General Issues and Forms
Where a property is chargeable to both rates and Government rent, generally a combined demand for rates and Government rent will be issued to the payer at the beginning of each quarter.
Responsibility for Payment
Both the owner and the occupier are liable for rates. In practice, this will depend on the terms of the agreement between the owner and occupier of the premises. In the absence of any agreement to the contrary, liability for rates rests with the occupier.
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
Rates and Government rent are payable quarterly in advance. Payers will normally receive the quarterly "Demand for Rates and/or Government Rent" (Demand) at the beginning of each quarter and need to settle the Demand by the "Last Day for Payment" as shown on the Demand. The "Last Day for Payment" normally falls on the last day of the first month of each quarter, namely, January, April, July and October (excluding Saturday, Sunday and Public Holiday).
Surcharge for Late Payment and Recovery Actions
A 5% surcharge will be imposed immediately after the last day for payment. A further 10% surcharge will be imposed on any amount remaining outstanding (including the 5% surcharge already imposed) six months after the original last day for payment. If the amount demanded is not settled, 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.
Provision of Information to RVD Upon Sale
Upon completion of a sale transaction, the new owner (or the authorised agent/representative) is advised to notify RVD of any changes in payer's particulars (name and correspondence address) by:
- Form or Slip Submission; or
- Letter or Email; or
- Online Change of Payer's Particulars.