Control of Rent Act
(CHAPTER 58)

(Original Enactment: Ordinance 22 of 1953)

REVISED EDITION 1985
(30th March 1987)
An Act to control the rents of certain premises and the right to recover possession of those premises and matters incidental thereto.
[20th July 1953]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Control of Rent Act.
Interpretation
2.  In this Act except where the context otherwise requires —
“Board” means the Rent Conciliation Board constituted under the provisions of the Control of Rent Ordinance 1947 or this Act, as the case may be;
[24/47]
“domestic premises” means a building or part of a building used wholly or chiefly as a separate dwelling;
“landlord” means the landlord of premises in respect of which a tenancy exists and includes the landlord of a statutory tenant and in the case of a subtenancy a tenant who sublets the premises or any part thereof;
“member of his family” means —
(a) the husband or widower;
(b) the wife or widow;
(c) the father or mother; or
(d) a son or daughter either of whom is over 16 years of age; and
where the tenancy has not been determined according to law includes a legal personal representative;
“order of the Board” means the last order of the Board by which the rent of the premises is fixed;
“premises” means any dwelling-house, flat, factory, warehouse, office, counting house, shop, school and any other building whether of permanent or temporary construction in which persons are employed or work and any part of any such building let or sublet separately and includes any land whereon any such building is or has been erected with the consent of the landlord but does not include any new building built or completed after 7th September 1947;
“rent” includes any sum paid as rent or hire for the use of furniture where premises are let furnished or where premises are let and the furniture therein is hired by the landlord to the tenant;
“standard rent” means —
(a) if the rent has been fixed by the Board prior to the commencement of this Act, the rent so fixed;
(b) if the rent has not been fixed by the Board prior to the commencement of this Act, the rent of the premises as at 1st August 1939; or in the case of premises which were then unlet, unoccupied or unbuilt, the rent at which the premises were first let after 1st August 1939;
“tenancy” means any lease, demise, letting or holding of premises whether in writing or otherwise, by virtue whereof the relationship of landlord and tenant is created, but does not include the letting or hiring of furnished rooms with board;
“tenant” means the tenant of premises in respect of which a tenancy exists and includes a statutory tenant and in the case of a sub-tenancy a sub-tenant to whom the premises or part thereof is sublet.
PART I
RENT AND PREMISES
Restriction on increasing rent
3.—(1)  Subject to this Act it shall be unlawful for any landlord to increase or attempt to increase or to receive or recover a rent in respect of any tenancy of premises in excess of the rent fixed by an order of the Board, or, if no order has been made, in excess of the standard rent.
(2)  Where any premises are let furnished and no order of the Board exists fixing the combined rent of the premises and furniture, the landlord shall not receive or recover from the tenant in respect of the combined rent of the premises and furniture a sum exceeding the standard rent of the premises unfurnished, with the addition of:
(a) 50% of the standard rent; or
(b) a monthly rental to be assessed at one-sixtieth of the true value of the furniture,
whichever is less.
(3)  Where as a result of any transfer to a tenant of any burden or liability previously borne by the landlord, the terms on which premises are held are on the whole less favourable to the tenant than the previous terms, the rent shall be deemed to be increased whether or not the sum periodically payable by way of rent is increased.
(4)  A tenant who has paid his landlord a sum in excess of the rent which may lawfully be received under this section may recover that sum from the landlord.
Charging of premium prohibited
4.  No person shall as a condition of the grant, renewal, transfer or continuance of a tenancy require the payment of any fine, premium or other like sum or the giving of any other valuable consideration in addition to the rent and any sum or other valuable consideration paid or given in contravention of this section shall be recoverable by the person by whom it was made or given.
Penalty
5.—(1)  Any person who contravenes section 3 or 4 shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000 and for a second or subsequent offence shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment which may extend to 6 months or to both.
(2)  No proceedings shall be taken under this section without the previous sanction in writing of the President of the Board.
(3)  In any prosecution for an offence under this section it shall be a good defence if it is proved to the satisfaction of the court that the accused had reasonable grounds for believing that he was not acting in contravention of section 3 or 4, as the case may be.
Statement of standard rent to be supplied by landlord
6.  A landlord shall on being requested in writing by his tenant supply him with a statement in writing specifying the standard rent of the premises and if without reasonable excuse he fails within 14 days to do so, or supplies a statement which is false in any material particular, he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction before a Magistrate’s Court to a fine not exceeding $100.
Permitted increase of rent
7.—(1)  A landlord may increase the rent of the premises let by him only in the cases and to the extent following:
(a) where the current rent is below the standard rent, to the extent of the difference between those rents;
(b) where the current rent is below the rent fixed by an order of the Board, to the extent of the difference between those rents;
(c) where the premises were let on or before 1st January 1941, and there has been no increase of rent subsequent to that date, to the extent set out in the third column of the Schedule in respect of the types of premises and the standard rents thereof set out adjacent thereto in the first and second columns of that Schedule:
Provided that the Board may in any such case make an order fixing the rent, and in that event the landlord shall not increase the rent above the rent so fixed;
(d) where the landlord has after the commencement of this Act incurred any costs, charges or expenses for any improvements to or for the benefit of the premises for the purpose of constructing roads, sewers or drains or the installation of modern sanitation or for any other purpose under and in accordance with the provisions of any written law or by agreement with the tenant, then the landlord shall be entitled to increase and receive or recover a rent in excess of the standard rent the amount of such increase to be fixed by the Board on the application of either the landlord or the tenant. Any increase of rent fixed by the Board under this paragraph shall be in addition to any other increase of rent permitted under paragraphs (a), (b) and (c);
(e) where since 7th September 1947, the rates or the property tax payable by the landlord under the provisions of the Municipal Ordinance or the Property Tax Act [Cap. 254], in respect of the premises have been increased, to the extent of the increase:
Provided that in any case where an increase, other than an increase permitted under this subsection, has been made to the rent since 7th September 1947, a landlord shall not increase the rent of the premises under this paragraph without the approval of the Board.
[1936 Ed.]
(2)  Nothing in this section shall be deemed to relieve a landlord from the necessity of determining the tenancy according to law prior to increasing the rent.