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Slope safety

There are about 60,000 man-made slopes in Hong Kong registered in the New Catalogue of Slopes, comprising about 40,000 government slopes and about 20,000 private slopes.

Buildings Department is tasked with assuring the safety of private slopes under the provision of the Buildings Ordinance (BO).

Owners' Responsibility

Private owners are responsible for maintenance of private slopes, and also slopes to which they are required to maintain under the terms of government lease.

Step 1 - Check the maintenance responsibility of slopes outside their lot boundary

Find out whether the owners are responsible for the slopes outside their lot boundary and to ascertain the extent of the land they are required to maintain.

How to check?

  1. Examine their relevant lease documents. If doubt, seek professional advice from lawyers or estate surveyors on the interpretation of the lease documents.
  2. Check the Slope Maintenance Responsibility Information System (SMRIS) administered by the Lands Department for preliminary information on the maintenance responsibility of slopes.

Refer to the "Layman's Guide to Slope Maintenance" produced by the Geotechnical Engineering Office of the Civil Engineering and Development Department for the details of Routine Maintenance Inspection / Engineer Inspection for maintenance.

Routine Maintenance Inspection

  • Minimum of once every year, and
  • After every rainstorm

Engineer Inspection

  • It is not a legal requirement, but is a recommended practice to ensure slopes in good condition and reduce the probability of instability.

Common questions

Private owner should arrange for a Stability Assessment to be carried out by a professionally qualified geotechnical engineer.

A Stability Assessment should be also carried out if significant modifications have been made to the slope or retaining wall or to the adjacent area, or if significant deterioration of the slope or retaining wall has occurred.

The Community Advice and Education Section of the Geotechnical Engineering Office under the Civil Engineering and Development Department provides information and advisory services to the general public on matters relating to slope safety and slope maintenance works.

For enquiry, please call 2760 5800.

Typical Signs of Landslide Dangers

  • Landslip debris on roads and footpaths
  • New large cracks or ground subsidence on slopes
  • Mud, rocks, fragments of concrete/brick and uprooted vegetation, falling from slopes
  • Sudden change of colour of water flowing from slopes
  • Concentrated water overflowing onto slopes
  • Cement/concrete surface bulging/being dislodged or signs of soil erosion
  • Breaking of catchwaters, serious overflow from catchpits or drains
  • Flooding of water in hilly areas
  • Sudden increase in seepage over an extensive area of slopes

Landslip Warnings

Landslip warnings are issued by the HK Observatory and broadcasted on radio and television to alert the public.

You may apply in writing to BD stating your grounds for extension of time and a reasonable timetable to comply with the DHO. The BD will consider the application on a case-by-case basis.

Enforcement Actions


Buildings Department issues Dangerous Hillside Orders pursuant to the advice of the Geotechnical Engineering Office of the Civil Engineering and Development Department, requiring responsible owners to appoint an Authorized Person, a Registered Structural Engineer and a Registered Geotechnical Engineer to undertake the investigation works and, if necessary, to appoint Registered Specialist Contractors to repair dangerous slopes under their responsibility within the stipulated period.

The Dangerous Hillside Order will be registered against the related land title in the Land Registry until it is complied with.

See also: A Simple Guide to Comply with Dangerous Hillside Order - jointly produced by the Buildings Department and the Geotechnical Engineering Office of the Civil Engineering and Development Department


In default of the owners to comply with the Dangerous Hillside Orders, Buildings Department may prosecute the owners who fail to comply with the Dangerous Hillside Orders without reasonable excuse.

Besides, Buildings Department may carry out the required works on their behalf and will recover the costs plus supervision charges and a surcharge from the owners afterwards.

Financial Assistance

Integrated Building Rehabilitation Assistance Scheme (IBRAS)

A one-stop building rehabilitation service managed by Urban Renewal Authority(URA) to help owners who are in need of financial assistance for carrying out maintenance or improvement works of the slopes/retaining walls, including works for compliance with the Dangerous Hillside Orders.

View Details

Further Information

Slope Safety
Hong Kong Slope Safety
administered by the Civil Engineering and Development Department