Property owner fined over $60,000 for persistently not complying with removal order
A property owner was convicted and fined over $60,000 at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts earlier for persistently failing to comply with a removal order issued under the Buildings Ordinance (BO) (Cap. 123).
The order involved an illegal flat roof structure for domestic use in a composite building in Tai Loong Street, Kwai Chung. The size of the unauthorised building works (UBWs) was about 110 square metres, almost tripled the size of the flat concerned. As the 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 three times and was fined about $80,000 in total 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 fourth time and was convicted again and fined $61,550 on December 14.
A spokesman for the BD said today (December 18), "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/Sunday, December 18, 2022