Market that enriches landlords is impoverishing wider economy

An elderly low-income earner pushes a trolley with cardboard bundles for recycling past a luxury designer boutique in Hong Kong's Central district, Hong Kong. Photo: EPA

On a street in Soho, there's an old-style family-owned grocery store. It has wooden barrels of rice on the floor and bottles of soy sauce on the shelves. It is left over from the days before the neighbourhood became a trendy dining area.

Friday, 3 May, 2013, 3:41am

How higher estate taxes can make Hong Kong equitable

Higher property taxes can be a way to redistribute wealth in the city. Photo: Bloomberg

We must come up with a redistribution process that transfers back to society the money that landlords and rich property owners earn. This must come in a form of an estate tax (for properties above a certain value), higher rental income tax, property inheritance tax and capital gains tax on the appreciated portion of the property.

25 Feb 2013 - 2:52am 1 comment

Letters to the Editor, February 25, 2013

Call for direct US talks with Kim Jong-un. Photo: AFP

It was shocking to see the woeful ignorance of the basic principles of security betrayed by Ms Regina Ip. For someone who was once secretary for security, not to have an understanding of identification and authentication, and the difference between them, is a very sad reflection of the calibre of politicians here.

25 Feb 2013 - 2:52am 1 comment

It's time landlords stopped eating away at the industry

Customers queue outside Lei Yuen, a 40-year-old noodle and congee shop in Causeway Bay which will be closed because of soaring rents. Photo: SCMP

According to the food and beverage industry rumour mill, a bar that has been a Wan Chai institution for more than 10 years is closing as its rent rises to HK$400,000 a month.

31 Jan 2013 - 9:48am 1 comment

Restaurants hit by soaring Hong Kong rents

Sato Naoyuki, at his Naozen restaurant. Photo: David Wong

A word to the wise: restaurant operators had better own their properties or they risk being at the mercy of their landlord.

Naozen, a well-known Japanese eatery in Central that is partly owned by chef Naoyuki Sato, closed last Saturday after the landlord decided to lease the property to a telecommunications company at a monthly rent of about HK$1 million.

23 Oct 2012 - 4:19am 1 comment

Students learn the perils of sublets

Today marks the end of a legal tangle over a property lease for mainland student Zhang Mengtao.

'I am just relieved that it is finally over,' said Zhang, who made the mistake of subletting her rented flat without letting her landlord or agents know - a pitfall into which many mainland students have evidently fallen as they seek to save additional charges for amending leases.

15 Aug 2012 - 10:42pm

Days before demolition, cubicle flats still up for rent

A landlord is still leasing out illegally subdivided flats at an industrial building in Tai Kok Tsui, little more than a week before the premises are due to be closed down and the cubicles demolished by order of the government.

28 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

All consuming desires

Hong Kong presents many mysteries to the everyday consumer. There is so much variance in prices and so many opportunities to make money. The goal, of course, is to maximise value and one's opportunities. But how to proceed? Here is a guide to navigating some basic, utterly practical issues many Hongkongers face, with advice from people on the inside.

How to change jobs

21 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Fighting rampant rent rises

When Hosni Emam's landlord near tripled the rent for his Egyptian restaurant Habibi three years ago, he had no choice but to move. Known for its dark alcoves, hookahs and belly dancing, Habibi had flourished for almost a decade on Wellington Street. 'For the first few years it was hard to find a seat.

21 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Greedy landlords eat up operators' profit margins

'We were like the last men standing,' Anna Adasiewicz, managing director of FINDS restaurant, says.

Founded by the late actress Colette Koo, FINDS had a huge following and had outlived the closure of several other businesses in LKF Tower in Central.

21 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Soaring rents stifle HK's entrepreneurs

All across the city, small businesses are being squeezed out because of skyrocketing rents imposed by relentless landlords. Many face closure or relocation to less desirable locations that are worse for business. They are being replaced by property agencies or, in the most expensive locations such as Central, by large corporations with deep pockets.

22 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Lack of sentiment damaging our city

Shanghai Tang is a brand born and bred in Hong Kong - one that did well, flourished and went international. It is the type of business that anyone of entrepreneurial spirit would like to have created and grown and Hong Kong should be proud of its success.

18 Oct 2011 - 12:00am

Sweating in a cage in the dark

They were already living in unimaginable conditions, yet for the residents of five cubicles in a Sham Shui Po tenement flat, life has gotten considerably worse.

13 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

Flat dwellers march in protest

About 50 people representing a group of apartment tenants marched to the government's headquarters yesterday to demand greater rights, including a longer notice period from landlords before eviction. It was the group's fourth annual protest since the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance was amended in 2004 to give landlords more rights.

7 Jul 2008 - 12:00am

Landlord shuts out Causeway Bay Post Office

The fallout from the hot property market has hit Hongkong Post, with the announcement that it is closing its branch in the heart of Causeway Bay, a month after the landlord refused to renew the lease.

1 Feb 2008 - 12:00am