'Nightmare' tenant to lose home for littering

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 September, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 September, 2005, 12:00am

He becomes the first casualty of demerit scheme

Littering has cost Yuen Kin-man more than a $1,500 fine - it has cost him his home.

The Housing Department yesterday gave the 'nightmare' tenant one month to move out of his subsidised flat in Tuen Mun, making him the first public tenant to be evicted for dropping rubbish.

Mr Yuen amassed 17 demerit points under the authority's two-year-old marking scheme - but not before he had also spent four months in jail for throwing bottles out of his 25th-floor flat. The Housing Department issued the notice immediately after an independent panel rejected Mr Yuen's appeal against an earlier eviction order.

'I don't accept the ruling. It is unfair. I haven't decided what to do,' Mr Yuen said.

Neighbours in Yau Oi Estate say he has a son and a daughter, but they do not live with him. They said they would be glad to see him go.

'He is nicknamed the littering crazy man,' said one woman.

'Our nightmare began when he moved here 10 years ago. He is very hostile to us and whenever he thinks we're noisy, he either throws rubbish in our home or leaves it on our doorsteps. We complained many times. We don't know what will happen to us now that he has one month before he has to move out.'

She said she felt sorry for the two security guards who had to monitor Mr Yuen, who has seven closed-circuit television cameras aimed at his flat.

Asked last night if he thought his behaviour was acceptable, Mr Yuen, 47, replied: 'I don't want to talk to you about that.'

Lau Kai-hung, a deputy director of the Housing Department, said Mr Yuen would be evicted forcibly if he refused to co-operate.

Mr Yuen was jailed for four months in February for throwing bottles out of his flat. After his release he was caught littering in July, and again in November.

Although he can stay in interim housing after his eviction, he will have to join the waiting list if he wants to move back to a public estate.

Under the demerit scheme - introduced as part of the cleanup after Sars - tenants who notch up 16 demerit points or more face eviction.

Mr Yuen's appeal was heard by an independent panel early this month and the decision was announced yesterday.

Legislator Chan Kam-lam, a member of the authority, said he hoped the case would deter irresponsible tenants from dirtying public estates.

By the end of last month, 3,913 families had penalty points and 141 had accumulated 10 to 14 points. Four, including Mr Yuen, had reached eviction point.