Buildings Department issues statutory order and to conduct full investigation regarding removal of part of structural wall of a unit at The Capitol, Lohas Park

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30th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Buildings Department (BD) has expressed concern over the suspected removal of part of a structural wall in a unit at The Capitol, Lohas Park. The department has deployed staff for a site inspection, and following this, has issued a statutory order to the owner under the Buildings Ordinance (BO). The BD has commenced a full investigation into any contravention under the BO, and will take appropriate punitive action depending on the outcome of the investigation, including instigating prosecution.

During the inspection, certain contraventions were found, including the removal of part of a 200mm thick structural wall for the installation of a new door. The BD has issued a statutory order to the owner, requiring them to appoint an Authorized Person (AP) to submit a remedial proposal, obtain approval and consent from the BD before commencing remedial works to reinstate the parts of the building affected by the alteration works. The BD will continue to follow up on the case to ensure compliance with the statutory order.

The BD stressed that it is the responsibility of owners to keep their buildings free of unauthorised building works (UBWs) and not to carry out any UBWs. Any person who intends to carry out alterations and additions (A&A) works is advised to consult building professionals for advice, including feasibility of the works, and where necessary, apply for approval and consent from the BD to ensure building safety and compliance with the BO.

According to the BO, it is a serious offence to carryout any building works without prior approval, and any person found guilty may face a maximum fine of $400,000 and two years’ imprisonment. Those who carry out works in a manner that causes a risk of injury or damage to property may be liable for a fine of up to $1,000,000 and imprisonment for three years. Failure to comply with a statutory order may result in a fine of $200,000 and an additional fine of $20,000 for each day that the offence continues.

The incident highlights the importance of obtaining prior approval and consent from the BD for any building works, particularly those involving structural alterations. Building owners, professionals, and contractors must carefully examine approved plans and relevant documents and comply with the BO to ensure the safety of occupants and structural safety of buildings.