Skip to main content

Government Rent

Background

Privately owned land in Hong Kong is normally held from the Government by way of a 'land grant' known as a Government lease (formerly called a Crown lease) under which a rent is payable. Government rent (formerly Crown rent) is paid by the Government lessee (the 'owner') to the Government in return for the right to hold and occupy the land for the term (i.e. duration) specified in the lease document.

All land leases in the New Territories and New Kowloon north of Boundary Street expired on 27 June 1997. However, Annex III to the Sino-British Joint Declaration provided that non-renewable land leases which expired before 30 June 1997 were automatically extended up to 30 June 2047 without payment of an additional premium but with a new Government rent becoming payable from the date of extension. In addition, all land leases whether on Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, or the New Territories which have been granted since 27 May 1985, the date from which the Joint Declaration took effect, are also liable for the new Government rent from 1 July 1997.

The assessment and collection of the new Government rent is governed by the Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Ordinance (Cap. 515). The Government rent charged under the Ordinance is calculated at 3% of the rateable value of the property and is adjusted in step with any subsequent changes in the rateable value.

For details of the Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Ordinance (Cap. 515), please refer to the Hong Kong e-Legislation at http://www.elegislation.gov.hk.

Basis of Assessment

The basis of assessment of the rateable value for Government rent purposes is the same as that for rates. (Please refer to the Rates Section under Public Services for details)

Liability for Assessment

In general, the following types of properties are liable for Government rent:

  1. properties in the New Territories and New Kowloon north of Boundary Street;
  2. properties with land leases granted on or after 27 May 1985;
  3. properties with their non-renewable land leases extended on or after 27 May 1985 at a Government rent payable at 3% of the rateable value of the lot from time to time.

Exemption

An indigenous villager or his lawful successor in the male line (or tso, or tong) who (or which) has continuously owned an old schedule lot, village lot, small house or other rural holding since 30 June 1984, or small house or resite house granted after that date is entitled to exemption from liability to pay the new Government rent. Application for exemption from payment of the new Government rent should be made to the Director of Lands. Details can be obtained from the relevant District Lands Offices.

In cases where application for rent concession (i.e. exemption from liability to pay the new Government rent) has been made, the applicant should complete a declaration form (pdf) and return it to the Rating and Valuation Department so that arrangements can be made to suspend the issue of Government rent demands, pending outcome of the rent concession application.

Who is Responsible for Payment

The owner is liable for Government rent. The Government may however demand Government rent from the owner or the ratepayer of the property. If the person who pays Government rent is not the owner, he may claim reimbursement of the Government rent paid from the owner or offset the amount paid from any money due to the owner, unless there is an express agreement to the contrary.

When to Make Payment

(Please refer to Billing and Payment Section under Public Services)

Change of Payer's Name and Address

(Please refer to Billing and Payment Section under Public Services)

Objections and Appeals to Rateable Value

(Please refer to Rates Section under Public Services)

Forms Available for Use

The form mentioned above, Proposal and Notices of Objection, are available free of charge from the Department’s Enquiry Counter on 15th Floor of Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices at 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Home Affairs Enquiry Centres of Home Affairs Department, the Public Forms Section of the Department’s website or from the Department’s 24-hour Automated Telephone Enquiry Service by telephoning 2152 2152.

Lots in the New Territories Pending Assessment

The assessment of the new Government rent is ongoing since enactment of the Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Ordinance in 1997. Some private lots in the rural areas of the New Territories are still pending assessment. Demand for payment will be issued upon completion of assessment. Collection of Government rent may take retrospective effect from 28 June 1997, in accordance with the date when the property first became liable for the new Government rent. Please also refer to Government Rent Question 12 under Frequently Asked Questions Section.

Questions and Answers

(Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions Section)

To Learn More about Government Rent

(Please refer to the Property Rates in Hong Kong)

Further Enquiry Telephone Numbers

24-hour Automated Telephone Enquiry Service 2152 2152
24-hour Operator Service 2152 0111
Fax 2152 0123



Top