Have you ever come across a property listing that reads “suitable for commercial and residential use”? In a densely populated city like Hong Kong, it’s not surprising property has a mixture of uses. Yet, property seeker should review the permitted use of such property before making decisions. Don’t stress if you don’t’ see what you want. You can easily spot the permitted use of a property in the following documents:
(1) Property Information Form / Leasing Information Form
According to Practice Regulation set by the Estate Agents Authority, a property agent is required to complete the Property Information Form or Leasing Information Form when handling property transactions. If a flat is listed “office for non-residential use”, that means you can’t live in. It is the estate agent’s responsibility to check the permitted use of a property and provide his client with suitable advice.
(2) Occupation Permit
An occupation permit is issued by the Buildings Department to ensure the building structure is up to safety standard. The permit reveals details of a building, including the user restriction of each storey. Even on the same floor, the permitted use of flats could differ.
(3) Deed of Mutual Covenant
A Deed of Mutual Covenant is a private contractual agreement among the owners, developer and manager of a building, stipulating the rights and obligations of the parties to the agreement. Buyers or tenants can find the permitted use of a building from there.
In breach of the permitted use of a property may affect the title of the property. Those who are interested in a mixed use building are advised to check its permitted use to avoid any possible risks.