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Owners of subsidised housing flats and finance company convicted by court for offence of unlawful alienation

     The Housing Department (HD) spares no effort in combating abuses of subsidised housing. An HD spokesman reminded all owners of subsidised sales flats today (April 22) that 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.

     Two Private Sector Participation Scheme flat owners and a finance company have recently been convicted for the offence of unlawful alienation. The cases were heard in Eastern Magistrates' Courts on March 8 and April 21 respectively.  Two joint owners of a subsidised housing flat charged their flat located at Rhythm Garden in Kowloon to a finance company by way of loan agreements, without paying a premium to the Housing Authority or obtaining prior approval from the Director of Housing.  They were thus prosecuted for the offence of unlawful alienation.  Eventually, the finance company was ordered to pay a fine of $9,000 and the two subsidised housing flat joint owners were fined $6,000 each after being convicted.

     Under Section 27A of the Housing Ordinance, 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 alienation restriction stipulated in the Housing Ordinance in refinancing their flats with a view to not being prosecuted for the offence of unlawful alienation.

     Since April 1, 2013, the HD has laid a total of 35 summonses to subsidised housing flat owners and finance companies for the offence of unlawful alienation.  Twenty-nine of them were successfully convicted with fines ranging from $5,000 to $80,000.

Ends/Friday, April 22, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:40


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