Recover damages from fixed term tenancy from defaulting tenants
Updated: Aug 29, 2020
It is common for both domestic and non-domestic tenancies to adopt a fixed term of years. Landlords however are aggrieved with defaulting tenants whom failed to pay rent and left the premises stranded without reinstatement. What are the remedies for landlords if tenants failed to pay rent and had left the premises pre-maturely (i.e. before the lapse of fixed term of tenancy)? Apart from mense profit up to re-possession, aggrieved landlords are entitled to claim for damages to be assessed due to breach of contract (i.e. the fixed term under the effective tenancy). It is trite law that an aggrieved landlord is entitled to damages for wrongful repudiation of a tenancy agreement, such damages as reflecting the rental, service charges, rates and reinstatement cost stipulated in the tenancy and therefore payable if the agreement is permitted to run its full course, subject always to a duty to minimize his loss. The landlord is expected to act reasonably and to take such steps as are necessary to re-let the vacant premises at market rent. However, it falls upon the errant party to establish that mitigation has not taken place (Wong Siu Co Ltd v Goldquest International Ltd (HCA 3183 & 4145/2001, unreported, 18 August 2006 at §7-8).
已獲確立的法律原則，是業主有權就租客不當地違反租賃合約取得損害賠償，而賠償金額會反映租金、服務費用、差餉，以及租賃內訂明若租約期滿，租客需繳付將物業恢復原狀的費用。當然，業主亦有責任將自己的損失減到最少，業主應合理地採取所需的行動，以讓空置的物業能以市價重新出租。然而，證明沒有採取這樣減輕損失的措施的舉證責任在違約一方。(Wong Siu Co Ltd v Goldquest International Ltd (HCA 3183 & 4145/2001)，未經彙編，2006年8月18日，第7-8段)