Areas of Practice

Landlord & Tenant

Landlord & Tenant

Landlord and Tenancy law in Hong Kong is governed by the terms of the lease, the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance (Cap. 7), and the common law. Tenancy disputes often involve claims for arrears of rent and management fees, vacant possession and delivery up of premises, failure to maintain premises in good and tenantable repair and condition, issues in respect of fair wear and tear and the inherent defects exception, recovery of security deposit, option to renew, wrongful termination of lease, quite enjoyment, derogation of grant, notice of termination of lease, forfeiture and repudiation of lease and damages for repudiation of lease.

Often, leasing disputes lead to costly and time consuming litigation which could have been avoided if appropriate termination clauses and/or condition precedent clauses were agreed upon, during the negotiation of the lease. For example, tenants under commercial leases often fail to obtain Government licences required to operate their commercial enterprises, after having entered into the lease. The tenant in such circumstances typically unilaterally vacates the premises prior to the expiry of the term of lease because it is unable to operate it business – which causes the landlord to sue for damages for breach of the tenancy agreement. As such, it is prudent to obtain legal representation during the negotiation phase of leases in order minimise the risk of future disputes. This is particularly important in Hong Kong, because it is usual practice for landlords at the outset demand that tenants sign a binding preliminary tenancy agreement prior to the negotiation of the terms of a formal lease.

Often disputes arise under residential tenancy agreements because the premises are sold during the term of the lease and the new owner is not prepared to accept actions by the tenant which had been tolerated by the previous owner. Payne Clermont Velasco represents both landlords and tenants at the Lands Tribunal and the District and High Courts of Hong Kong in respect of leasing disputes.

 

If you need assistance with your contentious leasing matter, please contact Damen Holmes at  damen.holmes@payneclermont.com