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Sunday, Jun 26, 2022

Double-rent offer ends hotel eviction spat

Double-rent offer ends hotel eviction spat

A row that around a dozen long-staying residents had with Bay Bridge Lifestyle Retreat in Tsuen Wan over being asked to vacate flats following its designation as an isolation facility has ended with the hotel offering to reimburse them at double the agreed monthly rate as compensation.
That means residents who still have six months left on their lease will be reimbursed amounts worth 12 months' rent. It is understood one tenant got more than HK$200,000 as compensation.

The row first unflolded this month when the 12-story hotel of over 430 rooms requested all residents move out by March 15 as it would be used as a designated community isolation facility for Covid patients.

Long-term residents occupying some 130 rooms criticized the hotel for offering to reimburse them sums equal to only one month's rent at the time and forcing them to move out by cutting off water and electricity supplies. They even hired lawyers and called in the police for help.

The hotel on Saturday made the double-rent reimbursement offer and agreed to cover the expenses of those residents who hired lawyers.

One of the residents, Fung, said her rental lease with the hotel was supposed to expire in October. But since the hotel turned into an isolation facility, she had to move to a nearby hotel at a much higher rate.

Fung said the hotel's decision to offer double the rent reimbursement was reasonable. Another resident, Cheung, was also satisfied.

Jacob Lau Ka-ho from the Tsuen Wan Citizen Party said more than 10 of the long-staying residents have had the hotel repay them for the remaining term of their tenancy agreements, as well as the price difference caused by their move to more expensive hotels nearby.

Lau said one of the long-term tenants has a remaining lease term of 12 months and is expected to receive compensation of HK$250,000.

A dozen short-staying residents are still waiting for compensation.

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