Managers of illegal guesthouses fined

     A man and a woman were fined $9,000 and $8,000 at the Eastern Magistrates' Courts and Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts respectively today (May 14) for contravening the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance (the Ordinance).

     The courts heard that officers of the Office of the Licensing Authority (OLA), Home Affairs Department, inspected two suspected unlicensed guesthouses on Jaffe Road in Causeway Bay and at the junction of Shan Tung Street and Canton Road in Kowloon, in August and October last year. OLA officers posed as lodgers and successfully rented rooms in these guesthouses on a daily basis.

     According to the OLA's records, these guesthouses did not possess licences under the Ordinance on the days of inspection. Therefore, the man and woman responsible for managing these premises were charged with contravening section 5(1) of the Ordinance.

     A department spokesman stressed that operating or managing an unlicensed guesthouse is a criminal offence and will lead to a criminal record. Upon conviction, the offender is liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and two years' imprisonment.

     He appealed to the public to report suspected illegal guesthouses to the OLA through the OLA hotline (2881 7498), by email ( or fax (fax number: 2504 5805) using the report form downloaded from the website (

Ends/Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:31