6. What is a “lease premium”? Should it be included in the assessable value for Property Tax?
A lease premium is a non-refundable lump sum payment made by the tenant to the owner upon the signing of the tenancy agreement (e.g. a consent fee payable to the owner for accepting the transfer of tenancy from the “old tenant” to the “new tenant”). It is part of the consideration/money paid for using the property and is chargeable to Property Tax. Owners may elect to have the lease premium spread over the lease period, up to a maximum period of 36 months, for assessment purpose.
On the other hand, a rent deposit is returnable to the tenant at the end of the tenancy. Therefore, it is not income and should not be declared in the owner's tax return.