1st December 2023 – (Hong Kong) Eighteen landlords of subdivided units (SDUs) pleaded guilty and were collectively fined $17,800 at the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts today. Their convictions were a result of contravening Part IVA of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance (Cap. 7). With these latest convictions, a total of 46 SDU landlords have been found guilty of breaching the Ordinance since its enforcement.
The convicted landlords failed to submit a Notice of Tenancy (Form AR2) to the Commissioner of Rating and Valuation within 60 days of the commencement of the regulated tenancy. Two of them faced additional fines for neglecting to provide copies of bills and written accounts for apportioned water and electricity charges, amounting to fines of $3,300 and $2,300, respectively.
The Rating and Valuation Department (RVD) discovered these violations during their investigations into the compliance of landlords with the Ordinance. The department gathered substantial evidence, leading to the prosecution of the landlords involved.
A spokesperson for the RVD emphasized the significance of these convictions, stating that they serve as a strong message to SDU landlords, emphasizing the need to comply with the relevant requirements outlined in the Ordinance. The spokesperson also reminded SDU tenants of their rights under the Ordinance. Furthermore, the RVD affirmed its commitment to taking resolute enforcement action against any violations of the Ordinance. In addition to responding to reported cases, the RVD has implemented a proactive approach to identify, investigate, and follow up on suspected contraventions by landlords. The RVD has requested information and reference documents from landlords of regulated tenancies to verify compliance with the Ordinance. Failure to provide the requested information without reasonable excuse is considered an offence, punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for three months. The RVD will assess individual cases based on the collected information and evidence, taking appropriate actions, including instigating prosecutions, where necessary.
The RVD spokesperson urged the public to promptly report any suspected cases of non-compliance to assist in curbing illegal activities. Reports can be made through various channels, including telephone hotline (2150 8303), email ([email protected]), fax (2116 4920), post (15/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon), or in person (visiting the Tenancy Services Section office of the RVD at Room 3816-22, 38/F, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, by appointment). Additionally, the RVD has provided a reporting form (Form AR4) on its website (www.rvd.gov.hk/doc/en/forms/ar4.pdf) to facilitate SDU tenants in reporting violations.