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Any person who intends to carry out addition, alteration or removal building works in private  premises (including Private Sector Participation Scheme courts and purchased flats of Housing Society) is required by law to submit related plans for the approval of the Building Authority. Therefore, if the building structure is different from the approved plan without prior approval from the Buildings Department (BD)Note, plus the works is not a designated exempted for approval works under the Buildings Ordinance, then the work is an unauthorized building works. The concerned building will become unauthorized building after the related works is completed.


Common examples of additions, alterations and removal works include:

  1. combining two or more units into one by removing the partition walls;
  2. adding internal staircases, linking two or more floors
  3. subdividing a unit into smaller units;
  4. adding additional floors or cocklofts to an existing building;
  5. adding additional building works such as metal cages, or canopies to the external walls of buildings
  6. installing glass panels, advertisement signboards or large TV to the external walls of  buildings;
  7. addition of building works on yards, flat roofs or roof tops of buildings
  8. constructing a swimming pool;
  9. adding water tanks, canopies and shelters, structural frames for air-conditioning or other plant, structural supports for advertisement signboards etc


Report of suspicious cases
If you suspect that someone is carrying out unauthorized building works or you find suspicious unauthorized building works, you can report the case to BD hotline at 2626 1616 (this hotline is handled by 1823 Call Centre). You can choose not to disclose your name, address or phone number when lodging your complaint, however, the above information can assist BD to inform you on the actions taken in regard to your complaint.


Enforcement actions taken by BD
Regarding the enforcement actions taken by BD in respect of unauthorized building works, please click here.  


Note: The following types of buildings are not under the purview of BD

  1. Public housing including Tenant Purchase Scheme and Home ownership Scheme flat* is under the purview of Housing Department;
    *The Housing Department has been authorized by the Buildings Department to exercise control over the Home Ownership Scheme and Tenants Purchase Scheme buildings under the Buildings Ordinance.
  2. Housing Society rental flat is under the purview of the Housing Authority;
  3. Small house owned by indigenous villager is under the purview of the Lands Department (however, unauthorized building works with imminent danger is under the purview of the Buildings Department); and
  4. Government property or building is under the purview of the Architectural Services Department.
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Last update: 2 Sep 2019
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