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Renting Guide - Lease Term
Leasing Conditions
Most properties are leased out in good decorative condition, unfurnished, and often but not always provided with appliances which may include cookers, refrigerators, washing and drying machines, dishwashers and air-conditioners, but excluding soft furnishings such as carpets and curtains. Except for serviced apartments, there are far fewer furnished apartments available, and these few are usually smaller units with only one or two bedrooms.

Air-conditioners are essential for comfortable living during the summer months and, if not provided by the Landlord, will need to be installed by the tenant.

There are also serviced apartments available offering good to excellent facilities for short lease periods of three months or longer. The rentals for these units are comparatively higher. Most have one or two bedrooms although some three bedroom units are available.

Rentals
Rentals are in Hong Kong dollars payable monthly in advance and, except for serviced apartments, are usually exclusive of monthly management fees and Government rates, for which an additional 12% to 15% of the rent should be budgeted.
Deposits
These are usually equivalent to two, occasionally three, months' rental and are payable to the landlord when an offer to lease is accepted. They are mostly refundable in full should the Tenancy Agreement not be signed. Once the Tenancy Agreement is signed, the deposit is held by the Landlord without interest, and refunded to the tenant upon expiration of the lease. The cost of any damage or reinstatement work necessary to the apartment, other than fair wear and tear, will be deducted from the deposit before repayment.
Tenancy Agreement
Most tenancy agreements in Hong Kong are for a two year period, although it is often possible to have an escape clause that gives the tenant the right to break the tenancy on giving 2 or 3 months' notice to the landlord after a minimum occupation period of 12 to 15 months.
Government Rates & Rent
Rent Rates are a form of property tax on leased accommodation, assessed by and payable to Government at approximately 5.5% of the approximate annual rental value. In addition, properties in some districts (part of the New Territories and outlying islands) are subject to Government land rent, which is calculated at 3% of the rateable value. These charges are payable quarterly in advance by the tenant.
Government Stamp Duty
A form of Government tax payable on all Tenancy Agreements and usually payable by the tenant and Landlord in equal shares. The total amount payable on a two-year lease is 0.5% of the annual rent plus $5, or 0.25% of the annual rent plus $5 for a one-year lease (uncommon except for serviced apartments).
Management Fee
These fees, payable by all occupants, provide for communal services such as security guards, cleaning and maintenance of common areas and amenities. The amount varies according to the age and number of units in a building and the type of amenities or quality of services provided.
Legal Fee
The Tenancy Agreement is usually provided by the Landlord or his solicitor (lawyer) with an initial draft for the tenant's approval. The tenant may use a solicitor to review the lease at his discretion. Each party is responsible for their own legal fees.
Agency Fee
An introductory fee of half of one month's rental is payable by the tenant. In accordance with local practice, the agent may also accept a fee from a third party such as the Landlord or Landlord's agent. Package details available to corporations on request.
Utilities
Except for serviced apartments, it is the tenant's obligation to arrange for connection of utilities such as gas, electricity and telephone/fax lines. A deposit or connection fee is payable to each provider, roughly equivalent to two months' estimated usage, refundable on termination of the service.