Skip to Content

Frequently asked questions

Statutory Orders

You may apply in writing to Buildings Department stating your grounds for extension of time. However, Buildings Department normally will not accede to such request (e.g. reason that the premises is subject to a tenancy agreement) except in very special cases and you are therefore advised to comply with the order without delay. Failure to comply with the order without reasonable excuse may result in prosecution and/or enforcement action by government to carry out the works on your behalf, and subsequently recover the cost of the works plus supervision charge and a surcharge from you.

Registration of statutory orders at the Land Registry is not a requirement under the Buildings Ordinance. Nevertheless, according to current practice, the Buildings Department will send statutory orders and their compliance records to the Land Registry for registration. You may check against the records kept by Land Registry (Please refer to The Land Registry – Frequently Asked Questions – Search http://www.landreg.gov.hk/en/faq/faq_search.htm). Some earlier statutory orders may not have been registered at the Land Registry. It should be noted that premises with no statutory orders does not necessarily mean that it is free of unauthorised buildings works (UBW). Moreover, prospective purchasers should conduct inspection of the premises concerned and check the corresponding approval plans and minor works records in the Buildings Department’s Building Information Centre or via the BRAVO system on the internet. Professional advice should also be sought as necessary to ensure that the premises is free of UBW. You may also check with the vendor for the related information or make enquiry to the Buildings Department.

It is the owner's responsibility to comply with orders issued by Building Authority. Only in an emergency or in owner's default of an Order would Buildings Department carry out works on his behalf and recover the cost of the works afterwards, plus supervision charge and surcharge from him. In default of the owners to comply with the Orders, Buildings Department may prosecute the owners who fail to comply with the Orders without reasonable excuse. Any person who fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with an order shall be guilty of an offence under the Buildings Ordinance and he shall be liable on conviction to fine and imprisonment.

According to the government policy, no person shall be made homeless as a result of government actions. Despite rooftop structures are unauthorised, the Buildings Department in accordance with this policy, has arranged with the Housing Department, Social Welfare Department and the Home Affairs Department to offer rehousing and social assistance to the occupants. Regarding the type of rehousing eligible, this is the jurisdiction of the Housing Department and will be assessed according to the rehousing eligibility of the affected occupant concerned.

  1. If the owners do not comply with this Order, the Buildings Department will have the demolition work carried out by a Government contractor. They will then be billed for all costs plus a supervision charge and a surcharge.
  2. Not complying with the Statutory Order is a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment and a maximum fine of HK$200,000. For continuing offences, there is a further daily fine of HK$20,000.
  3. The Order will also be recorded in the Land Registry and, if the property is mortgaged, the financial institution concerned will be notified.

If you wish to make a statutory appeal under section 44 of the Buildings Ordinance, please note the following:

  1. You should serve your Notice of Appeal in writing directly on the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal to be received by him not later than 21 days after the date notification of the Building Authority’s decision is sent to you. The address of the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal is 17/F, West Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong and his fax number is 2189 7334.
  2. You should also serve a copy of your notice of appeal on the Building Authority (please mark for the attention of Litigation Units / Legal Services Section, Buildings Department) (12/F-18/F Pioneer Centre, 750 Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong, Fax No.: 2877 6416).
  3. Please take note that if you lodge a statutory appeal under section 44 of the Buildings Ordinance, you have to bear the resulting legal responsibilities and consequences. For instance, under section 51 of the said Ordinance, the Appeal Tribunal, on making an order under section 49(2) or section 50(2) of the said Ordinance, may make such order as to the costs as it thinks fit against you.
  4. The general enquiry telephone no. of the Secretary to the Appeal Tribunal is 3509 7800. If you require advice on the law regarding the appeal, you should consult your lawyer.
  5. The Appeal Tribunal is NOT the Building Authority. It is generally NOT the function of the Appeal Tribunal to handle complaints, enquiries or negotiations regarding the Building Authority, nor to provide advisory, mediation, mitigation or investigation services to the Appellant.

This will be shown on your Order:

  1. Buildings Department will specify in the relevant removal order whether the appointment of Authorized Person (AP), Registered Specialist Contractor (RSC), and Registered Structural Engineer (RSE) is required to carry out the work and to advise and ensure that necessary safety measures are provided in case the work is involving the demolition of a building or of any substantial or significant part of a building.
  2. If the work does not involve the demolition of a building or of any substantial or significant part of a building, Buildings Department would not specify in the removal order that the appointment of AP, Registered Contractor (RC), and RSE is required. Instead, Buildings Department will only advise the owner for his own safety and that of the public to appoint Registered Contractor (RC) to carry out the work, and an AP or RSE to ensure the necessary safety measures are provided. Furthermore, the Building (Minor Works) Regulation has been implemented on 31 December 2010. Under the new Minor Works Control System (MWCS), any person intending to carry out minor works can follow the simplified procedures. For more details about MWCS, please call BD hotline 2626 1616 or BD's website
Top