Landlords of subdivided units fined for breaching Landlord and Tenant Ordinance

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16th February 2024 – (Hong Kong) Eight landlords of subdivided units (SDUs) pleaded guilty today in the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts for violating Part IVA of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance (Cap. 7). They were collectively fined $9,300. Since the implementation of the Ordinance, a total of 125 SDU landlords have been convicted of contravening its regulations.

The charges against these landlords include two main offenses. Firstly, they 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. Secondly, they neglected to provide the tenants with a rent receipt. Among the offenders, one landlord, who violated four offenses under the first charge, received a fine of $3,200.

The Rating and Valuation Department (RVD) uncovered these breaches during their investigations into the landlords’ compliance with the Ordinance. Subsequently, the RVD gathered substantial evidence and initiated legal action against the offenders.

A spokesperson for the RVD emphasised the importance of these convictions in sending a strong message to SDU landlords, emphasising the need to comply with the relevant requirements outlined in the Ordinance. Additionally, the spokesperson aimed to remind SDU tenants of their rights under the law. The RVD also emphasised its commitment to taking firm enforcement action against any violations of the Ordinance. In addition to addressing reported cases, the RVD proactively identifies, investigates, and pursues cases involving suspected breaches of the Ordinance. The department has been requesting information and reference documents from landlords of regulated tenancies to verify compliance. Failure to provide the requested information without reasonable justification is considered an offence and can result in a fine of up to $10,000 and three months’ imprisonment. The RVD assesses each case individually, taking into account the specific circumstances and evidence collected, before initiating prosecutions for suspected violations of the Ordinance.