Renting A HK Flat For The First Time

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  1. #1

    Renting A HK Flat For The First Time

    Hi all,

    I will be aiming to rent an apartment for the first time in HK and had some questions:

    1. I am planning to use the mainstream agents for my search as they seem to have the most stock (Midland, Ricacorp, Centaline). But would I get a better deal if I go to one of the local smaller agents instead?

    2. Can I get a locksmith to change the locks when I go in and then change them back when I leave?

    3. Does the tenant or landlord normally pay the management fees and gov rates? When I am initially quoted a rent by an agent should I expect that to include management fees/gov rates or not?

    4. I think I should expect the landlord to maintain the aircon and to allow for fair wear and tear?

    5. Is there anything I should look out for in the lease? Anything the landlord will try to burden me with which they shouldn't?

    6. Should I expect the landlord to raise the rent by a ridiculous amount after 2 years (I have heard about 30% increases)? If this is so, should I be expecting to move every 2 years?

    7. Does the landlord have a right to visit (e.g. quarterly) and check the apartment?

    Many thanks,
    Dan


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    7,499

    1. Everything is negotiable. If you find a good agent, use them. most are not very good and show you flats that are too big / too small / too expensive, and then finally show you one that fits your needs (but isn't that good).

    2. Yes

    3. Landlord, but make sure it is in the contract.

    4. Yes, but make sure it is in the contract.

    5. Standard contracts should be fine. There should be a break clause after one year. If only the tenant can break the contract it is better. Otherwise the landlord might raise the rent after a year.

    6. Who knows what will happen after 2 years. Some landlords are happy to keep the same tenant - assuming the tenant is not a pain.

    7. I don't think it is usual for a landlord to visit every quarter. If you are moving out, there is usually an arrangement to allow agents to view the property as long as they make an appointment first,


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    6,320

    Hi all,

    I will be aiming to rent an apartment for the first time in HK and had some questions:

    1. I am planning to use the mainstream agents for my search as they seem to have the most stock (Midland, Ricacorp, Centaline). But would I get a better deal if I go to one of the local smaller agents instead?

    It's hit or miss. There's no exact formula. Smaller agencies are better for cheaper flats, let's say less than 15k.

    2. Can I get a locksmith to change the locks when I go in and then change them back when I leave?

    Yes, you should. And at your expense. Every agency and agent has a copy of the flat key.

    3. Does the tenant or landlord normally pay the management fees and gov rates? When I am initially quoted a rent by an agent should I expect that to include management fees/gov rates or not?

    For rentals under 50k per month, 99.9% of the time it includes management fees and govt rates/govt rent. For expensive rentals they separate them to save on taxes. But again no formula and a landlord may combine or do separate. You just make an offer based on how you want to pay it.

    4. I think I should expect the landlord to maintain the aircon and to allow for fair wear and tear?

    The contract should mention that landlord is responsible for regular maintenance and repair. Sometimes they might repair but only if you proved you did your part by scheduling and paying for the annual maintenance. So be very clear to avoid future problems. But best to get a flat with everything working as landlords will try to not fix it and if they do fix it, it will be done half arse.

    5. Is there anything I should look out for in the lease? Anything the landlord will try to burden me with which they shouldn't?

    No. Using a large agency uses the same provisional lease agreement so ask for a empty provisional lease so you can read it first, they are pretty much all the same. They may bully for your salary proof and personal details, up to you whether you provide. I prefer to keep personal details private. If the landlord is a company you will have some long long formal lease to prevent any lawsuits and give you no rights. So think twice before you rent from a company.

    6. Should I expect the landlord to raise the rent by a ridiculous amount after 2 years (I have heard about 30% increases)? If this is so, should I be expecting to move every 2 years?

    Yes!! Actually every year!!! Based on the market condition however and the landlord. No set formula so finding a good landlord is better so you can stay long term. Or ask for a 2 year fixed lease.

    If you call your landlord to fix a lightbulb then your rent is going up 50%. Don't call them and pay on time.

    7. Does the landlord have a right to visit (e.g. quarterly) and check the apartment?

    No, unless you put it in the lease. So don't do it. And landlord should not have a key!

    Many thanks,
    Dan

    good luck