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Five HOS flat owners convicted by court for offence of unlawful alienation

     A spokesman for the Housing Department (HD) has reminded owners of subsidised housing that they should observe and strictly comply with the alienation restriction stipulated in the Housing Ordinance in the refinancing of the flats.

     The spokesman stressed today (July 19) that the HD spares no effort in combating abuses of subsidised housing. Recently, five owners of Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats and two finance companies have been convicted by court for the offence of unlawful alienation.

     There were four court cases in total, involving nine summonses. The HOS owners concerned, by way of loan agreement or second mortgage, had charged their HOS flats to the finance companies in order to secure their loans, contrary to the Housing Ordinance. On June 29, the five HOS owners were fined $5,000 each and the two finance companies with four summonses were fined $8,000 each after being convicted at the Kowloon City Magistrates' Court.

     "Since 2013, the HD has laid a total of 27 summonses to subsidised housing flat owners and finance companies who had committed the offence of unlawful alienation, in which 20 defendants were successfully convicted with fines ranging from $5,000 to $20,000. Although one of the finance companies lodged an appeal against conviction with the Court of First Instance of the High Court, the appeal was eventually dismissed by the High Court on May 12, 2015," the spokesman said.

     According to 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, a void alienation under Section 17B is an offence and the offender is liable to a fine of $500,000 and to imprisonment for one year.

Ends/Sunday, July 19, 2015
Issued at HKT 14:03


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