Thank you for the great feedback after the first ARIA Property post which was so well received. We're looking forward to receiving even more of your questions about buying, renting and selling property on South Lantau.
If you're looking to make the move to South Lantau, (and why wouldn't you with views like the below!) make sure to read the following advice from Karen Wong of ARIA Property to avoid any embarrassment or stress.
Let’s tackle the first question we received from a resident of Caribbean Coast in Tung Chung looking to make the move to 'The other side!':
"What do I need to consider when looking to rent a property on South Lantau?"
As many of you will already be aware, South Lantau is a very different to most of Hong Kong, namely due to its location and necessary permits that allow private vehicle access, so let's tackle that first.
What is the Lantau Closed Road Permit (LCRP) and how do I get one?
The LCRP is a piece of paper that needs to be affixed to the inside windscreen of your vehicle that gives you access to drive on roads of South Lantau past Shek Mun Kap. Failure to display a valid permit could lead to a police fine.
How do I apply for a permit?
There are 2 different types. 1) A Lantau only permit meaning you can only drive your vehicle on Lantau Island. This is approximately a quarter the cost of a full permit. 2) The full Hong Kong and LCRP which gives you full access across all Hong Kong territories.
Visit the Transport Department website to find the application forms. It's useful to know that 3 storey village houses can apply for an extra permit.
Permits are issued by the number of electric meters the property has. A 3 storey village house with 3 electric meters can have 3 permits. As tempting as it might be to make the journey to South Lantau without a permit, please don’t as your insurance will not cover you if there is an accident. It will all be your liability.
How does parking work on South Lantau? Do I need to pay?
One of the major advantages to South Lantau Living are the abundance of free car parking spaces. You don't need to own a car to live there, but it helps.
Saying that, it very much depends on where you're living and how much space is given to your property. For example, if you're moving into a top floor flat in Mui Wo, you do not have access to a free parking space so you’d have to park in the free car park at the back of Mc Donald’s; or the paid car park in central Mui Wo. Mui Wo residents have raised the parking issue with police and as such, the police are hot on issuing tickets to incorrectly parked vehicles.
Please be aware of parking in villages. Be respectful to existing residents and ask around when viewing to see if there are any convenient places to park near your property.
What are good questions to ask when renting a property and things to look out for?
The Hong Kong Government has put together a really useful page that covers all this information in-depth. You can check it out here
Water and Sewage - Who is liable in case of a leak?
Does the mortgage owner know the property is being let?
Is my part of the property legally divided?
Are furniture and any electrical items supplied by the landlord?
What grounds does the landlord have to end my tenancy before the end of the contract?
The statutory grounds include, but are not limited to:
non-payment of rent within 15 days of the due date;
use of the premises for immoral or illegal purposes;
unnecessary annoyance, inconvenience or disturbance including persistent delay in payment of rent; and
structural alteration to the premises without the landlord's consent.
Steer clear of the above, be a respectful tenant and you should have no problems.
Are there any local customs I should adhere to when moving in? Should I buy specific gifts for my neighbours or the village chief?
It’s always nice to say hi to your new neighbours and introduce yourself and your family members. It’s not necessary, but a gift basket of fruit is always welcomed.
South Lantau is a truly wonderful place to live and I can't wait to help you on your property hunt!
If you'd like to talk through any details please contact Karen from ARIA Property who can help you with the process of moving to South Lantau and make sure you settle in without any issues.