Rights and obligations of landlords and tenants

Landlords have a number of rights and obligations. These derive from both landlord and tenant law, as well as from any tenancy agreement between landlord and tenant. The law and obligations it imposes are designed to protect both parties within a leasing agreement. Understanding how such agreements work, and your rights and responsibilities is crucial to any business owner.

A typical commercial property contract in Hong Kong is based off a standard 3 year lease. If it is less than 3 years, the landlord may choose, at the own discretion as to whether they want to register the lease. For any lease exceeding 3 years it is a statutory requirement to register the lease.


The landlord’s obligations

Offer letters can come in two forms. A “Subject to Contract” offer can be non-committal and won’t bind either party to its terms. Though some landlords will require tenants to sign binding offers that are accompanied by deposits and pre-rental agreements.

Once an offer is confirmed, it will be required to proceed to formalizing a Tenancy Agreement. After signing the Tenancy Agreement, your landlord or his solicitor should request payment of the deposit (which is normally in the range of 1-3 months’ rent), first month’s rent, rates, management charges, and a half share of the stamp duty. If you have already paid an ‘advanced deposit’ this will be deducted from your Tenancy Agreement deposit and the balance will be payable.

The landlord reserves the right to make rules and regulations for the better running of the estate. The landlord also has the right to enter the premises to inspect, make repairs, show a purchaser or new tenants the premises, or to check that no breach of covenant has taken place at any deemed reasonable time.


The tenant’s obligations

If the tenant does not wish to renew, the tenancy will simply expire on the contractual date for expiry of the tenancy agreement.

The tenant should make sure that the landlord’s regulations are reasonable. Where the rules and regulations contradict the terms of the tenancy agreement, the tenancy agreement will prevail.

The tenant has to pay rent and other charges reserved by the lease. The tenant also has to pay the landlord’s costs in connection with the landlord enforcing his/her rights under the lease.

The deeper elements of law surrounding any commercial lease are more complicated. Obtaining the advice of an experienced property broker like JLL Property is thus highly recommended.


Hong Kong law is pro-landlord

Hong Kong


Changes in law like the removal of the security of tenure and the ability to forfeit a contract after 15 days of delay in rental payment (or persistent delays in payment) have changed the balance of power in favour of the landlord.

In addition, office space for rent in Hong Kong is subject to deposit held by the landlord without interest and refunded to the tenant upon expiration of lease. The cost of any damage or reinstatement work necessary, other than fair wear and tear, will be deducted from the deposit before repayment. Occasionally landlords will insert redevelopment clauses, which allows them to remove tenants with short notice periods should they decide to redevelop their building.

Winning space in Hong Kong’s offices is a challenging task from a legislative perspective. JLL Property office leasing specialists will be delighted to assist with navigating property law and your search for an office.


Eric ChongEric Chong is the Senior Analyst of Research for JLL in Hong Kong. JLL provides corporate strategic, restructuring and transaction advice, equity and debt financing advice, management contract negotiation, asset management, development structuring, valuation advice and market research. Follow him on LinkedIn.








Top photo via Shutterstock: Ismagilov


About Author



  1. Avatar

    Link exchange is nothing else but it is simply placing the other person’s web
    site link on your page at suitable place and other person will also
    do similar in favor of you.

  2. Avatar

    Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not
    seeing very good results. If you know of any please share.

  3. Avatar

    Hey very cool website!! Guy .. Excellent .. Superb ..
    I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also? I’m satisfied to find numerous helpful information right here within the
    post, we’d like work out extra techniques in this regard,
    thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  4. Avatar

    This design is incredible! You certainly know how to keep a reader amused.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to
    start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

  5. Avatar

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after going through many of the posts I realized it’s new to me.

    Regardless, I’m certainly delighted I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking
    it and checking back often!

  6. Avatar

    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my weblog thus i came
    to “return the favor”.I’m trying to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of
    your ideas!!

  7. Avatar

    Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest
    writing a blog article or vice-versa? My blog addresses a lot of the
    same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from
    each other. If you’re interested feel free to shoot me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Terrific blog
    by the way!

  8. Avatar

    Very good blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m
    a little lost on everything. Would you propose
    starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices
    out there that I’m completely confused .. Any ideas? Thank you!

  9. Avatar

    Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i
    subscribe for a blog web site? The account aided me a
    acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted
    of this your broadcast offered bright clear idea

  10. Avatar

    I’m not sure exactly why but this web site is loading incredibly slow for
    me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists.

  11. Avatar

    Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all people you actually recognise what you’re
    talking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally discuss with my web site =).
    We could have a hyperlink trade agreement among us

  12. Avatar

    Fantastic goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just
    extremely fantastic. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you
    are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you
    still care for to keep it wise. I cant wait to read far more from you.

    This is actually a great website.

  13. Avatar

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you
    relied on the video to make your point. You definitely
    know what youre talking about, why waste your intelligence on just
    posting videos to your blog when you could be giving us something enlightening to read?

  14. Avatar

    You can definitely see your skills within the article you write.
    The world hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who
    are not afraid to say how they believe. All the time go after your heart.

  15. Avatar

    Greetings! I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give
    you a shout out from Huffman Texas! Just wanted to tell you
    keep up the great job!

  16. Avatar

    Hey this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs
    use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get advice from someone
    with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  17. Avatar

    Great blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring
    writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go
    for a paid option? There are so many choices out
    there that I’m totally confused .. Any suggestions?

    Many thanks!

Leave A Reply