What enforcement actions will be taken by the Buildings Department in respect of unauthorized building works?Buildings Department
If the Buildings Department (BD) receives complaints about suspicious unauthorized building/unauthorized building works (UBW), BD will arrange staff or appoint consultants to conduct investigation. In addition, BD will conduct enforcement actions according to the UBW enforcement policy formulated after public consultation.
Issue "Warning Notice" or "Order"
If the complaint is valid after investigation, BD can conduct enforcement actions under the Buildings Ordinance:
- For UBW in progress, BD to issue letter to request property owner to terminate the work；
- For completed UBW, BD to issue "Warning Notice" or "Order" to request property owner to remove UBW within the specified period.
The consequences of non-compliance with the "Warning Notice"
- If property owner does not remove the concerned UBW within the period specified in the Warning Notice, BD will registered the Warning Notice with the Land Registry to constitute an encumbrance on the property title. The value and transaction of the property may be affected.
- If the situation changes, such as the concerned UBW leads to potential hazards to the public or becomes a target of large scale clearance operations, BD will consider to issue "Order" to property owner again to request for removal of the UBW.
The consequences of non-compliance with the "Order"
- If property owner does not comply with the "Order" to remove UBW, Buildings Department may have the demolition work carried out by a Government contractor. The property owner will then be billed for all costs plus a supervision charge.
- Not complying with the "Order" is a criminal offence. Any property owner who fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with an Order shall be guilty of an offence with a maximum penalty of one year's imprisonment and a maximum fine of HK$200,000. For continuing offences, there is a further daily fine of HK$20,000.
- The Order will also be recorded in the Land Registry and, if the property is mortgaged, the financial institution concerned will be notified.