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Further debates looming

Part of the bill was passed despite legislators questioning the feasibility of the newly amended bill combating deadbeat tenants

During yesterday’s plenary session in the Legislative Assembly (AL) several legislators voiced concern over an amended rental bill, questioning whether it would be effective in avoiding renters who refused to leave a property while failing to pay the rent.
The bill proposed the mandatory notary mechanism for signing rental contracts in order to verify the identities of both landlords and tenants, and also aims at limiting cases of tenants performing illegal activities such as illegal provision of accommodation.
However, legislator Chan Chak Mo pointed out that “tenants could re-rent to another tenant” since signatures can be recognised by another person without the need to be conducted in person, under the amended bill.
One of the Articles of the bill proposes a simplified procedure for landlords to have their signature recognised, with only the comparison made from BIR or a recognised signature card, to obtain a permit from the court in order to force out non-paying tenants within 20 days, as explained by legislator Leonel Alves, one of the nine legislators who proposed the amendment to the bill.
Alves stressed that the permit can only be obtained when the contracts are being notarised, pointing out that many landlords skip the procedure of notarisation to “evade taxes”.
Government appointed legislator Vong Hin Fai pointed out that several conditions would need to be met by landlords in order to obtain a permit from the court, including the need to go through judicial procedures.
“[What I understand is that] the landlord cannot just take the notarised contract and immediately get the permit,” said Vong.
Related Articles passed yesterday, while the final reading of the rental bill will be continued today.
Meanwhile, the AL unanimously passed the final reading for the budget framework bill, although several legislators raised some issues of the bill relating to transparency of public expenses.
The new law will mandate that the government report the implementation of its investment plan PIDDA every quarter to AL, as well as disclosing the implementation of the fiscal budget every October.

Lionel Leong: More time to evaluate MJC proposal
The Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong Vai Tac said the Administration needs time to evaluate the proposal submitted by the Macau Horse Racing Company Limited given that the proposal involves a “large amount of investment” and as such the granting of another six months of concession.
According to the dispatch released in the Official Gazette on Monday the duration of the contract has been extended until February 28, 2018.
“Given the significant importance of the related plan, the MSAR Government needs to co-ordinate with related departments [regarding] feasibility. The Gaming Inspection and Co-ordination Bureau (DICJ) also needs time to collect opinions from different departments for evaluation.”
The Secretary noted that the proposal would pose a positive impact upon the diversity of the city’s gaming industry as well as the development of Macau as a World Centre of Tourism and Leisure.
Leong also pledged that related evaluation results would be readied within six months.
The Jockey Club recently revealed a plan to build a hotel within the property at Taipa and other recreational services for a more diverse business in the long run.