8th August 2022 – (Hong Kong) Earlier this year, the government announced that small and medium-sized enterprises are allowed to delay rent payments from January for up to six months. The 6-month grace period expired at the end of July for furniture chainstore Pricerite branch in TKO Plaza, and the landlord is suing for the rent arrears.
The landlord filed a lawsuit a few days ago to recover more than HK$2.34 million in rent arrears, as well as other expenses such as management fees. The plaintiff, PACIFIC VISION ENTERPRISES LIMITED and the defendant is Pricerite Stores Limited.
The legal suit alleged that the parties entered into a tenancy agreement at the end of 2018. The tenancy agreement started from March 2019 for a period of four years. The shop on the second floor of TKO Plaza was rented out at a monthly rent of HK$330,000 to HK$370,000 and management fees must be paid.
The plaintiff pointed out that the defendant has not paid the rent since March 2022, and has not paid management fees and other expenses since July of the same year, and has owed more than HK$2.34 million so far. The plaintiff claimed that it had tried many times to recover and failed, and the defendant had not paid the rent on the due date, so the plaintiff could have cancelled the lease. However, according to the Temporary Protection Measures for Business Tenants (COVID–19 Pandemic) Ordinance, landlords are prohibited from taking action to recover rent arrears during the protection period, that is, from 1st May to 31st July this year. Pricerite currently has 22 branches in Hong Kong, and the TKO Plaza branch is still open for business today.