Date
30 March 2017
Young and old Hongkongers live in cubicles in subdivided flats in Sham Shui Po (left) and Kwun Tong (right). Photos: Lei Jih-Sheng, Chan Muk Nam/ soco.org.hk
Young and old Hongkongers live in cubicles in subdivided flats in Sham Shui Po (left) and Kwun Tong (right). Photos: Lei Jih-Sheng, Chan Muk Nam/ soco.org.hk

Most low-income tenants have been forced to move before

Most low-income tenants in Hong Kong, who have little negotiating power, have been forced to move out in the past, am730 reported Monday, citing a survey by the Society for Community Organization (SoCO).

SoCO interviewed 101 tenants of subdivided flats from October to March.

It found that 59 percent of them had been forced to move out at least once during a lease.

And 5 percent said they had been forced to relocate more than four times.

Asked the reason, 41 percent said they couldn’t afford the rising rent, and 17 percent said the landlords wanted to redecorate or rebuild their flats.

The survey also showed that 12 percent of the interviewees had disputes with their landlords over either the rent or the length of notice they had to give before moving out.

Among the tenants, 6 percent had their deposits deducted, and another 6 percent were threatened with the cutting off of water or electricity.

Some suffered nuisance calls or destruction of their property, the survey said.

Further, as 20 percent of the tenants had not signed a lease with the landlord, their rights and interests couldn’t be guaranteed.

SoCO said 19 percent of interviewees were forced to move out immediately or given less than a month’s notice to do so.

It urged the government to revise the rules to better protect the rights of tenants.

SoCO suggested that landlords be prevented from taking back flats during the lease period without reasonable reason, and that tenants should be given at least three months’ notice to move out after the expiration of a lease.

– Contact us at [email protected]

KZ/AC/FL

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe