All You Ever Wanted To Know About Macau Property.................
- It is the responsibility of the landlord to keep the property in a safe condition, and the responsibility of the tenant to keep the property in the condition in which it is handed over.
Many Macau owners will only provide a turnkey tenancy. In other words, once the key is handed over, the apartment is the entire responsibility of the tenant.
On the other hand, tenants often feel that it is the responsibility of the landlord to fix every issue in an apartment, even a consumable issue such as a light bulb.
In reality and in the absence of any special clauses in the tenancy agreement, the owner is responsible for ensuring that the property is SAFE to inhabit, whilst the tenant is responsible for keeping it in the condition in which it was handed over.
- This is a difficult question to answer.
Few owners will divulge their true intentions when it comes to property.
You can ask for a brief outline of the owner such as their background, their location and their history, and see what you can deduce from that.
- It is unlikely.
In each transaction, there is usually an agent representing the tenant and an agent representing the landlord.
The agent has the responsibility to look after their individual client’s best interests.
You are paying your agent, and the agent should therefore represent your best interests.
The owner should pay their own agent, and in turn their agent should represent the best interests of the owner.
- Only if the tenancy agreement allows them to do so.
Under normal circumstances, the landlord can only increase the rent within the terms and conditions of the tenancy agreement.
If the agreement stipulates the rent and the term of the tenancy, but does not specifically state that the rent can be reviewed during the term of the agreement, then the rent cannot be increased.
According to Macau Law, when a rent is late by more than 8 days, the landlord is entitled to add a late payment penalty equivalent to 50% of the rental amount.
Should a rent remain outstanding for more than 30 days, the late penalty may be increased up to 100%.
A termination notice can be verbal provided both parties agree on the terms.
However, it is thoroughly recommended that tenants provide a written termination notice that clearly defines the dates concerned, and refers to the terms in the tenancy agreement.
This will help to avoid disputes, and a potential situation where a landlord can claim that they have not received any notice of termination.
- This is a question best asked upfront, before the lease is signed.
Once the answer is established, either in a positive or a negative way, you then have the information you require to make a decision on renting or not.
The landlord is not duty bound to improve a property, just to ensure that the property remains safe.
- Unless there is a problem with the premises that makes it uninhabitable, such as a flood, unstable walls or floors, or open electrical wires, the tenant may not withhold rent.
Rents that are more than 8 days overdue are subject to a penalty of 50% under Macau Law, and if they remain unpaid for more than 30 days they are subject to a 100% penalty.
In order to maintain a good relationship with the owner and landlord, we suggest that tenants first inform the landlord that there is a problem that requires fixing.
- The law does not require an owner to provide a receipt for the security deposit.
It is a good idea to record the security deposit on the tenancy agreement or a separate piece of paper that can be signed and witnessed to avoid any disputes in the future.
- When a tenant has not repaired damages, the landlord is entitled to take legal action and withhold the return of the security deposit until the outcome of that action.
Usually, when a tenant ‘checks out’ of a property, the inventory is reviewed and any discrepancy noted along with damaged items.
Under Macau law, any items damaged by a tenant must be returned to their original condition or replaced prior to leaving the property and receiving back the security deposit.
For example, should a tenant decide to hang pictures on a wall, he or she is duty bound to return the wall to its original condition before the security deposit is released.
- The lease terms can be agreed between the landlord and the tenant through the property agency.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no minimum rental term in Macau, so its possible to negotiate almost any term up to a maximum of 30 years.
A landlord’s flexibility will depend on their personal circumstances and the property in question.
The most popular agreements are 1 and 2 year agreements.
- In some countries, owners or their representatives are duty bound to place the security deposit in a bank account, and pay the accrued interest to the tenant.
However, no such requirement exists in Macau.
With interest rates at an all time low, the most important factor when it comes to the security deposit is the safekeeping of the deposit.
- This is a very popular question when tenants move into a new property.
As a tenant, you are in a better position when dealing with an experienced landlord or a property management company.
First time owners or owners who are renting a family property tend not to have rental systems in place to collect rents, make repairs and handle emergency issues.
- Ultimately, the security deposit can be agreed between the tenant and the owner.
In general Macau owners require an amount equivalent to 2 months rent as a security deposit.
Occasionally, and landlord may agree to 1 months deposit, but this is under special circumstances such as the tenant paying for the whole term of the agreement in advance, or the property being completely unfurnished.
- Not without your permission.
When you have a valid tenancy agreement in place, you may decide who and who not to let into your home.
If an agent knocks on your door and requests to see the property, you are perfectly within your rights to say “No”, then call the owner to complain.
Tenants are protected by the tenancy contract, and a new owner does not have the right to ignore a valid tenancy contract.
The contract and all of its terms must be adhered to by the new owner, who should be aware of the tenancy agreement and have a copy provided to them during the sales process.
- Yes. The owner has the right to sell at any time he or she chooses.
- The security deposit is held by the property management company or the landlord as a sum to compensate any damages to the property by a tenant.
Contrary to popular belief, the deposit may not be used in lieu of rent, unless otherwise agreed by tenant and landlord, and is held separately from the rent.
When you leave an apartment, it is normal for the property management company or landlord to conduct an inspection with you, and to reach an agreement on pricing for any damages or loss caused during the period of tenancy. Then the outstanding utility bills are worked out, and the apartment must be thoroughly cleaned.
The agreed amounts are deducted from the deposit, and the deposit returned.
This process usually takes between 2 to 10 working days. If you want your landlord to return the security deposit on the day that you move out, it is likely that you will have to make special arrangements with the landlord so that they can pre-inspect the property, and you can arrange to pay cash for the utility bills and cleaning expenses.
- In most cases, tenants are asked to pay up to 4 months rental money in advance. This consists of;
• 2 months Security Deposit (See next question)
• 1 Month advanced rent
• 1 Month agency fee
When you find a property that you like, you will usually be asked to put down a deposit equivalent to 1 month’s rent to hold the property. This will then be used as the first months rent once you have moved in.
The 2 months security deposit is usually paid upon signing the rental agreement, and is explained in the next question.
The 1 month agency fee is usually invoiced prior to moving in, and becomes payable after the move in date.