Where to Get information about a Property?

Buyer can confirm the following property information by search on the Internet, real estate agents, developers and the current owner and when necessary seek the service of a conveyancing lawyer:

  • Name of current property owner and his/her ownership right
  • Property age, gross area and saleable area of the property
  • Information of area and environment surrounding the property
  • Current property situation(owner occupied or leased)
  • Current usage of the property: whether the use of the property is specified as residential
  • Rates, Government rent, property maintenance cost and management fee,etc.
  • Illegal structure (e.g. altered balcony) and maintenance order
  • Consult the bank if the property can be mortgaged

Key elements on choosing a property

Key elements to be considered when choosing the property:

  • Property value and affordability
  • Property location and information of area surrounding the property
  • Property age
  • Size and property type
  • Quality of building materials 
  • Developer, property management and security control
  • Uncompleted flat or completed flat (first hand or second hand)
  • Environment, transportation, public facilities, school network and future development of the area
  • Resale value of the property

FAQ ON BUYING A PROPERTY IN HONG KONG

Our conveyancing legal team stands ready to assist you in completing the title acquisition of the property you intend to purchase. We have extensive experience and skill sets on dealing with purchase of houses, apartments, commercial properties such as offices and factories.

Below we have some helpful information on buying real estate in Hong Kong and what the process involves. Our legal team can guide you through the whole process very simply so you that you do not unwittingly fall into any traps due to a lack of understanding.

Are there restrictions on foreign ownership?

There are NO restrictions. Foreigners are permitted to own any land or properties in Hong Kong without any restrictions.

What are my ownership options?

In Hong Kong, you have the option to buy as an individual (including joint names with your spouse) or through a corporation. For large projects, its best to own property through a Hong Kong corporation.

Step One: Confirm the title

People usually find a property through an estate agent. On finishing negotiation, the estate agent will arrange you to pay an initial deposit and to sign a provisional agreement for sale and purchase with the seller.

Before the signing, the first thing you need to do is confirm the legal owner of the property. This is done by making a title search at the Land Registry which is a Government department deposited with all property instruments on land. Either the estate agent or your lawyer may do that on your behalf.

Step Two: Checking the Title

Unlike many other countries, Hong Kong does not practise title registration. Therefore, owner's title is not proved by a title certificate. To ascertain the title, you need a conveyancing lawyer to investigate the title by perusal all instruments relating to the property you intend to purchase. Title investigation is usually done by your lawyer after the signing of the formal agreement for sale and purchase.

Step Three: Signing of Formal Agreement for Sale and Purchase

After you have signed the provisional agreement for sale and purchase, the estate agent will help you to pass its copy to your lawyer. Your lawyer will then contact the seller's lawyer. They will negotiate and agree on the terms of the formal agreement for sale and purchase. After agreement, your lawyer will arrange you to sign it and at the same time arrange you to pay the balance of deposit. By this stage, you will have paid a sum equal to 10% of the property price.

Step Four: Registration of the Formal Agreement for Sale and Purchase

Your lawyer will cause the registration of the formal agreement for sale and purchase at the Land Registry to protect your interest in the property.

Your lawyer will eventually receive the title instruments from the seller's lawyer. He will check the title and give advice you on its title aspect. He may do updated search at the Land Registry if necessary and raise title questions to the seller's lawyer to answer.

Getting clean title to property can be a problem and therefore you need an experienced conveyancing lawyer.

Step Five: Deed Execution: Assignment for Transfer of Title

Once you are satisfied that the title is in order you will sign an assignment with the seller with the arrangement by your lawyer. An assignment is a deed which helps to transfer the property's title to you. You arrange for payment by arranging financing.

Step Six: Transfer the Funds

Purchase price is paid by cheques drawn at your lawyer's bank account. Your lawyer will arrange with you to make sure that your money is available in their account to pay for you by their cheques. The safest thing is pay your lawyer the money several days before the completion date to enable clearance of the fund. This is extremely important in Hong Kong because non-payment before the agreed completion time on the completion date will mean your breach of the agreement. Breach will result in loss of the deposit and a seller's claim for other losses. When your lawyer has paid the purchase price for you in full to the seller, the seller will send the keys of the property to your lawyer to enable you to take possession of it.

Step Seven: Register the Assignment at the Land Registry

Your lawyer will do this for you in order to protect your interest in the property. Once the registration process is completed, our lawyers will give you the registered deeds and the property will be yours. In case your purchase is financed by a bank's mortgage, the registered deeds will be passed to the bank for their custody as a lending security.

Transaction Costs: Commission and Legal Cost

Real estate agent commissions typically 1% of the price and are paid by the seller and the buyer each. The legal fee to your lawyer is by agreement. There is no standard fee.  Agree the fee with your lawyer before you appoint them to deal with the conveyance. The buyer must pay the expenses registering the new deeds. The amount is fixed by the Government. For example, it is $500 to register a mortgage deed. The same fee amount applies to an assignment.

Government Tax: Stamp Duty

You have to pay the Government stamp duty on the transaction.Property below $2,000,000 is $100 only. If you let a property to a tenant, you have to pay the property tax on the rental income. However, there is no capital tax in Hong Kong.

Financing

It is easy to get a mortgage in Hong Kong if you have an income. Local financing is widely available for foreign residents. Many banks in Hong Kong are extremely active in the mortgage loan markets. They offer terms to home buyers with competitive rates. The loan term can be as long as up to 25 years.

PROPERTY HOTLINE: 95099999


What you should do on having injured in an accident?

Your basic claims are: Lost Wages, Medical Expenses, Trauma, Pain & Suffering.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a caraccident or if you have suffered a serious personal injury of any kind where a third party may have been at fault, you need to act decisively and consider a personal injury lawyer.

We urge you to retain a reputable personal injury lawyer immediately. Your lawyer will protect your case.

What you should do if you’ve been injured in an accident:

  • Retain a reputable personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
  • Get a copy of the police report.
  • If you have been hospitalized, keep the medical records and reference.
  • If your car accident involved multiple vehicles, get insurance information from all drivers.
  • Get licence plate numbers, driver’s names and addresses of all parties involved in your accident.
  • Secure names and addresses of all relevant witnesses to your accident. If possible, take statements from them immediately. Do not wait to gather your witnesses. Talk to them while they are still emotionally involved in your potential case. Memories fade, people move away or simply decide at a later date that they do not want to be involved.

ACCIDENT HOTLINE: 64288888


Car accident claims: Personal injuries and property loss

If you've been in a car accident, you need a car accident lawyer. Our car accident lawyers will advise you on your rights and can help you make your car accident claim. You may make a preliminary assessment on your car accident here.

Question 1: Were you involved in a car accident?

In order for us to file a successful car accident claim on your behalf, you must have been involved in and injured by a car accident. You may have been the driver, a passenger, a pedestrian, a cyclist, or another person injured by the negligence of someone driving a car or other motor vehicle.

Question 2: Were you injured in a car accident?

It is important that you were injured in the accident. If you were uninjured or just had some bruises, your lawsuit may belong to a small claim at the Small Claims Tribunal. Lawyers are not entitled to represent you in a small claim.

However, if you sustained serious injuries because of the accident and you required hospitalization and/ or ongoing medical care, or if you've become permanently disabled due to the accident, you may have a valid legal claim against the driver and owner of the vehicle.

Question 3: Was the car accident the result of the driver's negligence?

Failure to use reasonable care while driving a motor vehicle amounts negligence. Determining who was at fault in a motor vehicle accident means figuring out who was negligent, and thus responsible for causing the accident. Negligence is often indicated by disobeying traffic signs or signals, failure to signal when turning, failure to follow the speed limit, or driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. If your injuries are the result of a driver's negligence, you are more likely to have a solid claim.

Common Examples of Driver's Negligence

‧Cutting in front
‧Failing to watch blind spots
‧Inattentive drivers
‧Playing squeeze drive
‧Aggressive drivers
‧Drink and drive

HOTLINE FOR FREE CLAIM EVALUATION: 64288888


Real Properties: sale, purchase and mortgages of 2nd-hand properties

Our lawyers provides legal services to everyday home-sellers and home-buyers. More than 10 colleagues specialize in various aspects of conveyancing and land related matters. Because they do not spend any time and effort on handling high-profile sale of properties by big developers at present and in the past, our lawyers are highly experienced in sale, purchase and mortgage of second-hand properties. They have experienced the ups and downs of Hong Kong’s extremely volatile property market in the past 20 years and can therefore advise property clients on a wide range of legal issues relating to sale, purchase, redemption and mortgage of real properties in Hong Kong. 

BARGAIN SERVICES: REMORTGAGE ($4500), REDEMPTION ($1500).
Note: exclusive disbursements e.g. land registration fees.


Marriage Solemnization by civil celebrants

A number of our lawyers are appointed Civil Celebrants of Marriages. They may provide marriage registration and solemnization services at any time and at places such as hotel ballroom and at offices in Hong Kong.  Many wedding couples come to us by reason of our easy access and atmosphere. Those having the wedding gone through at our office premises in Mongkok and Wanchai may just wear casual dresses attended by their closest friends and relatives.

Our civil celebrants have handled hundreds of marriage registrations and weddings in the past. They are well experienced and familiar with the entire marriage process.  Intending marrying couple can attend our Mongkok or Wanchai registrationoffice during office hours without the need of making a prior appointment. They may sign the notice of intended marriage on the same day. Because the entire process is handled by us, they need not quene up at the Marriage Registry. Nor they have to compete for "red lucky" days.

Marriages celebrated at office during office hours is $1900 in total. Couple has to pay additionally if wedding held at non-office hours and if either of them is under 18.

MARRIAGE HOTLINE: 82099999  or visit our www.hkm.mobi for more info.


IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement) Personal Debt Restructuring, Debt Relief Plan (DRP)

Up to now, debt relief plan (DRP) has become a more popular choice to debtors to restructure their credit card debts. We have wealthy experience in IVA debt restructuring. Check with DRP.COM.HK :

  • In March 2002, Yip, Tse & Tang launched a new debt legal service serving the needs of Hong Kong debtors. The service is known as Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) 
  • IVA is a statutory alternative to bankruptcy under the laws (Bankruptcy Ordinance). IVA is a debt restructuring scheme and has the benefit of avoiding bankruptcy.
  • IVA is a 'win-win' debt solution to creditors and debtors. Some debtors, such as civil servants, well-paid managers or professionals don't like bankruptcy. 
  • IVA applicants can be credit card debtors or undischarged bankrupts.
  • The firm has teamed up with skilled debt analyst and experienced certified public accountant to provide this legal service.

LOW AND AFFORDABLE LEGAL COST

  • IVA applicants are only required to pay $2,000 as initial legal cost to start with a repayment proposal. 
  • Our IVA legal service is built upon the solid foundation we have acquired in our bankruptcy legal service. 
  • Our lawyers are experienced in communicating with banks and finance companies. That facilitates our early reach of a compromise repayment plan between debtors and creditors

TRACK RECORDS: MORE THAN 1200 IVA APPROVED

By April, 2008, our lawyers have over 1,200 IVA legal applications approved by banks and finance companies.

LOWER LEGAL COST AND MORE EFFICIENT OPTION: DRP

Some debtors may be suitable for Debt Relief Plan (DRP). Unlike IVA, DRP are not legal proceedings. DRP is achieved by private negotiations with banks and finance companies. Comparing with IVA, DRP is inexpensive and more efficient. However, not all debtors are suitable for the DRP solution.


Personal Bankruptcy $14500 (Court fees and Official Receiver's Deposit included). HOTLINE: 64288888

Since August 2001, our lawyers have represented more than 9,000 debtors in filing their self-bankruptcy petitions with Courts in Hong Kong.

The reputable web-site on personal bankruptcy applications (Chinese) www.theBroke.com has been featured by over 10 local and international newspapers or magazines, including Reuters, BBC and Le Monde. Our lawyers of the personal bankruptcy team have also been interviewed by TVB, ATV, Cable TV, RTHK, Commercial Radio and MetroRadio Broadcast on debt or bankruptcy subjects on many occasions.

Self-bankruptcy in many situations may be the best option to solve one's debt problems.

OUR LOW LEGAL FEE

$14500, inclusive our legal fees, Court fee and Official Receiver's deposit

DEBT HOTLINE:

Alan Wong, Personal Insolvency Department
Tel : 64288888 (Holidays as usual)