Property owner fined over $250,000 for not complying with removal orders


     A property owner was convicted and fined over $250,000 at the Fanling Magistrates’ Courts last week for failing to comply with removal orders issued under the Buildings Ordinance (BO) (Cap. 123).

     The orders involved an unauthorised structure of about 6 000 square metres across 13 sections of a lot in D.D. 52, Fu Tei Au, North District, New Territories. As the above unauthorised building works (UBWs) were carried out without prior approval and consent from the Buildings Department (BD), 13 removal orders were served on the owner under section 24(1) of the BO.

     Failing to comply with the removal orders, the owner was prosecuted by the BD and was fined $251,464 in total upon conviction at the Fanling Magistrates’ Courts on April 18.

     A spokesman for the BD said today (April 25), “UBWs may lead to serious consequences. Owners must comply with removal orders without delay. The BD will continue to take enforcement actions against owners who have failed to comply with 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.