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Advice to New Property Owner on Rates/Government Rent Liability

  1. 1. How do I know if my property has any outstanding Government rent owed by ex-owner?

    You can check the rates and Government rent balance of your property at a charge of $20 via the “Enquiry on Rates and/or Government Rent Account” service on the Property Information Online or by completing Form RVD 1009 (pdf) with which a fee of $81 will be charged for each enquiry. For the latter method, please return the completed form together with a cheque payable to "The Government of the HKSAR" for the service charge to RVD by post or in person at 15/F Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon (MTR Sham Shui Po Station - Exit C1). A reply will normally be issued within 10 days.
  2. 2. I have settled my quarterly demands timely and there is no overdue amount shown on my demand. Does it mean that there is no outstanding rates or Government rent for my property?

    A property may have different Account Numbers at various periods of time. Each demand note only demand for the amount under a specified Account No. If the rates and Government rent owed by ex-owner is demanded under a different Account No, it will not be shown on your demand. You can check the rates and Government rent balance of your property at a charge of $20 via the “Enquiry on Rates and/or Government Rent Account” service on the Property Information Online or by completing Form RVD 1009 (pdf) with which a fee of $81 will be charged for each enquiry. The enquiry result will show the account balance, if any, and all the Account Number involved for the property. After that, you can then obtain a replacement demand for the particular Account Number for settlement.
  3. 3. If a property has outstanding Government rent owed by the ex-owner, what recovery action the Government may take and how will the current owner be affected?

    The Government will, by all means, recover the rent arrears from the relevant owner. If the Government rent which has been demanded remains unpaid, the Government is entitled to take back the property under the Government Rights (Re-entry and Vesting Remedies) Ordinance (Cap. 126). The current owner will have to incur extra cost to take back the title of his property. Having said that, we shall give sufficient notice to the affected owner before taking any re-entry action.
  4. 4. I am going to buy a property. What should I do to protect my interest as a new owner?

    Potential owners, particularly those buying second-hand property, are strongly advised to check the overall Rates and Government Rent balances of the property and ensure that all outstanding rates and Government rent are fully settled before buying a property. It is because the Government is entitled to take back the property under the Government Rights (Re-entry and Vesting Remedies) Ordinance (Cap. 126), if the Government rent, including that accrued before change of ownership, is not paid. You will incur extra costs to get the property back.

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