China News Service, Hong Kong, July 29th (Reporter Zeng Ping) In Hong Kong, where the land is very expensive, many low-income families and people still live in cramped "subdivided houses (subdivided units)."

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government submitted the "Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) (Amendment) Bill 2021" to the Legislative Council in mid-July, with a view to controlling "subdivided housing" rental as soon as possible to protect the rights of tenants.

  The Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has now entered the summer "adjournment", but in order to allow the above-mentioned bill to be reviewed more quickly when the Legislative Council "resumption" in late August, the relevant Bills Committee has decided to continue the meeting during the "adjournment".

At the relevant committee meeting held on the 29th, many members of the Legislative Council made suggestions or comments on the definition of "subdivided housing" and other issues involved in the bill.

  In response to the public’s strong demand for the introduction of "subdivided housing" rental control, the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Carrie Lam announced in January last year that a working group was established to study the issue of "subdivided housing" rental control.

According to the survey conducted by the agency commissioned by the working group, there are about 110,000 "subdivided houses" in Hong Kong, providing accommodation for more than 226,000 people.

  The survey also shows that in 2020, the median monthly income of “subdivided housing” households is HK$15,000, and the median monthly rent of “subdivided housing” is HK$4,800, that is, about one-third of the monthly income of tenants One is used to pay rent.

The median dwelling area per capita of “subdivided housing” households is 6.6 square meters.

  The average waiting time for Hong Kong’s latest public housing (similar to low-rent housing) has risen to 5.8 years, and the housing problem of low-income people has attracted considerable attention.

  The amendment to control the rental of "subdivided houses" is one of the five major legislative tasks proposed by Carrie Lam in February this year.

According to the bill, landlords and tenants of "subdivided houses" must sign a written lease agreement that sets out the rights and responsibilities of both parties.

Tenants will be guaranteed a 4-year tenure, and the lease term is fixed at two years. During the period, only rent can be reduced, but rent cannot be increased.

In addition, the landlord should not overcharge the tenants for utilities.

  The next meeting of the Legislative Council Bills Committee on Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) (Amendment) Bill 2021 during the summer vacation will be held on August 16.

Cheng Yongshun, chairman of the aforementioned Bills Committee and member of the DAB Legislative Council, expressed his gratitude to the members for coming to the meeting during the "adjournment" of the meeting, which proved the importance of the bill.

(Finish)

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