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Basic Facts

Essential HK Apartment Rental Guide

Get the low down on all the basic details you need to know when you first enter into a lease agreement. Our HK rental guide has details on all the essential terms and bodies you’ll encounter when leasing an apartment or office.
Standard handover Conditions
Standard handover conditions refers to a bare shell condition which normally includes suspended ceiling with light fixtures and sprinkler system, and fan coil units for central air-conditioning. Tenants are usually required to return their premises back to bare shell condition upon expiry of leases. However, there are some situations where fixtures and fittings are preserved for the next tenant.
Property Ownership
Property ownership can be categorized into two types – single ownership and stratified ownership (individual ownership). In Hong Kong, most of the commercial buildings are owned by single owners while office units are mostly owned by stratified owners. As stratified ownership buildings refer to buildings that are owned by different individuals who may have different views and opinions regarding building management policies, building management services of this kind of buildings are more fragmented and inconsistent while comparing with single ownership buildings.
Incorporated Owners
Incorporated Owners is a legal entity formed by owners of a building who coordinates issues related to the running of building management and maintenance. It is an important channel for owners of a building to express their opinions and make important decisions on issues regarding building management policies and maintenance.
Air-conditioning
Air-conditioning is an essential criteria for premises in Hong Kong, as in summer months it is hot and humid and air pollution problem is serious. Most modern office buildings in Hong Kong provide central air-conditioning and incorporate this charge in the management fees. However, depends on the structure of each building, installation of split air-conditioners may also be possible.
Building Management
Building Management is responsible for supervising management and maintenance work of building. It is appointed by building owner or incorporated owners.
Deed of Mutual Covenant (DMC)
Deed of Mutual Covenant is a contract signed between developer, first purchaser of a unit and management company of a building to specify rights and liabilities of each property owner. It includes regulations and rules on the use of common areas and facilities, appointment of building manager, sharing of management and maintenance cost etc. Although not all property owners signed on the Deed of Mutual Covenant, all of them are bound by this contract.
Estate Agent
Estate Agent refers to an individual or a company that provides estate agency service. In Hong Kong, all estate agents no matter individual or company must be licensed and are required to present their license number clearly on all documentation including advertising materials. Complaints about an Estate Agent may be made to the Estate Agency Authority.
Estate Agency Authority (EAA)
Estate Agency Authority is set up on 1 November 1997. It is a body that monitors and regulates the Estate Agency industry in accordance with the Estate Agents Ordinance. Apart from being a monitor and regulator, to achieve the purpose of Continuing Professional Development, EAA also acts as an educator who organizes Estate Agency training programs regularly for licensed Estate Agent.
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