A Lam Tin shopping mall operator is under fire for charging its non-profit tenants management fees up to 80 percent of their monthly rents.
Yau Man Investment Ltd. told tenants in Kwong Tin Shopping Center that they are free to move out if they disagree with the decision, Ming Pao Daily reports.
It said nothing in their lease agreements prevents it from collecting management fees, Yau Man Investment director Tam Kai said, adding the company is “not running a charity”.
Labor Party legislator Fernando Cheung accused the company of immoral tactics.
Any additional fees on non-profit organizations are “unreasonable and intolerable”, he said.
He said the government should intervene to prevent similar practices in the future.
Yau Man bought the property from Link REIT in 2015 with the understanding that rents will be capped at Housing Authority levels, news website thestandnews.com reports.
Link REIT said Yau Man has complied with the rent cap but added their agreement does not prevent the latter from charging other fees.
A Housing Authority spokesperson reminded Yau Man that social welfare organizations are entitled to a discounted rent.
He said the authority does not levy any fees on top of the monthly rent.
Welfare groups are complaining that the extra charge is a form of rent increase and negates any rent discounts they receive from the landlord.
Meanwhile, Labor and Social Welfare Secretary Matthew Cheung promised to look into the matter, saying welfare groups play an important role in society.
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