Investigation underway as unit at The Capitol in LOHAS Park Phase 1 suspected of breaching load-bearing wall during renovation

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29th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) A unit at The Capitol in LOHAS Park Phase 1, was suspected of removing part of the load-bearing wall during renovation work and replacing it with a door to create a master bedroom. The incident has sparked discussions among residents and netizens. At around 2pm today, the Buildings Department arrived at the unit in question accompanied by personnel from the property management company to investigate. The owner of the unit and the designer were reportedly present at the scene. Workers were seen moving fixed supports into the unit at around 3pm.

Workers were seen moving fixed supports into the unit at around 3pm.

A neighbouring unit owner, who lives on the floor above the unit in question, said that the renovation work had been ongoing for six months and was only completed in May. He heard drilling and saw some minor wall damage during the renovation period but did not notice anything unusual until recent media reports revealed the suspected removal of the load-bearing wall. He expressed shock and disappointment, criticised the owner and the designer, and expressed concern about the safety of the building’s structure. He also estimated that property prices in the building would be affected in the short term, causing losses to all owners of The Capitol.

Former chairman of The Capitol’s owners’ committee, Cheung Chi-tung, said that the unit in question had removed a “big hole” in the load-bearing wall, removing the reinforced steel and concrete, and other owners in the building are most concerned about personal safety, particularly those living above the suspect unit. Other owners are also worried that the incident could damage the building’s structure and affect the future sale or rental of their units.

Cheung Chi-tung pointed out that the owner of the unit and the contractor responsible for the renovation work have an absolute responsibility for the incident and must take full responsibility. However, he also criticised the property management company for being “too careless” in its supervision of the renovation work. The company has a responsibility to monitor the work, but it was unaware of the incident until it was exposed by the media. He emphasised that the property management company cannot shirk its responsibility, and other owners will be writing to the company to demand that it follows the guidelines and contacts the unit in question to ensure the safe restoration of the unit and protect the safety of all owners.