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Renting an Office in Hong Kong

May 3rd, 2012 · No Comments

This is a How-to meant for people who are doing business in Hong Kong and wish to rent an office in Hong Kong, however, has no idea how to proceed. This will help you chose a suitable location, and write an effective rent agreement.

1. Be familiar with the  different business districts in Hong Kong and choose wisely per your requirement. Central is the most-in-demand area as it issituated in the nerve center of Hong Kong; Sheung Wan is an old business district in North-west Hong Kong and it is known for its dried seafood trade businesses; Wai Chai and Causeway Bay are close to Central and are thickly populated areas dotted with commercial complexes; Admiralty is popular with the MNCs; Island East is the best-planned business district in Hong Kong; Tsim Sha Suri is where you can find financial institutions, hotels and shopping centers.

2. How long do you wish to want to stay in Hong Kong? Will you hire or transfer employees to Hong Kong? In the event  you need an office for a short duration, try renting a Hong Kong serviced office. However,if you want a regular office with a long lease, then you have to talk with a Hong Kong property agent or look through online real estate portals. If you prefer to work with a real estate agent, look for one who has a valid license issued by the government.

3. While renting a serviced office or a conventional office, always reconcile your location with your budget and eventually you have to  compare available options.

4. You are directed to present a letter of offer and pay a holding deposit once you choose an office. The offer letter is just like a provisional rental agreement. The holding deposit is equal to 1 month’s rent (3 months’ rent in some cases), and it is refundable. Once the property owner affix his signature in the letter of offer, he is precluded to  offer the same office to any other client.

5. Then it is time for signing the tenancy agreement, which is a formal document and contains the rights and responsibilities of tenant and property owner. Tenants are required to pay 2-3 months deposit at the time of signing this agreement. This deposit is refundable. For conventional offices, the duration of the  lease duration is 2-3 years, and it can be renewed by mutual consent. Serviced offices on the other hand are available for a shorter duration (1 month and upward).

6. Tenants are mandated to pay the maintenance charges monthly, which are computed on a per-square foot basis. The property owner shall borne payments for the repairs and for paying the property tax, which is calculated as 5% of the rental value; in addition, the property owner is also obligated to pay the lease tax, if applicable – these clauses must be stipulated in the agreement. A one-time stamp duty has to be paid for renting conventional office space. No stamp duty may be required for renting a serviced office.

7. Tenants who hire the services of a  property agent has  to pay for the  commission.

8. In  case of dispute, it is advisable that the tenant and property owner together shall  approach the property agent for proper action, and then the Lands Tribunal or the Small Claims tribunal in the absence of an agreement. No disputes arise when a tenant rents out a serviced office.


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