Landlord in Tsuen Wan convicted of overcharging subdivided unit tenant for water

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23rd May 2024 – (Hong Kong) A landlord of a subdivided flat in Tsuen Wan, New Territories was convicted today (May 23) of overcharging their subdivided unit (SDU) tenant for water. This is the 19th similar conviction case since the first one in June 2022, with fines ranging from $1,000 to $6,500.

The recent amendments to the Waterworks Ordinance in April 2024 have strengthened the Water Authority’s powers for evidence collection and information disclosure during investigations of suspected overcharging cases. Landlords can now be required to provide tenancy agreements, receipts, and payment records, with failure to comply being an offense.

The maximum penalty for overcharging SDU tenants has also been raised to $25,000 to deter this illegal practice. Providing false or misleading information to the Water Authority is now also an offense punishable by a $25,000 fine and up to 6 months imprisonment.

The Water Supplies Department strongly encourages landlords to apply for separate water meters for their SDUs to avoid overcharging violations. The department also provides a free installation scheme and waives the water fee deposit and meter charges. SDU tenants can directly contact the department to request separate meters if their landlords refuse to do so.

The public is encouraged to report any cases of water overcharging for SDUs to the Water Supplies Department for follow-up investigation.