Apartment lease & Probation period?

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  1. #1

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    Aug 2009
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    Apartment lease & Probation period?

    Hi,

    I am going to move to HK in two weeks and i am planning to stay at least two years there. The issue is that i can't take a long term lease that would allow me some discount rate because the first three months i would be under a probation period.

    What exactly is the apartment lease? Are there some conditions under which it can be broken like a loss of employment?

    In France, the tenant can leave when he wants (with a 3 months notice period), and i though HK would be more flexible. Am I wrong?

    Thanks for your answer.

    Cheers


  2. #2

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    Yes, you are wrong in the sense of some sort of mandated requirement - HK is a capitalist society not a socialist one!

    You can negotiate any terms in your lease which are mutually acceptable to you and the landlord, so if you can get them to accept a "probation clause" then that's fine. But this would be unusual. The normal lease has a 12 month minimum term before notice (or a further 1 or two months) can then be given.

    If you're worried about the probation period then simply rent a short-term serviced apartment for the first 3 months and then get an apartment on a longer lease. Getting a serviced apartment for the first few weeks is generally recommended anyway so that you get a feeling for the different areas of HK and where you would like to live before committing to a 12+1/2 lease.


  3. #3

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    Ummm, not quite sure how it works in France, but in HK, what I do with my tenants is that they sign a 2 year contract - the 1st year is dead, in that they have to rent at least a year (and I as landlord have to make available for rent) or they forfeit the 2 months deposit they have to lodge with me on inception (or I have to pay the equivalent of 2months to the tenant if I am the defaulting party), after which its one month's notice or payment in lieu. Effectively, its a one year contract after which it's one month's notice by either party. There is no probation lease period normally.


  4. #4

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    Renting in HK tends to tie you into committing more. As many people aren't home-owners the rental norms are more geared towards those who spend their lives in rented accommodation.


  5. #5

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    Under which condition a lease can be broken?

    If i take a 1 year lease and i loose my job after 3 months what happen to me?


  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asheru
    Under which condition a lease can be broken?

    If i take a 1 year lease and i loose my job after 3 months what happen to me?
    The landlord could ask you to continue paying the rent for the length of the contract. If you leave Hong Kong and break the contract, the landlord can keep your deposit. The landlord could sue in in a civil court for unpaid rent.

  7. #7

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    You still have to pay the rent, you signed a contract. Unless as is said above you negotiate an earlier break, although that would be unusual.


  8. #8

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    Techinically, yes, the landlord could do that, but the landlord has to make reasonable effort to mitigate his loss. Therefore, by the time the case comes to court, he may have got another tenant in and if the new rent is more or less the same as the rent you were paying, then the landlord's loss effectively mitigated by the new rent.

    Practically, as a Landlord, I would take the deposit on hold and not pursue further action as I would fully expect to get another tenant in within the 2 months deposit I hold.


  9. #9

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    Would you be perfectly happy then if the tenant found a replacement to move in the day they moved out so no rent is lost. Happy enough to refund deposit in full? Do you think most landlords here would?

    I'm moving soon, but not sure if I'll stick out the entirety of a new contract or not. If I left early I would find a replacement to move in as I leave, but I kind of half expect to still be screwed out of my deposit. What do you think?


  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by kryzlowski
    Would you be perfectly happy then if the tenant found a replacement to move in the day they moved out so no rent is lost. Happy enough to refund deposit in full? Do you think most landlords here would?

    I'm moving soon, but not sure if I'll stick out the entirety of a new contract or not. If I left early I would find a replacement to move in as I leave, but I kind of half expect to still be screwed out of my deposit. What do you think?
    Depends on the terms of the tenancy agreement I guess and the morals of your landlord. If the tenancy agreement is the typical one year dead period followed by a one year period of one month's notice by either side, then I don't understand why you have to pay a forfeit. In most cases, the landlord is reasonable, all he wants to do is not lose out. If you could get someone in when you leave, and I approve of the new tenant, I wouldn't keep any of the departing tenant's deposit - but again, that's me...

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