4. If the tenant causes nuisance to neighbours, will the landlord be liable? Does the landlord have any remedies against the tenant?
The landlord may be liable for nuisance committed by the tenant if he has expressly or impliedly authorised the tenant to commit nuisance, or has adopted or continued such nuisance.
Tenancy agreements commonly contain a covenant by the tenant not to cause or permit nuisance, annoyance, inconvenience or disturbance to the occupants of neighbouring premises.
For tenancies of domestic premises entered on or after 27th December 2002, section 117(3) of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance (Cap. 7) implies in the tenancy a covenant that the tenant not cause unnecessary annoyance, inconvenience or disturbance to the landlord or to any other person, if the tenancy does not already contain a covenant substantially to the same effect. The legislation also implies in the tenancy a condition for forfeiture if such implied covenant is broken.
Before the landlord can enforce the right of re-entry or forfeiture to terminate the tenancy early, section 58 of the Conveyancing and Property Ordinance (Cap. 219) requires that a prior written notice be served on the tenant, specifying the breach complained of and requesting the tenant to remedy the breach or the compensation payable.
So if it can be proved that the tenant has been causing nuisance or annoyance to the occupiers of adjacent premises and where the tenant has refused to remedy the breach, the landlord may exercise the right to forfeit the tenancy and may claim against the tenant any damages caused by such early termination of the tenancy.