The Housing Authority has rejected calls for an independent appeals channel for shop tenants angry over the amount their rent has been cut. It said a third party to adjudicate disputes between tenants and the authority would violate the principle of commercial operations. The authority also rejected demands for a 30 per cent across-the-board cut during yesterday's City Forum. 'Are consumers paying 30 per cent less following the reduction? If everyone is guaranteed that percentage, it is unfair and breaches our principle,' said Deryk Yim Ka-yan, chief estate surveyor for commercial property. Angry tenants attacked what they called 'unfair and clandestine' assessments. The first batch of applicants has been granted 10 to 64 per cent reductions. Tenants also complained that shops which made money because of their sound business practices might be given a smaller reduction while those which were less competitive would be granted a larger decrease. About 1,500 applications have been received so far from 9,300 eligible tenants. Rent reductions are governed by a number of factors, including the nature of the business, location, duration of tenancy, population of housing estates and the general business environment. Joint Council of Hong Kong Estate Shop Tenants convenor Lee Man-tang criticised the individual assessment as arbitrary. He warned of chaos in future assessments and urged tenants not to rush their applications. Democratic legislator Lee Wing-tat called for more transparency in the assessment. 'The authority should regularly report the percentage cut and establish an appeal mechanism,' he said. Mr Yim admitted the reduction for tenants in the same trade on the same estate might vary by location, but he appealed for confidence in the assessment. 'We announced the result of the first batch to ease worries of unfairness,' he said. Disgruntled tenants could put more details to the authority for further consideration.