Assembly to mull proposed extension of commercial properties’ lease period

A sub-committee of the Legislative Assembly that is currently reading the city’s first ever rental control bill will have the proposers explain the rationale for extending the lease period for commercial properties from two years to three years in the ensuing discussions, committee head Cheang Chi Keong told media yesterday.
The bill, which passed the first reading by the Legislative Assembly last month, proposed an extension for the lease period of commercial properties here to three years, while the lease period for a residential property would be maintained at two years.
Speaking to media after a closed-door discussion yesterday, head of third permanent committee of the Legislative Assembly Cheang Chi Keong cited legal consultants’ opinions that the bill seems to be inclined to protect the interests of lessees using commercial properties, which needs more explanation from the bill advocates for this suggested extension of the lease period.
In an appendix to the rental control bill, the proposers have briefly noted that the suggested extension of the lease period for commercial properties is to ‘protect the businesses of small and medium enterprises’.
The proposers of the rental control bill include Chan Meng Kam, Song Pek Kei, Jose Maria Pereira Coutinho, Ng Kuok Cheong, Kwan Tsui Hang, Zheng Anting, Ho Ion Sang, Gabriel Tong Io Cheng and Leonel Alberto Alves.
Mr. Cheang also announced that his committee is collecting public opinions on the bill for two months starting from yesterday.
The bill would enable the Chief Executive to set a cap on rental increases based on a coefficient scheme, which factors in the city’s consumer price index and the prevailing conditions of the real estate market.
The bill also proposes the establishment of an arbitration body to mediate in conflicts between landlords and tenants.