Unregistered contractor and its director fined for carrying out minor works in contravention of Buildings Ordinance
An unregistered contractor and its director were each fined $12,070 by the Kowloon City Magistrates' Court on November 6, 2013 for carrying out minor works in contravention of the Buildings Ordinance.
In response to a report from the public that certain works were carried out in contravention of the Buildings Ordinance on the flat roof of a building in Larch Street, Kowloon, staff of the Buildings Department (BD) inspected the premises and found that works were carried out to remove the unauthorised flat roof structures there. The removal works, being a designated minor works item, were required to be carried out by a prescribed registered contractor in accordance with the simplified requirements of the Minor Works Control System, otherwise an offence is committed under section 40(2G) of the Buildings Ordinance (BO).
According to the BD's record, there was no prior approval and consent given for the carrying out of the removal works, nor was there any minor works submission in respect of the removal works in accordance with the simplified requirements under the Minor Works Control System. Moreover, the contractor responsible for the removal works is not on any of the contractors' registers kept by the Building Authority. The BD thus instigated prosecution against the contractor and its director for the relevant offences under section 40(2G) and 40(6) of the BO. They pleaded guilty and were convicted on November 6, 2013. They were each fined $12,070 by the court.
The Minor Works Control System aims to facilitate building owners in carrying out small-scale building works safely in private buildings lawfully through simplified statutory procedures, a spokesman of the BD said. It is a serious offence for any person other than a prescribed registered contractor (i.e. a registered general building contractor or a registered minor works contractor) to carry out minor works. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine at level six (at present $100,000) and imprisonment for six months, and a further fine of $5,000 for each day that the offence has continued.
The person who arranges for the carrying out of minor works commits an offence if he knowingly fails to appoint a prescribed building professional and/or a prescribed registered contractor for such works. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine at level six. Moreover, the property owners should employ a qualified person to carry out the rectification works. It is therefore in the interest of the property owners themselves to employ a prescribed building professional and prescribed registered contractor for the carrying out of minor works. The lists of registered contractors are available on the BD website (www.bd.gov.hk). Property owners should request the contractor to be appointed to prove whether he is a qualified registered contractor, the spokesman added.
Ends/Wednesday, November 20, 2013