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Property owner fined over $70,000 for persistently not complying with removal order
     A property owner was convicted and fined over $70,000 at the Tuen Mun Magistrates' Courts last week for persistently failing to comply with a removal order issued under the Buildings Ordinance (BO) (Cap. 123).

     The order involved an unauthorised structure of two storeys, of about 195 square metres for each storey, in Tai Kei Leng, Yuen Long. As the unauthorised building works (UBWs) were carried out without prior approval and consent from the Buildings Department (BD), a removal order was served on the owner under section 24(1) of the BO.

     Failing to comply with the removal order, the owner was prosecuted by the BD in 2011 and was fined $20,000 upon conviction at the Fanling Magistrates' Courts. As the owner persisted in not complying with the removal order, the owner was prosecuted by the BD for the second time last year. The owner was convicted again on January 13 this year. The Court adjourned the case and ordered the owner to report the status of removal of the UBWs before handing down a sentence. The owner subsequently removed the UBWs and was fined $72,400 by the Court on May 12.

     A spokesman for the BD said today (May 19), "UBWs may lead to serious consequences. Owners must comply with the removal orders without delay. The BD will continue to take enforcement action against owners who have failed to comply with removal orders, including instigation of prosecution, so as to ensure building safety."

     Failure to comply with a removal order without reasonable excuse is a serious offence under the BO. The maximum penalty upon conviction is one year imprisonment and a fine of $200,000, and a further fine of $20,000 for each day that the offence has continued.
Ends/Friday, May 19, 2023
Issued at HKT 16:10
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