“If you do not ask for it you will not get it”. Most Hong Kong landlords expect tenants to negotiate asking rentals. However the market is transparent and most landlords are aware of current market conditions and will therefore not give much room for negotiation. Based on my experience around 5% off is usually achievable and 10% is considered good. More than 10% is not common but can be achieved in certain situations. Answering the below questions will give you guidance on potential negotiation room.
Is the asking rental in line with similar homes in the area?
Some landlords deliberately overprice and might offer larger discounts while some underprice and will not offer any discount at all.
Has the apartment been on the market for a long time?
It is normal for an apartment to stay on the market for up to 3-4 months but anything longer than that can potentially open up for negotiation.
Are there many similar units available on the market?
Bargains can usually be found when a new development floods the market with similar apartments since the landlords compete with each other through rentals.
How quickly I am ready to move in?
A quick move in date is highly preferred and if the apartment is ready, moving in within one to two weeks can give you negotiation leverage.
How active is the current leasing market?
Summer and winter months are traditionally active with many newcomers looking for a home. In an active market apartments will lease quickly and therefore landlords do not have incentive to negotiate and they might even increase the rental.