can just clean everything yourself and be done with it. In the US I've always had professional cleaners do it so nobody really had to do any cleaning themselves. Last time I moved out in HK I didn't even have to pay for the cleaning.
    Not sure about that. Last time when I moved out - after a 4 years lease - the new tenant moved in the very same day I moved out!
    The flat was in the same condition as it was when we rented except for three small light bulbs I offered to pay for the replacement.

    Suppose it was something damaged in the flat to be discovered not during the final inspections but in the fourth day after me leaving the flat - how was the landlord to know it was me and not the new tenant who did it?
    That's a question only an HK landlord could answer!

    Yet, I had to wait 5 weeks to get my (supposed to be returned within seven days!) deposit back.
    Last edited by arathi; 09-12-2015 at 09:57 AM.

  3. #93

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    Maybe I can take this thread as a chance to briefly ask a question that we've had come up recently... We had talked previously with our landlord about getting a cat, he was hesitant but agreed if we paid an extra deposit and one-off cleaning fee (and we left it at that then...). We have since got a cat and will now have to follow up with this (he somehow found out -- no clue how, gossipy neighbor? evil building management guy?). As discussed before, the additional deposit he's asking for is $10,000 hkd (about half our rent) plus $2,000 cleaning fee (non-refundable). Is this reasonable?

    We've been here 3 years, so any damage and painting, we think, would fall within the reasonable "wear and tear". The cats, which we've had a few months, so far have never damaged anything in the house (whereas we've made a few little dents here and there!), and I honestly can't imagine what the cats could do that would ever require $10,000 in damage. So now I feel this additional deposit request and situation with the cats will just offer him a chance to make excuses for us to start paying up when the time comes for the things that are actually under the usual wear and tear. I'm concerned we'll never see it again, even though so far we feel there has been no reason whatsoever for us to not get back our original deposit. We're not planning on moving, but we'll see how this plays out... So far he's been a pretty reasonable landlord, after all we've been here 3 years without unreasonable rent increases, and any repairs we've asked for have been taken care of in a timely manner!

    Any thoughts? Are we getting screwed? (I should note his wife is a corporate lawyer. )


  4. #94

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    thats BS. its only a cat not A star war creature

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  5. #95

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    I never understood some landlords not liking cats or dogs but are OK with kids. Young children cause much much more damage than any dogs or cats can. But anyway, if you had agreed to the deposit amount, and then got the cat without telling the landlord (seems like you were trying to sneak one by) then I don't think you have much bargaining power. If you didn't like the deposit amount you should have negotiated prior to you getting a cat without telling your landlord if I understand it correctly.

    That said, I'd still try negotiating the amount. It's a bit high. Did the apartment come furnished? The cleaning fee is pretty high too.


  6. #96

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    I guess you are lucky she didnt seek to enforce the small claims judgement. Since she was given default judgement, she could have served you a statutory demand for payment. If you failed to pay the demand, she could then set the motion to have you adjudged bankrupt.

  7. #97

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    Original Post Deleted
    sorry for delay - Towngas said is actually common practice in HK; they usually get the orders from the landlords while the costs are cover by the tenants. In our case the landlord assured them that she already get our approval!

  8. #98

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    Original Post Deleted
    So true: some of my mail coming in after we moved out ended up in the hands of my ex-landlord real estate agent; we passed by the agency to recover it but she would give it to us!
    She claims that we owe her HKD 150 (we had NO business whatsoever with her) - and while we are debating she is entitled to keep the post.

    So I paid an informal visit to the nearest police station and asked if is not illegal to keep someone post ...it was all oh, ah and "well, we don't know, maybe sometimes"....???
    Last edited by arathi; 20-02-2016 at 01:22 PM.
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  9. #99

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    A cat, extra 10k? I would try to screw you with a 2-3k cleaning fee and leave it at that. Surprised with an extra 10k deposit.

    Technically you don't need to fix anything. Walls fall apart after a year anyway. But if you are a nice tenant, why not try to save 15k by asking you to pay for it. Works maybe 10% of the time, usually with expats only. What can you damage when the shelf life of everything is 1-2 years anyway...

    Solve the problems. Don't rent. Own.

    arathi likes this.

  10. #100

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    Question Closure - the best advice ever

    Quote Originally Posted by jmbf:
    First, stop paying for stuff! The security deposit is supposed to be protection against unwarranted damage to a premises above and beyond 'normal' wear and tear. It is NOT meant to be a means for unscrupulous landlords to renew / update their appliances at your expense.

    Second, issue your notice to the landlord (it's up to you whether or not you tell them you intend to stop paying the last 2 months rent). If / when the landlord does chase your for payment, stand firm and don't budge.
    So we did: we didn't pay the last two months rent and it was the best decision ever!
    However, we choose to move out one week before the end of the lease (we get the flat by the Tung Wah org. we were waiting for) and by doing so we gave up the remaining balance of our deposit.
    We also allowed the real estate agent to bring in potential tenants few times so the flat was rented out immediately.

    Still, the same real estate agent wouldn't give us our (already old by now) post - claiming that I owe to give 150 HKD (!!!) for an entrance card that I returned too late (I just couldn't find the stupid little thing the day we moved out).

    I'm absolutely laughable!
    Last edited by arathi; 20-02-2016 at 01:57 PM.

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