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Glossary of term

 

Glossary of term

Angency fees

Often referred to as "commission", this is the fee charged by all agencies for the services of their consultants. The fee is payable on any premises leased to you by your agent. Agents reserve the right to charge the landlord or vendor on the same fee structure. For rental the standard agency fee is one half of one month's rental and is payable upon signing the Formal Lease Agreement. 

 

Air-Conditioning

An essential in Hang Zhou's hot clime in summer and cold climate in winter, air-conditioning units are usually installed in the property by the Landlord. Air-conditioning can be centrally installed and controllable in each room (known as "Central Air-Conditioning"), or provided by individual units,which will be "split-type" (usually remote controlled). 

 

Break Clause

Sometimes the landlord will grant a clause in the Formal Lease Agreement.The standard arrangement is for a one-year lease,the tenant can give the landlord one or two months' written notice of his intention to leave the premises,but the deposit can not be refunded.

 

Break Lease

If the tenant needs to leave the premises earlier than allowed for in the Lease agreement, he will try to find a "replacement" tenant to take over the lease.This can be done in one of two ways:1. The new or replacement tenant takes over the property until the expiry of the existing lease. 2. The new or replacement tenant has a new two-year lease granted by the landlord. In either case, the outgoing tenant will need the permission and co-operation of the landlord and should expect to pay the landlord's share of the agency fee payable. 

 

Commencement Date

The date that the Lease starts and from which rent is payable. The tenant may move in before the commencement date if he has a rent-free period or later if he carries out his own renovation or decoration works. 

 

Company Lease

Where the employee's company signs the lease and is named as the Tenant. The employee is then known as the Occupant. The company usually requires the permission of the landlord before substituting another occupant, even another company employee, although this is rarely opposed by the landlord. The company is responsible for the payment of rent and associated costs.

 

Communal Facility

A facility, such as a swimming pool,gym or garden, shared by some or all of the occupants in the building or development. 

 

Decoration

The state of internal decoration of the premises. Not to be confused with renovation. Most rental premises will have basic decoration of walls and ceilings painted in white and polished wooden floors. Carpet is rarely fitted due to the high levels although many tenants introduce rugs as part of their own decoration. 

 

Duplex

A two-storey apartment

 

Electrical Appliances

Unless otherwise stated, you can assume that all properties have air-conditioning units installed. Other appliances often supplied/requested would be a fridge/freezer, washer/dryer,water heater and a cooker. Note that unless you specifically ask for a "Western-style cooker" you will usually be supplied with a Chinese-style two-ring gas burner. Smaller appliances such as DVD player, or small kitchen appliances such as a kettle are rarely supplied by the landlord (except in Serviced Apartments). Note that even if the electrical appliances are provided by the landlord, it is still the tenant's responsibility to maintain, repair and replace the units. Appliances run on 220-volts and North Americans or other conturies are recommended to purchase new appliances upon arrival in Hang Zhou. 

 

Estate Agent

An individual or a company that carries out the business of estate agency. In Hang Zhou, all estate agents (individual and company) must be licensed and clearly display their licence number on all documentation including advertising. Complaints about an Estate Agent may be made to the Estate Agents Authority. 

 

Estate Agents Authority (EAA)

The body set up to regulate the Estate Agency industry in accordance with the Estate Agents Ordinance. The body acts as an educator and regulator. 

 

Exclusive Rental

This is the usual arrangement in Hang Zhou and denotes that the Management Fees,Government Rates and utility fee are payable by the tenant.. 

 

Facilities

Used to denote recreational facilities such as swimming pool, tennis or squash courts, gym, children's play area, residents' shuttle bus service, etc. Facilities are common in larger developments and usually entail a higher management fee. The use of facilities is usually included in the rent although additional charges may be made for tennis or squash courts.  

 

Fully Furnished

A property which is furnished in full. A fully furnished property will usually include basic furniture such as sofa and easy chairs, TV unit, dining table and chairs, beds and wardrobes. Soft furnishings will include curtains or blinds for the windows, and lamps. Items such as bed linen,crockery, cutlery and utensils are rarely provided by landlords except in serviced apartments. 

 

Government Rates

A property tax levied by the Hang Zhou government, rates are a tax on occupation and are paid as at 4.5% (0<monthly rent<5000rmb) or at 6.18% (rental>=5000rmb) of monthly rent. These charges are payable usually quarterly in advance by the tenant.

 

Hand-over

This is the procedure of handing the property from the landlord to the tenant. At this stage, your estate agent will assist you to check the internal and external condition of the property, check the inventory, take details of meter readings, etc. A detailed hand-over report will be prepared and a copy given to both the landlord and the tenant. At the end of the Lease, a similar procedure is carried out, known as a "hand-back". 

 

Holding Deposit

Usually equivalent to one month's rent and generally paid subject to contract when an offer is made on a property and prior to receiving a draft Lease Agreement. This deposit becomes the first month's rent when the Lease Agreement is signed.Or it usually not refundable in the event that the Lease Agreement is not signed by both parties,so paying holding deposit is not recommended in order to avoid loss. 

 

House

Houses are rare in Hang Zhou due to the high price of land. Most houses will actually be "townhouses" meaning that they are attached on one or both sides to another house within a development. In this instance, each house will have its own garden or terrace and often a roof terrace. Detached houses are usually found at the foot of mountain,close to Qian Tang River or at the west of Hang Zhou; they are extremely rare and accordingly very expensive! 

 

Inclusive Rental

This denotes that the Management Fees and Government Rates are payable by the landlord. Unless otherwise negotiated or specified, an Exclusive Rental is the usual arrangement in Hang Zhou.

 

Inventory

An itemised list attached to the Lease Agreement detailing furniture and fittings supplied with the property. Unless otherwise negotiated or specified, all items provided with the premises are to be left in the property at the end of the Lease term

 

Landlord

This may be a single individual who owns one property in a block, or a company which owns several units in various buildings, or a major developer who owns the entire development.

 

Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance

This is the government ordinance that regulates the relationship between the landlord and the tenant, and enforces certain rights and obligations on both parties.  

 

Lease

A Lease or lease is a legal contract between the landlord and the tenant. Normally it lasts for one year. 

 

Lease Agreement

This is the formal agreement stipulating all the terms and conditions of the lease. Agreements are usually prepared by the agency and run to several pages. Upon signing the Lease Agreement, the tenant must pay the security deposit to the landlord. The Lease Agreement is signed by both parties, in triplicate.

 

Management Fees

Paid in addition to rent, these cover the cost of staffing, security, cleaning, and lighting of public areas and are generally paid monthly direct to the appointed management company of the building. Unless specified otherwise, the management fees are payable by the tenant. 

 

Occupant

Where the Lease is held under a company lease, the company is the tenant and the employee is the occupant. The landlord's permission is required to change the occupant. 

 

Personal Lease

Where the individual signs the lease in his own name and is responsible for paying the rent and associated costs.

 

Purchaser

The buyer of a property for sale

 

Relocation Allowance

Executives newly arrived from overseas will sometimes be given a relocation allowance by their company. This is to assist in the purchase of furniture, soft furnishings, electrical appliances and other necessary equipment. 

 

Rent

This is the agreed monthly amount which remains constant for the term of the lease. Rent is normally payable quarterly and in advance by the tenant to the landlord. The rent included the usage of the furniture, house/apartment and common space. most developments provide its own club membership included in the rent. Normally it excludes the monthly management fees and the government rates,Internet and utilities which may be revised during the lease term.

 

Renew a tenancy

If the tenant wishes to extend the lease. Renewal options or extensions have to be negotiated separately with landlords in Hang Zhou.If landlord agree,then the tenant normally shall give a renewal notice in writing to landlord one month prior to the expiration of the agreement, tenant shall have priority to renew the agreement based on the same price and requiremen.t

 

Rent-Free Period

As part of the negotiations, a landlord may offer a rent-free period ranging from a couple of days to one or two months. This is much more commonly found in a slow-moving market.

 

Roof

Used to refer to a terrace on the roof of a building rather than the ceiling of a unit. A roof terrace can be private (and therefore highly sought-after) or communal and shared by either all the occupants of the building or just those units on the top floor. 

 

Security Deposit

This is usually equivalent to one or two months' rent (somtimes plus, months' management fees and government rates) and is payable by the tenant to the landlord upon signing the Formal Lease Agreement. The security deposit is held by the landlord for the period of the Lease and, provided that the tenant has upheld all conditions of the Lease (such as paying the rent and bills, and maintaining the property in good condition), is refundable after the Lease period. Terms on which the deposit is refunded should be stated in the Formal Lease Agreement; most Lease agreements stipulate that the security deposit will be returned within five to ten working days after the tenant moves out to give the landlord time to check the condition of the property and see that all bills have been settled. Unlike many other countries, in Hang Zhou the security deposit is repaid without interest.

 

Serviced Apartments

These apartments are fully furnished and fully equipped with kitchen appliances. Maid service is usually provided on a daily basis (with the exception of Sundays and Public Holidays) and includes general cleaning. Rents at serviced apartments range from RMB 6,000 per month for a small unit to over RMB30,000 for a luxury suite, and terms range from one month to two years although many developments have a minimum term of three months.

 

Tenant

Under a company lease, the company is usually termed the "Tenant" whilst the employee is the "Occupant". Landlords also grant a personal lease which allows the individual to sign the Lease Agreement. 

 

Term

Tenancies in Hang Zhou normally last for one year. Sometimes, landlords will agree to a break clause which means that the tenant can give early notice of termination, usually with 1 or 2 months' written notice to be given to the landlord but security deposit won¨t be refounded.. 

 

Triplex

A three-storey apartment

 

Utilities

The term used to cover the supply of electricity, gas, water and telephone to a property. Sometimes the landlord will leave the utilities in his name (except the telephone account); in this case the bills will arrive in the landlord's name but must be paid by the tenant.

 

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