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Glossary of Commonly Used Terms

Government Rent

Government rent is the rent payable for a land lease by the lessee to the Government in accordance with the lease terms and any relevant legislation. This Department is responsible for the Government rent assessed and collected under the Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Ordinance, which is calculated at 3% of the rateable value of a property.

Government Rent Roll

Government Rent Roll refers to the roll recording the descriptions and rateable values of all tenements that have been assessed to Government rent.

Interim Valuation

Interim valuation means making a valuation of a tenement which is not included in the Valuation List and/or Government Rent Roll and is liable for assessment to rates and/or Government rent.

Minimum Rateable Value

Any property of which the rateable value does not exceed the “Minimum Rateable Value” (currently at $3,000) is exempted from assessment to rates. Besides, no demand for Government rent will be issued to such property.


After a general revaluation, any person who is aggrieved by an entry in the Valuation List or Government Rent Roll may object to the new rateable value by submitting a "Proposal" in the specified Form R20A to alter the entry in the Valuation List or Government Rent Roll.

Rateable Value

Rateable value is an estimated annual rental value of a property at a designated valuation reference date, assuming that the property was then vacant and to let.


Rates are one of Hong Kong's indirect taxes levied on properties. They are charged at a percentage of the rateable value. The current rates percentage charge is 5%. They were originally levied in the form of the Police Rate to pay the expenses for maintaining the police force in Hong Kong.

Saleable Area

Saleable area is defined as the floor area exclusively allocated to a residential unit including balconies, verandahs, utility platforms and other similar features but excluding common areas such as stairs, lift shafts, pipe ducts, lobbies and communal toilets. It is measured to the exterior face of the external walls and walls onto common parts or the centre of party walls. Bay windows, flat roofs, top roofs, stairhoods, cocklofts, gardens, terraces, yards, air-conditioning plant rooms, air-conditioning platforms, planters/flowers boxes and car parking spaces are excluded.

Valuation List

Valuation List refers to the list recording the descriptions and rateable values of all tenements that have been assessed to rates.

Valuation Reference Date

Valuation reference date is a designated common reference date. Rateable values of all properties are determined by reference to the prevailing market rental levels at that date. In recent years, the relevant date has been fixed at 1 October.