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Government Rent

Property owners are liable to pay Government rent under their land leases. The liability may be affected by the following Ordinances:-

  1. The Government Rent and Premium (Apportionment) Ordinance [Cap. 125]
    1. This apportions the liability to pay Government rent between individual owners of interests in the same lot.
  2. The Government Leases Ordinance [Cap. 40]
    1. This provides for the determination of Government rent payable on renewal of a Government lease which contains a right of renewal for a further term.
  3. The New Territories (Renewable Government Leases) Ordinance [Cap. 152]
    1. This provides for the determination of Government rent payable on renewal of certain Government leases in the New Territories which expired on 30th June, 1973.
  4. The New Territories Leases (Extension) Ordinance [Cap. 150]
    1. This provides for the determination of Government rent payable upon extension of certain Government leases in the New Territories to 30th June, 2047.
  5. The Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Ordinance [Cap. 515]
    1. This provides for the assessment and collection of Government rent on certain Government leases extending after 28th June, 1997.

The Commissioner of Rating and Valuation is responsible to assess and collect Government rent ("the New Government Rent") under this Ordinance in respect of interests in land held under the following leases.

  1. A lease under which there is an express obligation to pay an annual rent of an amount equal to 3% of the rateable value from time to time of the land leased.
  2. A lease extended by section 6 of the New Territories Leases (Extension) Ordinance [Cap. 150].

Information on the assessment and collection of the New Government Rent are posted in Rating and Valuation Department's homepage http://www.rvd.gov.hk/.

The Lands Department is responsible to collect the rent in the following manner:-

  1. For properties in the urban area
    1. Demand Notes will be issued
      1. once every 6 months for rent exceeding $100.00 per annum.
      2. once every 5 years for rent for $100.00 or less per annum.
  2. For properties in the New Territories
    1. Demand Notes will be issued
      1. once every year for rent exceeding $100.00 per annum.
      2. once every 5 years for rent of $100.00 or less but greater than 1 cent per annum.
      3. once every 10 years for rent not exceeding 1 cent per annum.

The Lands Department issues about 220,000 Demand Notes for Government rent in May and November each year. While the great majority of owners pay promptly, in the event of default by any owners to pay the rent, Government will take appropriate action to recover the rent due as referred to in the paragraph - Consequences if the Government Rent is not paid.

  1. Non-payment of the rent is a breach of a covenant in the land lease and is a defect in the owner's title to the property, which may interfere with the owner's ability to sell the property, because it puts the property at risk of being re-entered by the Government.
  2. Government will take all possible recovery actions, including but not limited to, taking enforcement action by way of legal proceedings against the owner and re-entry action under the Government Rights (Re-entry and Vesting Remedies) Ordinance [Cap. 126].
  3. In the event of re-entry
    1. Government becomes owner of the property and is lawfully entitled to take possession of the property and, if it so wishes, remove any occupiers, including the former owner.
    2. All rights and interests of the owner in the property under the land lease, including the right to receive rent from tenants, cease and the Government may let or sell the property without the former owner being entitled to any payment or compensation.
  4. Following re-entry, the former owner may apply for cancellation under the Government Rights (Re-entry and Vesting Remedies) Ordinance [Cap. 126]. Cancellation is normally conditional on all rent arrears and Government's costs of re-entry being paid in full. Property owners will incur additional costs to get their property back.
  1. Failure to settle the rent, even if the rent is for a period prior to the current owner purchasing the property, is a breach of a covenant of the land lease and will enable the Government, as landlord, to re-enter the property.
  2. The current owner should therefore ensure that all outstanding rent of the property has been paid, whether or not the outstanding rent is in respect of a period before he acquired the property.

A purchaser should ensure that the solicitor acting on his behalf in the purchase of a property confirms that the rent of the property has been paid up to date or apportioned between the vendor and himself at the date of completion.

  1. For properties in the urban area
    1. in person or by post to the Government Rent and Premium Unit of the Lands Department at 1/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong.
    2. by calling the Telephone Hotline 2231 3033#.
    An enquiry fee of $235.00 per property is payable if a written reply is required.

  2. For properties in the New Territories
    1. In person at the relevant District Lands Office which issues the rent demands.
    An enquiry fee of $800.00 per lot is payable if a written reply is required.

Property owners are advised to notify The Director of Lands of any changes in ownership or owners' correspondence addresses so that Demand Notes for the rent can be properly issued and addressed to them.

  1. For properties in the urban area, property owners can either write to or complete the "Notification For Change of Name & Address" at the back of the Demand Note and return it to the Government Rent and Premium Unit of the Lands Department at 1/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong.
  2. For properties in the New Territories, change of address should be notified in writing to the relevant District Lands Office which issues the rent demands.
  3. Property owners may also visit GovHK "Change of Address" to report changes of their addresses.
  1. Demand Notes for Government rent can be paid :
    1. Payment by Phone Service (PPS) @
    2. Internet;
    3. e-Cheque / e-Cashier's Order;
    4. Automatic Teller Machine (ATM);
    5. Autopay;
    6. By post (for cheque only);
    7. In person at any post office; or
    8. In person at designated convenience store (for cash only)

    Details of payment methods are printed in the Demand Note.

  2. Owners of properties in urban area who have not received or have lost the Demand Notes may contact the Government Rent and Premium Unit of the Lands Department at 1/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong or call Telephone Hotline 2231 3033# to obtain the duplicate Demand Notes for settlement.

  1. What happens if I do not pay the Government rent?

    Non-payment of Government rent is a breach of a covenant in the lease and puts the property at risk of being re-entered by the Government. Please also refer to the Paragraph - Consequences if the Government Rent is not paid.

  2. If my property is vacant, am I still liable to pay Government rent?

    Yes. Government rent is payable no matter if the property is occupied or left vacant.

  3. I am the new owner of my property. Am I responsible for any outstanding Government rent before my acquisition?

    Yes. Failure to pay the rent , even if the rent is for a period prior to the current owner acquiring the property, is a breach of a covenant of the land lease which enables the Government, as landlord, to re-enter the property. Therefore, a purchaser should ensure that the solicitor or the estate agent acting on his behalf in the purchase of a property confirms that the rent has been paid up to date or apportioned between the vendor and himself at the date of completion.

  4. How can I make enquiry on outstanding Government rent?

    You may call Telephone Hotline 2231 3033# and quote the Government rent reference number to our staff. If you are a potential purchaser of a property, you are encouraged to make a written enquiry of the Government rent account, either by yourself or through your solicitor. A fee of $235.00 will be charged for a written reply for each property in urban area.

If Government rent/premium of a piece of land has not yet been apportioned on individual units, Legal Advisory and Conveyancing Office of Lands Department will apportion it upon application by any owner of undivided shares in the land. The calculation for apportionment of Government rent/premium is made according to the Government Rent and Premium (Apportionment) Ordinance (Cap. 125). The Notice of Apportionment is published in the Government Gazette.

Please click here for the Application Form for Apportionment of Government Rent/Premium of Premises.

Date of Issue : 27 November 2020

The Lands Department announced today (November 27) that demand notes for Government rent in excess of $100 per annum for the half year ending December 25 in respect of properties subject to the Government Leases Ordinance (Cap. 40) and certain other properties have been issued.

Payers can settle Government rent through various electronic means including autopay, bank automated teller machines (ATMs), e-Cheque/ e-Cashier’s Order, payment by phone service (PPS), and bill payment services provided by banks and PPS on the Internet. Payment may also be made in person and in cash at designated convenience stores. For details, please visit the Treasury's website.

Payment may be made by sending a crossed cheque to PO Box No. 28000, Gloucester Road Post Office, Hong Kong, or in person to any post office. Please ensure sufficient mailing time and postage to make delivery in order. Underpaid mails will be rejected. For locations of post offices and their opening hours, please call Hongkong Post's enquiry hotline at 2921 2222 or visit the Hongkong Post's website.

Government rent payers who have not received their demand notes should enquire at the Government Rent and Premium Unit of the Lands Department at 1/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong, or call 2231 3033.

Purchasers of properties are strongly advised to instruct their solicitors to ensure that Government rent has been paid to date at the time of purchase. Enquiries on outstanding accounts can be made at 2231 3033 or email to landsd@landsd.gov.hk. An enquiry fee is payable for each property if a written confirmation of accounts position is needed.


Note:

  1. You can listen to the pre-recorded messages on our system, or if you choose to talk to the operator, your call will be transferred to the "1823". You may also call 1823 direct (operates round the clock) for LandsD's service.
  2. The no. of daily payments per bill is up to 3.