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Landlord demanding 48k in repairs for 1400 sqft apartment (small dents in walls which we have filled in and paint job). Contract attached

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  1. #11

    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    2,906

    I understand the lease is between the company and landlord, it is up to the company and landlord to work it out.

    it is not an "upgrade"

    this is not rocket science - after every tenancy, the LL hires a contractor or handyman to redecorate the whole apartment, ready for the new tenant. tenants should know this fact and be prepared for the end of the tenancy and the wear and tear claims.

    A contractor will give LL a quote, it __may__ include changing floor tiles, bathroom tiles, lighting fittings, etc. etc . A real contractor (not a handyman hired off the street) could charge 50-60K for a proper (hong kong standard) job, for 1400 sqft. apartment it could be more.

    Some LL mistakenly believe / try it on, requiring that the old tenant to pay for the FULL redecoration cost - because the LL has the security deposit.

    My advice, just let the company handle it.

    shri likes this.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Posts
    396

    Para N is clear, it is for YOU to repair damages to alterations and addition NOT fair wear and tear. You repaired and decorated as good tenantsat you own expense the landlord cannot take money for that because he does not like it. Its NOT in the contract that you must decorate to his taste.

    Item 19 of the list is 4 wooden cabinets. Are they distinct as KITCHEN cabinets? It is very ambiguous and courts don't like ambiguity. Even if yes, as long as the doors are not broken and need replacing then "fair wear and tear" is allowed in the contract/ You are not liable.

    The contract only mentions your responsibility as regard the items on the list. there is no definitive mention that you are responsible for the FABRIC of the property. IE. You are not required to redecorate or repair before vacating. .Notwithstanding there are any damages over wear and tear, this is covered in paragraph N and you have complied with that.

    In regard of the ability for the landlord to withhold your deposit, that is clear in the courts. I have heard masters quote this many times about withholding funds in various cases. They have NO RIGHT. The process is, unless it is clearly outlined in the contract with degrees and amounts that can be easily quantified by the parties and the courts the process is, the landlord must refund in total and then use the courts to get any refund they think is due, unless by mutual consent. There is not in this case. It often does not work that way in landlords minds but that is the law.

    In regard of whose name is on the contract then it is no matter about you fathers company. they just need to write a letter that states that they made the transaction on your behalves and you are their chosen representative in this matter.

    You should send a recorded delivery letter to the landlord at any address you may have or to the agent to pass immediately to the landlord with a copy to yourselves laying out what you've complied with, what the contract does and does not deal with. What you believe your and there responsibilities are and stating they have 7 days to return the deposit in full otherwise or you will file for its return as a breach of contract and in accordance with the contract, claim interest on the amount and ask for costs from the court.

    Some people will try anything on to get money they have probably spent instead of keeping it in escrow and find most people just fold. DO NOT. The court will support you. They hate landlords more than you do and the contract wording is most important. What they THINK it means and has THOUGHt they can do is mistaken. The wording is the most important. There is zero mention of decorative repairs, only alterations and additions which are not the same.


    Nothing to do with this but I was tied up with some friends because our boss decided he did not want to pay us. The local HK guys he found, would just accept it. Us gweilo showed him we had a different approach. With LC, SCC and District Court we had a two year degree course in the law and process. When he saw he was always losing and as a weeze, the "boss " decided he would intimidate by claiming that some money I HAD been paid previously needed to be REPAID because another of the directors had given me a personal cheque rather than a company cheque The SCC Master just about ripped their heads off for that stunt. The LC and SCC are more supportive than you think. They have seen it all and more in those places. Have faith and don't be intimidated.

    shri and TheBrit like this.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by WMDS:
    It's ok to be upset. You are not the first to be screwed by another landlord nor will you be the last. I would consider balancing your mental well-being versus the money. Is all the stress really worth the money?

    Will they deduct 27.5K from the deposit and hand the rest over to your father's company?
    If 27.5k is more than my month's salary then I will fight for it. We're not exactly in a position to spend money like this when only one of us (out of a 4) has a secure job with a monthly income.
    The company will receive the deposit with the 27.5k deducted and we will have to pay the company back.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAherbert:
    I understand the lease is between the company and landlord, it is up to the company and landlord to work it out.

    it is not an "upgrade"

    this is not rocket science - after every tenancy, the LL hires a contractor or handyman to redecorate the whole apartment, ready for the new tenant. tenants should know this fact and be prepared for the end of the tenancy and the wear and tear claims.

    A contractor will give LL a quote, it __may__ include changing floor tiles, bathroom tiles, lighting fittings, etc. etc . A real contractor (not a handyman hired off the street) could charge 50-60K for a proper (hong kong standard) job, for 1400 sqft. apartment it could be more.

    Some LL mistakenly believe / try it on, requiring that the old tenant to pay for the FULL redecoration cost - because the LL has the security deposit.

    My advice, just let the company handle it.
    The problem is the company is handling it in the way that it easiest for them. For them it doesn't matter whether the money is deducted or not because in the end, we will be paying for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by David4Maths:
    Para N is clear, it is for YOU to repair damages to alterations and addition NOT fair wear and tear. You repaired and decorated as good tenantsat you own expense the landlord cannot take money for that because he does not like it. Its NOT in the contract that you must decorate to his taste.

    Item 19 of the list is 4 wooden cabinets. Are they distinct as KITCHEN cabinets? It is very ambiguous and courts don't like ambiguity. Even if yes, as long as the doors are not broken and need replacing then "fair wear and tear" is allowed in the contract/ You are not liable.

    The contract only mentions your responsibility as regard the items on the list. there is no definitive mention that you are responsible for the FABRIC of the property. IE. You are not required to redecorate or repair before vacating. .Notwithstanding there are any damages over wear and tear, this is covered in paragraph N and you have complied with that.

    In regard of the ability for the landlord to withhold your deposit, that is clear in the courts. I have heard masters quote this many times about withholding funds in various cases. They have NO RIGHT. The process is, unless it is clearly outlined in the contract with degrees and amounts that can be easily quantified by the parties and the courts the process is, the landlord must refund in total and then use the courts to get any refund they think is due, unless by mutual consent. There is not in this case. It often does not work that way in landlords minds but that is the law.

    In regard of whose name is on the contract then it is no matter about you fathers company. they just need to write a letter that states that they made the transaction on your behalves and you are their chosen representative in this matter.

    You should send a recorded delivery letter to the landlord at any address you may have or to the agent to pass immediately to the landlord with a copy to yourselves laying out what you've complied with, what the contract does and does not deal with. What you believe your and there responsibilities are and stating they have 7 days to return the deposit in full otherwise or you will file for its return as a breach of contract and in accordance with the contract, claim interest on the amount and ask for costs from the court.

    Some people will try anything on to get money they have probably spent instead of keeping it in escrow and find most people just fold. DO NOT. The court will support you. They hate landlords more than you do and the contract wording is most important. What they THINK it means and has THOUGHt they can do is mistaken. The wording is the most important. There is zero mention of decorative repairs, only alterations and additions which are not the same.


    Nothing to do with this but I was tied up with some friends because our boss decided he did not want to pay us. The local HK guys he found, would just accept it. Us gweilo showed him we had a different approach. With LC, SCC and District Court we had a two year degree course in the law and process. When he saw he was always losing and as a weeze, the "boss " decided he would intimidate by claiming that some money I HAD been paid previously needed to be REPAID because another of the directors had given me a personal cheque rather than a company cheque The SCC Master just about ripped their heads off for that stunt. The LC and SCC are more supportive than you think. They have seen it all and more in those places. Have faith and don't be intimidated.
    Thank you so much for taking your time to write up such a lengthy and detailed reply. You're absolutely right. The contract is sneaky, but ambiguous. It also does not mention who should pay upon the "landlords final decision". If she wants to repair/replace it is her decision, however, it does not state who should pay the price for this decision.

    I will definitely ask whether I can represent them on the behalf of both the company and my father. I think this is the best for everyone involved. Hopefully things work out but I am skeptical. I guess the silver lining is that it 40k but I feel that we can fight harder for it. I hate giving up early, especially when its something that we can do something about.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    13

    Oh and as a warning for anyone planning to rent:
    the apartment is located in causeway bay, along Cleveland street. The name of the building has two words, one starts with a 'N' and the other 'M'. The flat is of the first letter of the alphabet and on the (8-3)th floor. The landlord is a lady named Gloria.

    Hope this was ambiguous enough not to be sued for defamation.

    AmyMi likes this.

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