Advice to New Property Owner on Rates/Government Rent Liability
Who is responsible for paying rates and Government rent?Both the owner and the occupier are liable for rates. Pursuant to the Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Ordinance (Cap 515), Government may demand Government rent from the owner or the ratepayer of the property.
Points to note when buying a property
- Check the property's overall rates and Government rent balances via the "Enquiry on rates and/or Government rent Account" service on the Property Information Online or using Form RVD 1009 (pdf) .
- Ensure that the rates and Government rent are fully paid before completion of the purchase.
- After completion of purchase, inform RVD of the change in the registered payer's name and/or correspondence address as soon as possible.
Consequences of not paying rates and Government rentA 5% surcharge will be imposed immediately for late payment. If the outstanding amount is not settled after six months, a further 10% surcharge will be imposed and the Government may take legal action to recover the outstanding amount.
If the Government rent, including that accrued before change of ownership, is not paid, the Government is entitled to take back the property under the Government Rights (Re-entry and Vesting Remedies) Ordinance (Cap 126). You will incur extra costs to get the property back.