Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated cities over the world. With very little available land, real estate developers tend to build multi-story buildings ranging from 30-to- 70-storey high. Due to historical reasons, almost all lands in Hong Kong are leasehold tenures. Over the centuries, the Government leased or granted to individuals or corporations a piece of land for use or for development. Therefore, a sale and purchase of landed property in Hong Kong is in fact a transfer or assignment of a lease. In a sale and purchase transaction, the vendor agrees to sell, and the buyer agrees to purchase both the legal estate and the equitable interest of and in the landed property. This article provides a brief introduction to land law in Hong Kong and sets out a summary of the procedures of sale and purchase of landed properties in Hong Kong.
System of Deeds Registration -
Unlike other common law jurisdictions, the Hong Kong registration system is not one of registration of title but a deeds registration system. Under such deeds registration system, it provides a register of the instruments affecting a particular lot of land. Registration of instruments alone does not confer title. Only instruments affecting the landed property can be registered and registration serves as a notice of having an interest in the landed property. As such, documents such as deeds, conveyances, or other instruments in writing and judgments creating or dealing with an interest in land, or affecting land, are considered as registrable instruments...
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