This Thursday (July 29), the Bills Committee of the Legislative Council held its second meeting to discuss the "Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) (Amendment) Bill 2021" (hereinafter referred to as the "Ordinance" draft").
Although the Legislative Council has entered the summer holiday after July 21, the Bills Committee still arranged time for relevant meetings with the government authorities. In fact, this meeting was the only meeting held by the Legislative Council and its committees this week.
The Bill was gazetted on July 9, and the first and second readings were held in the Legislative Council on July 14. The House Committee decided on July 16 that it was necessary to establish a Bills Committee, and the Bills Committee was held on July 23. A meeting to elect the chairman and vice-chairmen.
Since the second meeting did not enter the item-by-item review stage, the committee members’ questions after listening to government officials’ reports mainly focused on two issues of principle: one is that they suspect that the scope of the regulatory definition is too wide and deviates from the original intent of the legislation; The safeguards are not enough.
The meeting has no intention to ban sub-houses
However, on the same day that the Bills Committee was established, Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council, delivered a speech at the seminar "Review and Prospects for the First Anniversary of the Implementation of the National Security Law in Hong Kong". Great improvement, we will say goodbye to sub-divided housing and "cage homes". Two days after the first meeting of the Bills Committee, Financial Secretary Chen Maobo also published a blog on the subject of "Working together to say goodbye to sub-divided housing."
Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office Xia Baolong attended the "Review and Prospect of the First Anniversary of the Implementation of the National Security Law" seminar.
Obviously, "saying goodbye to sub-divided housing" has become a new goal of the central government and the SAR government. However, from the discussion process of the Bills Committee meeting, the opinions of officials and legislators are not yet consistent. For example, the Deputy Secretary for Transport and Housing, So Wei-man, even described his intention to ban it. "Subdivided housing" only belongs to individual "conventional opinions." Some members even stated that Hong Kong will not have low-income families who rent sub-units. The implication is that it is impossible for Hong Kong to "say goodbye to subdivided housing."
The bill persists and condones loopholes
Looking at the "Bill" itself, its content basically contains many spaces that condone the existence of "subdivided housing" and avoid rent control. For example, it has not directly blocked the rent control research working group report that noticed that "subdivided housing" is available. The loopholes in the operation of "licence agreements" rather than "leases". The provisions further allow "the use of any premises as a boarding or lodging house (boarding or lodging house) is not for residential purposes." , So as to become unregulated.
The government appointed a subdivided rent control research working group last year to study the feasibility of implementing subdivided rent control. (Photo)
On the other hand, the "Bill" stipulates that the Evaluation Department is responsible for receiving relevant declaration materials for "subdivided housing", but it directly prohibits the court from summoning personnel from the Evaluation Department to testify for reasons other than the enforcement of rent control, and the relevant declaration materials will also There are "restrictions on admissibility as evidence" and cannot be used in other legal procedures that have nothing to do with the charge of giving false testimony, false or misleading statements. The objective effect is basically to hinder other departments from enforcing laws to control "subdivided housing."
"Subdivided housing" rent management negotiations for many years have finally seen the dawn of implementation, but this can easily make everyone pay too much attention to the relevant rental details, so that the ultimate goal should be to make Hong Kong no longer "subsidiary housing".
Regrettably, many officials and legislators actually agreed that the existence of "subdivided housing" is necessary, and that low-income families at the grass-roots level are not worthy of living in a complete unit. Let those with this attitude preside over the court. I am afraid we will always Can't really "say goodbye to sub-divided housing."
There are many errors and omissions in the subdivided rent control bill. More than a subdivided rent control during the open window period, it is only a small step to improve basic housing. Shenzhen's implementation of the property market reference price Hong Kong subdivided housing rent is difficult to control?