Mandatory repairs loom for homeowners

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 May, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 May, 2005, 12:00am

Owners will be legally required to maintain their buildings under a proposal to be released for consultation at the end of this year, the housing chief said yesterday.

Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen Ming-yeung said the government was finalising the details of the mandatory measure.

The consultation paper will suggest penalties for those who fail to carry out proper maintenance. It will be the second stage of a public consultation on building management and maintenance.

'The government is committed to improving building maintenance in Hong Kong. It is one of the key policy areas to address the building-decay problem,' he said.

'Properly maintaining a building is not just about safety: owners can benefit from the flat's appreciation.'

The housing chief was speaking at a Housing Society ceremony to mark the opening of a resource centre at Moon Lok Dai Ha, in Tsuen Wan, which aims to help property owners maintain their buildings. It is the society's third resource centre. Three more will open this year.

The centres are being run under the building management and maintenance scheme. The Housing Society has earmarked $3 billion over the next 10 years for the scheme.

The scheme will also help owners form owners' corporations and will subsidise repair and maintenance work on buildings more than 20 years old.

Property owners who want to improve the safety and hygiene of their property can apply for the society's interest-free loans.

Mr Suen said at the end of last year that the government wanted to set up a fund to help property owners with maintenance.

The consultation paper was scheduled to come out early this year, but has been delayed.

The housing chief did not explain what caused the delay.