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Housing Authority to pass on rates concession to tenants
The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Housing Authority:  
     The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) will pass on the rates concession for the four quarters of 2018-19, as set out in the Budget Speech of the Financial Secretary in February, to its domestic and non-domestic tenants starting from April 2018.
     "Following approval by the Subsidised Housing Committee of the HA, the apportioned amount of rates concession will be transferred to domestic tenants on a monthly basis over a 12-month period from April 2018 to March 2019 by offsetting an equivalent amount in the rent payable by them, subject to a ceiling of $2,500 per quarter for each rateable property," a spokesman for the HA said today (March 29).
     For tenancies that do not cover the entire month, the transfer of the rates concession will be made on a pro-rata basis.
     "The rates concession passing-on arrangement will apply to all domestic lettings including interim housing licensees and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients," the spokesman said.
     "Similarly, the Commercial Properties Committee of the HA approved that the rates concession for the financial year of 2018-19 for the HA's non-domestic properties (excluding car parks) will also be passed on to the non-domestic tenants/licensees on a 'no loss, no gain' principle. Their monthly rates from April 2018 to March 2019 will be waived subject to the capping limit of $2,500 per quarter for each rateable property," the spokesman said.
     For the HA's six single-operator markets viz. Ching Long, Kwai Chung, Lei Muk Shue, Tin Yan, Hung Fuk and Shui Chuen O, the operators will also pass on the rates concession to their licensees in full.
     "Given the small amount of rates concession to individual car park users and the significant administrative costs involved for its distribution to these users, the Commercial Properties Committee of the HA endorsed the exclusion of car parks from this exercise in line with all the previous rates concession exercises. The rates concession for car parks received by the HA would be invested in enhancing the HA's car park facilities, such as the installation of electric vehicle charging facilities in suitable sites, replacement of lighting with energy-efficient lighting to promote environmental protection and upgrading of security systems," the spokesman said.
     The maximum total amount of rates concession to be passed on to domestic and non-domestic tenants/licensees by the HA is estimated to be about $2,447 million and $50 million respectively. They will be individually notified of the arrangements.
Ends/Thursday, March 29, 2018
Issued at HKT 10:07
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