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Owner of subsidised housing flat and finance company convicted by court for offence of unlawful alienation
     The Housing Department (HD) spares no efforts in combating abuses of subsidised housing. One Private Sector Participation Scheme flat owner and a finance company were prosecuted for the offence of unlawful alienation under the Housing Ordinance. Following conviction of the flat owner by the Court earlier, the finance company concerned was also convicted by the Court today (September 18).

     The two above-mentioned cases were heard in Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts on August 21 and today respectively. The subsidised housing flat involved is located at Sun Hing Garden in Tai Po. Without paying the premium to the Hong Kong Housing Authority or obtaining prior approval from the Director of Housing, the flat owner signed a loan agreement with a finance company for charging the subsidised housing flat as security for a loan of $2 million. They were thus prosecuted for the offence of unlawful alienation and convicted by the Court. The flat owner involved was fined $1,000 under a bind-over order of 12 months, while the finance company was fined $8,000.

     Under the Housing Ordinance, it is an offence for a subsidised housing flat owner to unlawfully mortgage, charge, assign or otherwise alienate their subsidised housing flat without paying a premium or obtaining prior approval from the Director of Housing, and such a transaction will also be void. Under Section 27A of the Housing Ordinance, involvement in a void alienation under Section 17B is an offence and the offender is liable to a maximum fine of $500,000 and to imprisonment for one year. All owners of subsidised housing flats for which the premium has not been paid should observe and strictly comply with the alienations restriction stipulated in the Housing Ordinance in refinancing their flats, with a view to avoiding an offence of unlawful alienation.

     Since April 1, 2013, the HD has laid a total of 45 summonses to subsidised housing flat owners and finance companies for the offence of unlawful alienation. Amongst them, 38 were successfully convicted with fines ranging from $2,000 to $80,000.
Ends/Monday, September 18, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:28
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