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Property owner fined over $90,000 for persistently not complying with removal order

Property owner fined over $90,000 for persistently not complying with removal order

A property owner was fined $97,000 for failing to comply with a removal order under the Buildings Ordinance (Cap 123) (BO) at Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts last week.

The order involved two illegal structures on the flat roofs of a building at Granville Circuit, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. The aggregate size of the unauthorised building works (UBWs) was around 60 square metres, which was roughly the same as the domestic flat concerned. As the UBWs were erected without prior approval from the Buildings Department (BD), contravening the BO, a removal order was served on the owner of the flat under section 24(1) of the BO.

Since the owner did not comply with the order, he was prosecuted by the BD in 2016 and fined upon conviction at Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts. However, as the owner persisted in not complying with the order, the BD instigated prosecution against him for the second time. He was convicted again and heavily fined over $90,000 on March 27.

"UBWs may adversely affect the structural and fire safety of a building, leading to serious consequences. Owners should seek professional advice before carrying out any building works in their premises," a spokesman for the BD said.

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 that the offence has continued.

Ends/Wednesday, April 4, 2018