1. Is it necessary to have a solicitor to represent me when I enter into a Tenancy Agreement?
No law requires a party to a contract to be represented by a solicitor. As a matter of fact, some people enter into standard form tenancy agreements without obtaining legal advice or even without reading the contents of the agreements.
Depending on the circumstances, some parties may also enter into leases/tenancy agreements with the assistance of estate agents in recording the agreed terms under a standard form provided and including whatever additional clauses that they wish to add.
A template residential tenancy agreement which was drafted by a team of law lecturers and students of the University of Hong Kong is now available on CLIC. Please refer to “E-package: DIY Residential Tenancy Agreement” for reference.
Parties that have the benefit of solicitors, however, have their legal interests better protected because their solicitors will draft or scrutinise a written tenancy agreement from a legal perspective with the parties’ interests in mind.
A tenancy document prepared by solicitors typically covers more aspects than standard form agreements because the former tends to identify more issues that can potentially lead to disputes. By identifying and dealing with these issues before the parties commit themselves to the terms of the tenancy, the chance of future disputes between the parties may be reduced.
It is more common for parties in commercial or industrial tenancies to be legally represented by solicitors to cater for their specific needs and interests. This is particularly the case when both parties are body corporates (e.g. companies) and that there might be a need for the landlord to require a natural person to act as guarantor on behalf of the tenant to ensure due performance of all obligations under the tenancy agreement.