Property owner fined over $80,000 for persistently not complying with removal order
A property owner was convicted and fined over $80,000 at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts last month for persistently failing to comply with a removal order issued under the Buildings Ordinance (BO) (Cap. 123).
The order involved five unauthorised roof structures of about 340 squares metres in total and two roller shutters in an industrial building on Lam Tin Street, Kwai Chung, New Territories. As the unauthorised building works (UBWs) were constructed without prior approval and consent from the Buildings Department (BD), a removal order was served on the owner under section 24(1) of the BO.
Failing to comply with the removal order, the owner was prosecuted by the BD in 2019 and was fined about $56,000 upon conviction at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts. As the owner persisted in not complying with the removal order, the owner was prosecuted by the BD for the second time and was convicted again and fined $89,200 on June 22.
A spokesman for the BD said today (July 12), "UBWs may adversely affect the structural and fire safety of a building, leading to serious consequences. Owners must comply with the removal orders without delay. The BD will continue to take enforcement action against owners who have failed to comply with the removal orders, including instigation of prosecution, so as to ensure building safety."
Failure to comply with a removal order without reasonable excuse is a serious offence under the BO. The maximum penalty upon conviction is one year's imprisonment and a fine of $200,000, and a further fine of $20,000 for each day that the offence continues.
Ends/Tuesday, July 12, 2022