Two property owners fined $70,000 each for failing to comply with removal orders
Two property owners were convicted and fined $70,000 each for failing to comply with removal orders issued under the Buildings Ordinance (Cap 123) (BO) at West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts last month.
An inspection conducted by staff of the Buildings Department (BD) in January 2017 revealed that two illegal structures, 103 square metres and 86 sq m in size, each with four sub-divided units, had been erected on the flat roofs of two premises in a building at Heung Wo Street, Tsuen Wan, New Territories. These building works were carried out without prior approval and consent from the BD, contravening section 14(1) of the BO. Removal orders were then served on the owners of the two premises under section 24(1) of the BO.
As the two owners failed to remove the unauthorised building works (UBWs) upon the expiry of the removal orders, they were prosecuted by the BD. The owners pleaded guilty and were fined $26,100 and $26,400 at West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts in July 2017. However, the owners still did not remove the UBWs and the BD instigated prosecution against the owners for the second time. The owners pleaded guilty and were each heavily fined $70,000 at West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts on January 10.
Pursuant to section 40(1BA) of the BO, any person who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with an order served on him under section 24(1) of the BO, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of $200,000 and to imprisonment for one year, as well as a further fine of $20,000 for each day the offence has continued.
Ends/Friday, February 9, 2018