Managers fined for illegal guesthouse operations

     A man and a woman were fined $10,000 and $9,000 respectively at the Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts today (October 8) for contravening the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance.

     The courts heard that officers of the Office of the Licensing Authority (OLA), Home Affairs Department, inspected two suspected unlicensed guesthouses on Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui and Shanghai Street in Mong Kok, in March and April this year respectively. The OLA officers posed as lodgers and successfully rented rooms in these two guesthouses on a daily basis.

     According to the OLA's records, these guesthouses did not possess valid certificates of exemption or 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, October 8, 2014
Issued at HKT 19:08