j) Mandatory Terms Implied for every Regulated Tenancy
According to Part IVA of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance (Cap. 7), the mandatory terms are to be impliedly incorporated into every regulated tenancy. The mandatory terms bind the landlord and tenant. The landlord and tenant may negotiate to include other requirements or provisions in the tenancy agreement. However, if such other requirements or provisions are in conflict or inconsistent with the mandatory terms, the mandatory terms shall prevail.
(a) Maintenance and repair
- The landlord must maintain and keep in repair the drains, pipes and electrical wiring serving the premises exclusively; and windows of the premises. In addition, the landlord must keep in proper working order the fixtures and fittings (e.g., the air-conditioner specified in the tenancy agreement) provided by the landlord in the premises.
- On receiving a notice from the tenant for repair of an item mentioned above, the landlord must carry out the repair as soon as practicable.
- If the landlord fails to fulfill any of his obligations, the tenant may, by giving the landlord not less than 30 days' prior notice in writing, terminate the tenancy.
(b) Stamping of tenancy agreement
- The landlord must, after receiving the tenancy agreement (including a Form AR1 signed by the landlord and tenant for a second term tenancy) signed by the tenant, arrange for the tenancy agreement to be stamped under the Stamp Duty Ordinance (Cap. 117), and within 30 days, return to the tenant a counterpart of the stamped tenancy agreement signed by the parties.
- The relevant stamp duty on the tenancy agreement is to be borne by the landlord solely.
- If the landlord fails to return the counterpart, the tenant may withhold the payment of rent until the landlord has done so.
- The tenant must pay the rent to the landlord on or before the due date.
- The tenant must not persistently fail to pay rent as and when it falls due.
- The tenant must not make any structural alteration to the premises without the prior consent in writing of the landlord.
- The tenant must not use the premises, or permit or suffer the premises to be used, for any immoral or illegal purpose.
- The tenant must not do anything on the premises that would cause any unnecessary annoyance, inconvenience or disturbance to the landlord or any other person.
- The tenant must not assign or underlet the whole of the premises to another person.
- The tenant must not underlet part of the premises to another person without the prior consent in writing of the landlord.
If the tenant fails to pay rent within 15 days after the due date, or is in breach of any of the other provisions above, the landlord may enforce the right of re-entry or forfeiture.