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2. If my landlord refuses to return the rental deposit to me, what can I do?

The nature of the rental deposit is to secure the tenant’s performance of its obligations under the tenancy.  Depending on the terms of the tenancy agreement, the landlord may be entitled to forfeit the rental deposit in full or in part if the tenant fails to pay the rent or other sum due under the tenancy agreement, or if the landlord has suffered any damage due to the failure by the tenant to perform its covenant.

 

If the landlord has unreasonably refused to return the rental deposit, and the parties fail to reach consensus by negotiation, the tenant may need to commence legal action to recover the rental deposit from the landlord.

 

The proper venue for the litigation would depend on the amount in dispute:-

(a)      Small Claims Tribunal — where the claim is for HK$75,000 or less;

(b)      District Court — where the claim exceeds HK$75,000 but do not exceed HK$3,000,000; or

(c)      Court of First Instance, for any claim exceeding HK$3,000,000.

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