A wet market in a Tin Shui Wai housing estate will close for the day on Monday in a tenants' protest against officials' handling of a piling scandal which they say is undermining their business. Tenants of Chung Fu Market said yesterday the foundation subsidence at Tin Chung Court - a Housing Authority development - had damaged business because the number of residents was low. They said promotional material claimed the market would cover 29,000 households in four housing estates, but to date only 5,800 families had moved in. Tenants said they would not pay rent this month and would close their stalls on Monday to organise a march around the estates. In a meeting with Housing Department officials yesterday, tenants demanded an exemption from rent - which ranges from $20,000 to $30,000 a month - until September, when the occupancy rate is expected to improve. Jackie Lee, who operates a vegetable stall in the market, said most of the tenants could not afford to pay the rent for their stalls. 'I didn't expect to make a profit when I decided to rent a stall, but I never knew I'd have to run such a big loss,' she said, adding that she was losing an average of $1,500 a day, including $600 for stock alone. 'We're not worried about losing our stalls if we refuse to pay rent: in fact, we would be quite happy if they [the contractor] decide to terminate our contracts,' she said. Another tenant said she had to borrow money to pay $22,000 a month for her 13-square-metre vegetable stall. The Housing Department said the market had been contracted out to a private company, Modern Market Management, and any rent concession negotiation would have to be discussed with it. The company has promised a 25 per cent reduction, but tenants say it is not enough. A company spokesman said legal action would be taken against any tenant who failed to pay rent. District Councillor Albert Chan Wai-yip, who represented the tenants yesterday, said there was a need to set up a fair rent system.