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WSD registered consumer convicted of overcharging subdivided unit tenant for water
     A Water Supplies Department (WSD) registered consumer was convicted today (December 27) of overcharging her subdivided unit (SDU) tenant for water, in contravention of regulation 47 of the Waterworks Regulations (WWR). She pleaded guilty to three counts of offences at the Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts and was fined $1,200 for each contravention with a total fine of $3,600.

     The WSD received a complaint in June 2023 concerning overcharging an SDU tenant for water at a flat on Hong Keung Street, San Po Kong, Kowloon. Upon completion of the investigation and evidence collection, the WSD instituted prosecution against the illegal acts of overcharging SDU tenants for water. This is the 14th similar conviction case since the first conviction in June 2022, with associated fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

      According to the amended regulation 47 of the WWR, if the registered consumer of the water account (usually the landlord) recovers from the occupants of the premises (usually the tenants) the water charge in a sum exceeding the amount paid to the WSD, the registered consumer shall be guilty of an offence and be liable to a maximum fine of $10,000.

      A WSD spokesman said that the Government is committed to combating illegal acts through an interdepartmental and multipronged approach. In addition to stepping up inspections and streamlining the application procedures for the installation of separate water meters, publicity and education efforts have also been strengthened, with a view to enhancing the deterrent effect in preventing SDU tenants from being overcharged for water by the landlord. 

      The spokesman mentioned that the WSD has launched a scheme to encourage landlords to apply for installation of separate water meters. Under the scheme, payment of the water fee deposit and the charge for providing a meter for each separate water meter installed will be waived. Every such water meter account will have a separate water bill for paying water charge, and the first 12 cubic metres of water consumed for each four-month period will be free of charge.

      While applications for installing separate water meters in SDUs are to be submitted by the landlords, the SDU tenants can also make requests for installations directly to the WSD. The WSD will then approach the landlords concerned for follow-up action and provide appropriate technical support. Details of the scheme can be obtained from the WSD's website (www.wsd.gov.hk/en/customer-services/application-for-water-supply/pilot-scheme-for-installation-of-separate-water-me/index.html).

      The WSD encourages the public to report any illegal act of overcharging SDU tenants for water for follow-up and investigation by the department. The public can call the WSD's Hotline 3468 4963 or WhatsApp 5665 5517 to apply for installation of separate water meters for SDUs. The WhatsApp hotline also handles matters relating to water overcharging in SDUs. Alternatively, the public can call the WSD's Customer Enquiry Hotline 2824 5000 to report water overcharge cases. After calling the hotline and choosing a language, they can press "7" for reporting to staff directly.
Ends/Wednesday, December 27, 2023
Issued at HKT 14:30
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