If you are an expat looking for an apartment in Hong Kong, it might be confusing for you to find one. Since the rental market in Hong Kong is a bit jeopardized, and the value differs depending on the location, it might be downright risky to find an apartment all by yourself. The price structure may vary rowdily for the same apartments located in different corners of the city, and moreover, there are no tenancy protections declared in the law and therefore you should not sign any paper without any expert’s advice.
So, if you are a non-native, and want to buy an apartment in Hong Kong you should be well aware of these five things. These things will give you a head start.
1.Property Management Services– Property Management Services act as a third party in between the buyer and the owner in exchange of a commission from the owner. But in Hong Kong, property management services are very rare in residential real estate. Therefore, while negotiating with the prices, and while signing the final agreement about the apartment, you just have to deal with the owner or one of their staff. This saves a lot of your money which goes to the third-party property management services in turn of the services they offer. This direct owner policy also saves the buyer from a lot of harassment and jeopardization.
2.TemporaryLease Agreement-Though Property Management Services are not very predominant in Hong Kong, most of the apartments or rental properties go through a property agency. Now, the Rental Agents will take half the monthly rent from both the parties of the deal, the buyer and the owner in turn of its services. The contract and the negotiations should be complete before signing the provisional lease agreement. The provisional lease agreement should be signed by the tenant, the landlord and the agent.
3.Lease Duration- The normal lease duration of the apartments in Hong Kong is 2 years. After a year, the tenants have a choice to leave the apartment by giving a two-month notice to the owner.
4.Rental Contracts-As we noted and correctly figured out that, Hong Kong doesn’t have a tenancy protection law. Therefore, everything and anything should be done on paper, so that in future there is a proof. All the protection you need during your stay in the apartment, should be clearly maintained in the contract that you sign with the owner.
5.Gross Floor Area-Most of the times, the price of the apartment depends on how big the apartment is. The apartments are sold and rented by quoting the gross floor area. Now often, the gross floor area also takes the common areas of the property like lifts, stairs, passageways in to consideration. Therefore, when you move in to your new apartment, it may seem small. For your best interest, you should ask for the net floor area, rather than the gross floor area.
As long as you keep the above 5 things in your mind, while buying a property in Hong Kong, you have nothing to worry. But, it is very important to take care of your contract, because that is the only piece of legal evidence with you. Therefore, learning how the Hong Kong real estate market works will give you a head start in finding a new apartment.