PRH resident convicted for making false statement knowingly

     The Housing Department (HD) always spares no effort in combating abuses of public housing resources. In a recent court case a public rental housing (PRH) tenant who did not declare his landed property ownership to HD has been convicted by the court for making a false statement knowingly.

     In this case, a PRH tenant knowingly concealed ownership of and  related income from a domestic property when filing the required income declaration in 2012. The tenant was convicted and was fined $35,000 at the Eastern Magistrates' Court in December 2013.

     A spokesman for the HD today (January 19) said, "Tenants who have been living in PRH for 10 years or more are required to declare their household income at a biennial cycle. Those with a household income exceeding the corresponding Subsidy Income Limits are required to pay 1.5 times or double net rent as appropriate. Tenants paying double net rent have to declare assets at the next cycle of declaration. Those who opt not to declare, or whose total household assets value exceeds the prescribed Net Assets Limits, are required to vacate their public housing flats.

     "Declarable incomes include those from employment, self-employment, business undertakings and revenue generated from assets. Interest from fixed deposits and investment, pension and the like are also counted. Assets include land and landed property, vehicle, taxi and public light bus licences, business undertakings, investment, deposits and cash," he said.

     The spokesman reiterated that PRH tenants must truly and accurately declare their incomes and assets, both in Hong Kong and overseas. The HD has the mechanism to verify tenants' declarable incomes and assets with a view to assessing their rent level and eligibility of renting PRH flat. Tenants will be committing an offence if they knowingly make a false statement when declaring their incomes or assets and will be liable to conviction with a maximum fine of $50,000 and 6 months' imprisonment. The HD will also recover from the tenants the amount of rent undercharged as a result of the inaccurate information provided.

Ends/Sunday, January 19, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:00