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Owner of subsidised housing flat and finance company convicted by court for offence of unlawful alienation
     A spokesman for the Housing Department (HD) today (June 7) reminded all owners of subsidised housing flats for which the premium has not been paid that they should observe and strictly comply with the alienations restriction stipulated in the Housing Ordinance in refinancing their flats with a view to not being prosecuted for the offence of unlawful alienations.
     Two Tenants Purchase Scheme flat owners and a finance company were recently prosecuted for the offence of unlawful alienation. One of the flat owners and the finance company were convicted by court. As the other flat owner involved failed to appear in court, the case against the said flat owner was adjourned.
     The above-mentioned two cases were heard in Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts on June 5. The subsidised housing flats involved are located at Tung Tau (II) Estate in Kowloon and Fu Shin Estate in Tai Po. Without paying the premium to the Hong Kong Housing Authority or obtaining prior approval from the Director of Housing, the two flat owners involved charged their respective subsidised housing flats to the same finance company by way of a legal charge/second legal charge. They were thus prosecuted for the offence of unlawful alienation. Eventually, the finance company and one of the flat owners involved were convicted by court. For the two summonses laid against the finance company, it was ordered to pay a fine of $9,000 each while the flat owner involved was fined $2,000.

     "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, 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," the spokesman said.

     Since April 1, 2013, the HD has laid a total of 41 summonses to subsidised housing flat owners and finance companies for the offence of unlawful alienation. Thirty-three of them were successfully convicted with fines ranging from $2,000 to $80,000.
Ends/Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:03
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