Property tribunal 'promise broken'

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 March, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 March, 1994, 12:00am

A PROMISE to set up a tribunal to deal with disputes between flat owners and property managers has been broken, legislators said yesterday.

The Government had not granted money to the judiciary to set up the property tribunal, Principal Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs, Francis Lo Chi-wai, told the Legislative Council's City and New Territories Administration panel.

Nor had it provided more funds for the Lands Tribunal to cope with the complaints as an interim measure, he said.

Property owners therefore had to file complaints with the Small Claims Tribunal or the Labour Tribunal.

Last May, officials promised to set up the new tribunal and said the Lands Tribunal's authority would be extended as an interim measure.

The promise came as part of reforms to allow half - rather than all - flat owners in a building to reach a consensus before sacking the management company.

Yesterday, United Democrat legislator James To Kun-sun said a property tribunal was essential and accused the Government of deceiving legislators in order to pass the changes.

''The Government has made an empty promise. It hasn't reserved a penny for the tribunal in the 1994/95 Budget,'' he said.

Costly legal arguments over land boundaries could be a thing of the past once the land survey authority is created later this year, according to Ronald Chan Chi-duen, the senior land surveyor in the Buildings and Lands Department.

The Government yesterday gazetted a bill which seeks to set up the authority and register authorised land surveyors in an effort to close a loophole which allows virtually anyone to draw up boundary plans.