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Unauthorised building works

Overview of UBWs

What are Unauthorised Building Works (UBWs)?

In general, UBWs are:

  • Any additions or alterations inside the buildings, and building works outside the building without the prior approval of the Building Authority.
  • Small-scale building works that are designated as minor works, but did not follow the simplified requirements of the Minor Works Control System under the Buildings Ordinance (Cap. 123).
  • Any addition and alteration works that were carried out inside a building NOT involving the structure of the building, but do not comply with the building standards laid down in the Buildings Ordinance and allied regulations.

Commonly found UBWs

  • supporting frames for air-conditioners / cooling towers
  • canopies
  • flat roof structures
  • rooftop structures
  • subdivision of flats
  • signboards
  • structural alterations
  • drainage misconnections, etc.

For details, please read UBWs in private premises.

What are the threats?

UBWs have created tremendous problems to the community because they:

Constitute structural or fire risks
Constitute structural or fire risks
Constitute health nuisance or cause inconvenience to the public
Constitute health nuisance or cause inconvenience to the public
Lead to deterioration of the environment
Lead to deterioration of the environment
Hamper good building management
Hamper good building management

Common questions

Any proposed alteration of the common part of a building shall comply with the building standards stipulated in the building regulations.

Owners and occupants are advised to:

  • consult building professionals, registered contractors and, when necessary, authorized persons on the feasibility of the alteration for compliance with the BO before carrying out such alteration, and make necessary submissions to the Buildings Department.
  • observe other requirements such as the Deed of Mutual Covenant of the building, and to obtain the agreement from the Owners' Corporation, Mutual Aid Committee or the management company prior to the carrying out of the alteration.

What should owners do?

Owners have the responsibility to ensure that their premises are free from UBWs and should, in their own interest, take the initiative to arrange for demolition of the UBWs in their premises. For UBWs erected in the common areas of a building, the owners' corporation or co-owners of the building should co-ordinate themselves to demolish the UBWs.

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