Guide to Renting in Hong Kong
Renting an apartment in Hong Kong should be a straightforward process. This city has an abundance of consistently good rental properties due to the locals continuing love affair with property, and the number of transient residents that come and go under work contracts. Supply generally meets demand in the rental market, however there are always some hard and fast rules that you need to be aware of to make your renting experience in Hong Kong both relaxed and enjoyable. It is a privilege for every tenant to be allowed to live in a house or apartment that someone else owns, but owners too have to be responsible of the well-being, comfort and safety of their paying tenants.
Use A Professional Agent
Although there is a standard contract governing residential tenancy agreements between landlords and renters, many provisions can be optional so it is absolutely important to review such proposed agreements in detail before signing them off. After all, a few hours of your due diligence could save a couple of years’ worth of potential household misery. This is where a professional Real Estate Agency is well worth engaging in for your search, to walk you through and explain or advise on certain details and provisions and to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding on either side. The balance of power within the real estate negotiation table favors landlords than the tenants in a dispute in Hong Kong so you want to be protected and sure upfront.
There are certain things you need to look out for in tenancy agreement documents. Review their wording and try to include them if they’re missing. Again, seek the advice of your professional Real Estate Agent. A good landlord and a good tenant will not find it difficult to form a harmonious relationship for sometimes years so long as they both understand the boundaries of the undertaking.
Some General Considertions (each landlord will differ in what they accept or will not)
- Prior to occupying the residential premises, landlords are expected to repaint the apartment. This is a common practice in Hong Kong, so you (or the landlord) may use this as a bargaining chip; tenant may give up demanding the repaint job in return for lower rates or landlord may justify the brand-new look of the apartment to ask for more.
- Complete set of keys (front door, inside doors, mailbox, etc)
- Detailed list of contents such as appliances, fittings and furniture and their working condition
- Accessories such as remote controls for air conditioning, ceiling fans, TV’s etc.
- User manuals for any appliances provided
- Access cards to building entrances if existing