Government resumes 52 properties after rent lapses
Fifty-two properties have been resumed by the Lands Department over the past two years after owners failed to pay government rents.
The amounts of outstanding rent ranged between $1,100 and $151,200, prompting the department to issue 'vesting notices' that give it the right to gain re-entry to buildings.
Twenty-six petitions to cancel notices were issued and nine were cancelled after the owners settled the outstanding rent and paid administrative fees and penalties. The department is still considering 17 petitions.
Deputy Director of Lands Tom Berry emphasised that failure to pay government rent was a breach of covenant in a land lease.
'This gives the Government a right of re-entry of the land or vesting of a flat or unit in a multi-ownership development,' Mr Berry said. 'Cancellation will not normally be granted unless the owner has paid a substantial administrative fee and penalty in addition to settling all outstanding rent.'
Owners may also incur further legal expenses in the cost of preparing an application for cancellation, he said.
Mr Berry stressed that property owners should settle government rents, whether upon demand or otherwise.