(Letterhead of the Member's Office of Hon CHAN Kam-lam)

To: Ms LEUNG Siu-kum, Clerk to the LegCo Panel on Housing
From:Member's Office of Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Date:4 September 1998

Re: Agenda item IV of the meeting on 7 September

In connection with agenda item IV "Rent reduction for commercial premises in public housing estates and factory buildings" of the captioned meeting, I would like to raise the following questions in the hope that the Housing Bureau could provide the information required before the meeting.

At present, apart from the ground floor unit, some commercial tenants of older housing estates also rent the mezzanine floor unit for the purpose of storage or staff accommodation. So far, the tenants concerned have been charged by the Housing Department (HD) a lump sum of rent for their "linked" commercial units at the market rate. However, some commercial tenants who were recently informed by HD of the results of rent reassessment found that the rents of their units on the ground floor and mezzanine floor were dealt with separately, and only the ones on the ground floor received rental adjustment. The rate of rent reduction is normally 20-30% if only the ground floor unit is taken into account. But the average rate of reduction is just 10-15% if the mezzanine floor unit is taken into account as well. It can in no way alleviate the financial hardship of these commercial tenants. In this connection, I wish to know:

  1. why rent re-assessment is not applied to such mezzanine floor units which have been leased out as commercial premises;

  2. among the 9 400 commercial tenants who are eligible to apply for rent re-assessment (and have tenancies signed or renewed between 1 January 1996 and 31 January 1998), how many have rented commercial units on both the ground floor and mezzanine floor;

  3. among the 5 755 commercial tenants whose tenancies expire between 1 February 1998 and 31 December 1998, how many have rented commercial units on both the ground floor and mezzanine floor, and whether they have the rent of their mezzanine floor units frozen at the same time; and

  4. what criteria have been adopted by the Housing Authority for determining and increasing the rents of units on the ground floor and mezzanine floor of "linked" commercial premises?

CHAN Kam-lam
Legislative Councillor