Landlord in Kwai Chung convicted of overcharging subdivided unit tenants for water


9th February 2023 – (Hong Kong)  A landlord was convicted today of overcharging his subdivided unit (SDU) tenants for water, in contravention of regulation 47 of the Waterworks Regulations (WWR). The landlord pleaded guilty at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts and was fined $2,500.  
The Water Supplies Department (WSD) received a complaint in May 2022 concerning overcharging an SDU tenant for water of a flat on Tai Loong Street, Kwai Chung, New Territories. Upon completion of the investigation and evidence collection, prosecution was initiated against the person who contravened the relevant regulation. 
 According to the amended regulation 47 of the WWR, the registered consumer of the water account (usually the landlord) is only allowed to recover from the occupants of the premises (usually the tenants) the water charge paid to the WSD. If the amount recovered exceeds the water charge 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 inter-departmental and multi-pronged approach. In addition to stepping up inter-departmental joint inspections and improving 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.