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Unauthorized building removal

Have questions about unauthorized building removal orders? Wondering what to do after getting a demolition order?

Remove UBWs. Statutory Removal Orders

The legislation pertaining to the removal of unauthorized structures stipulates that the demolition of large unauthorized rooftop structures necessitates the engagement of a registered contractor to execute the relevant construction procedures.

We possess the requisite licenses to undertake projects of varying scales. We are committed to upholding all necessary safety measures as stipulated by Buildings Department regulations until the completion of construction and the lifting of orders. We offer complimentary quotations, dedicated follow-up, and comprehensive service to alleviate our clients' concerns.

Please be advised that receiving a demolition order from the Buildings Department should be taken seriously. It is imperative to promptly demolish any illegal unauthorized structures.

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What are unauthorized structures?

Any modifications or additions to a building that do not have prior approval from the Buildings Department or have not undergone the simplified procedures of the Minor Works Control System are regarded as unauthorized construction activities.

Unauthorized construction projects create significant societal issues, so they must be dismantled.

Upon receipt of an order to remove unauthorized constructions from the Buildings Department, it is imperative to promptly engage the services of a registered contractor to carry out the requisite construction work.Violators of the Buildings Ordinance are subject to potential fines and imprisonment upon conviction. Furthermore, the order will be officially documented in the Land Registry.

What is Buildings Department Statutory Removal Orders

Once the Buildings Department inspects an illegal building, the relevant owner is responsible for "removal and restoration." The Buildings Department will issue statutory orders to owners requiring the removal of the following unauthorized structures and register the relevant orders in the title registration records of the Land Registry.

How to split?

In the early days, there was a 5:5 account split method, but due to the tenure and the decreasing electricity price, now there was no profit in the first few years from the 7:3 account split, and there are also accounts that started to be split later. The shorter the term, the smaller the distribution because the cost remains the same.

How long to split?

Generally, it will be December 31, 2033, when the government program ends, unless the government continues the project.

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Can I request an extension for the demolition order?

The Buildings Department generally does not approve unless it constitutes a particular case.Approved stents are exempted but must be declared every five years.However, it has recently been discovered that law enforcement agencies have also issued unauthorized construction and demolition orders for some declared unauthorized structures. This indicates an escalation in their enforcement efforts.

Upon receipt of an unauthorized building removal order from the Buildings Department, it is imperative to adhere to the directive promptly. Engaging a registered contractor to execute the necessary construction work is essential for mitigating potential delays. Non-compliance without valid justification may lead to legal prosecution, with the requisite works being undertaken by a government-appointed contractor. The Buildings Department will subsequently recoup the project costs from the responsible party, inclusive of supervision fees and surcharges.

Under what circumstances does the Buildings Department undertake work on behalf of the owner?

The property owner is responsible for adhering to directives issued by the Building Authority. In instances of non-compliance, the Buildings Department is authorized to execute the necessary work in emergency situations or when owners fail to adhere to the directives. Subsequently, the department will recover the costs associated with the project, in addition to supervision fees and surcharges, from the respective property owners.

The Buildings Department is authorized to pursue legal action against proprietors who fail to adhere to directives without justifiable cause. As per the Buildings Ordinance, any individual who neglects to comply with a directive without justifiable cause violates the law and, upon conviction, is subject to both a fine and imprisonment.

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Common unauthorized structures?

  • Air conditioner/cooling brackets
  • Canopies
  • Platform structure
  • Rooftop structures
  • Subdivided flat/subdivided room
  • Shop sign
  • Structural alteration works of building
  • Wrong connection to drainage ditch, etc.

What are the impacts of unauthorized buildings?

Unauthorized structures cause huge problems to society:

1. Constitute a structural or fire hazard.
2. Harmful to hygiene or causing inconvenience to the public.
3. Deteriorating the environment.
4. Prevent good building management.

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Responsibility of Owner for Unapproved Structures

Owners are expected to ensure that the property is free from any unauthorized structures. Therefore, owners are encouraged to take the necessary steps to arrange for the removal of any unauthorized structures on the property. In the case of unauthorized structures in common areas of the building, the owners' corporation or co-owners should collaborate to address this issue.

Once the Buildings Department inspects an illegal building, the relevant owner is responsible for "removal and restoration."

Disobeying legal orders
  • Criminal offence;;
  • The maximum penalty is one year's imprisonment, and
  • Fine HK$200,000
  • The Buildings Department may instruct government contractors to carry out the demolition on their behalf.
  • The owners are required to bear all construction costs, encompassing supervision fees and surcharges, in compliance with the regulations established by the Buildings Department.
Illegal situation continues
  • Additional daily fine of HK$20,000

Information about unauthorized building