Hong Kong people’s enthusiasm for purchasing properties outside Hong Kong is still strong. However, purchasing undeveloped properties abroad incurs more risks and uncertainties than purchasing completed properties which are ready for inspection. The Estate Agents Authority (“EAA”) recently issued a series of new guidelines to licensed estate agents on 28 December 2023, aiming to provide consumers with better protection and build consumer confidence in engaging licensed estate agents when purchasing uncompleted properties situated outside Hong Kong (“UPOH”). The new guidelines will come into effect on 1 July 2024.
Following the implementation of the tenancy control regime for subdivided units (“SDU”) under Part IVA of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance (“Ordinance”) in 2022, the Estate Agents Authority issued a relevant practice circular last year providing guidelines for estate agents and salespersons to follow when handling SDU tenancies, among which they are required to inform clients about the security of tenure and rent regulation as stipulated in the Ordinance, including the two terms of two-year tenancy.
The tenancy control regime for subdivided units (“SDU”) under Part IVA of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance (“Ordinance”) has been implemented for over a year. The EAA also issued a relevant practice circular last year to regulate the practices of licensed estate agents in order to comply with the Ordinance. Taking the initiative to further protect the interests of the underprivileged in the community, the EAA has recently made every effort to facilitate the estate agency trade to sign the “Charter on Good Practices of Estate Agents in Handling Subdivided Unit Tenancy” (“the Charter”), thereby encouraging the trade to step forward in fulfilling their corporate social responsibilities.
A high degree of integrity in the financial systems could help maintain the role of Hong Kong as an international financial centre. This requires a joint effort from all stakeholders to combat money laundering, and the estate agency sector does share the responsibility by conducting a series of measures, including performing customer due diligence.
As you may know, the tenancy control regime for subdivided units (“SDU”) under Part IVA of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance (“Ordinance”) has come into effect on 22 January 2022. Not only tenants and landlords should be aware of their rights and obligations under this Ordinance, estate agents handling such tenancies also have an important role to play.
In the Year of the Rabbit, may I wish you all good health and good prosperity. At this moment of celebration and the start of a new year, let us review our work in the past year and look forward to the future. Here, I would like to share with you some of our 2022 figures.
Talking about property transactions, I believe most of you will appoint an estate agent to handle all related matters. In this regard, what is the role of an estate agent and how to find a professional estate agent?
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the enactment of the Estate Agents Ordinance and the establishment of the Estate Agents Authority (“EAA”). At this silver jubilee anniversary, the EAA organised a public seminar titled “Retrospect and Prospects of Hong Kong Property Market” on 30 July 2022 as the first celebration activity for this special occasion.
Purchasing properties situated outside Hong Kong is complicated, especially when purchasing uncompleted ones (“UPOH”) where the risk involved is even higher. Consumers should be extra vigilant and study all relevant information before making a purchase decision, and they should not blindly rely on property advertisements or online information. Before making a purchase decision, consumers should carry out risk assessment, in order to protect their own interests.
Some people might think that estate agents are only concerned about earning a fortune, when in fact many trade members care about society and contribute to the community. In this regard, the Estate Agents Authority (“EAA”) actively facilitates and encourages estate agents to participate in Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) activities in recent years.