Saturday, March 31, 2007

Happiness is ......

Happiness is a landlord with 100% occupancy, no arrears, no outstanding repairs or maintenance and no tenants having given notice to terminate their leases.

The lease on the only vacant property has been agreed and only awaits bank approval.

If only it could always be like this.

6 comments:

Raphael said...

Happiness for a tenant is not getting notice that he wants you to leave.

Rents are going up after a year, guess that comes with the package, but together with our project being cancelled at work, a looming job uncertainty the timing couldn't have been worse :)

Oh well, life goes on....

traineeinvestor said...

I have only ever asked one tenant to leave. Not only was he behind in his rent but the following happened:

1. his girlfriend moved in even though the lease specifed it was for his sole occupancy

2. girlfriend ran a bath

3. girlfriend started a very long telephone conversation

4. bath overflowed

5. tenant or girlfriend had stacked the spare toilet rolls on top of the drain so the overflow could not go where it was supposed to

6. result: the carpet, some of the curtains and the skirting board had to be replaced

7. the overflow spread to the flat beneath mine - their ceiling had to be repainted and there was some other minor water damage

8. girlfriend slipped on the water trying to turn the tap off and fell through the glass partition that formed part of the bath unit (luckily only a few minor cuts).

Generally I need a good reason before I would ask a tenant to leave. Default is the main one. A higher rental on renewal is another but if the difference between what a reliable trouble free tenant is willing to pay and the market rate is small, I will stick with the existing tenant everytime. Much better to have a good tenant paying below market than a vacancy or a bad tenant.

moneymonk said...

That is more than happiness , that is PERFECTION !

Raphael said...

Yes, I guess what annoys me is getting a legalize letter notifying me that the landlord is exercising his right to terminate the rental contract after 1 year pursuant to clause xxx...

Then getting an email saying if I'd like to call and renogiate the rent then contact him etc.

If he'd just let me know he was increasing the rent I'd probably stay, but getting an eviction notice first (the stick), followed by an offer to increase the rent is somewhat rude, at least in my view :)

traineeinvestor said...

Hi Raphael

What you describe is, unfortunately, a necessity from a legal perspective for reasons to do with Hong Kong tenancy laws. For tenancies negotiated prior to the recent changes to the law in this area, the tenancy will continue even after the expiry of the tenancy until either (i) the tenant moves out voluntarily or (ii) a new lease is negotiated or (iii) a statutory notice is issued and the statutory period has expired.

What the landlords to not want to happen is to start negotiations and then have them fall apart and then have to issue the notice to terminate the tenancy. This effectively extends the term of the tenancy at the old rental (which is not what the deal was).

Laws designed to protect tenants ended up having the unfortunate effect of allowing tenants to effectively extend the term of their lease by "negotiating" and then failing to reach agreement which forces the landlord to then issue the notice to quit and only then does the statutory time period start running.

Incidentially, you mention a one year notice period. Except for serviced apartments, most leases are for two year terms with only the tenant having a right to quit after one year. As a landlord, I would love to have the right to increase the rent each year - although I would rather have a fixed two year term without either party having the right to terminate early. I prefer certainty of cash flow to trying to extract every possible cent from my tenants.

Cheers
traineeinvestor

Raphael said...

Hi Trainee,

To be honest, I think if you push for a 1 year exit clause for yourself aswell, you'll probably get it, especially for Gwailo who've just arrived and don't know any different :)

It's still 2 months before my lease end, I guess I just would have preferred the landlord to discuss with me first before sending a legal letter. He was suprised I didn't respond (I didn't realize an eviction notice required a response?).

Be glad you're not in Australia. There tenants can go to the rental tenancies agency and protest against 'unfair rental increases', which is an extremely vague term!!! I mean, it's a free market, if you don't like it, move out. But protesting an 'unfair rental increase' seems bizare!