Former buildings chief battles charge in row over water leak at flat

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 April, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 April, 2011, 12:00am


A former buildings department chief has been taken to court for causing a nuisance in his building.

Choi Yu-leuk is fighting a charge of non-compliance with a nuisance notice stemming from water leaking from a toilet in his flat on Prince Edward Road West. He denies the charge.

Defence counsel Eric Kwok told the Kowloon City Court yesterday the water seepage that had affected the flat below Choi's for years actually came from the flat above him. It was cracks caused by renovation in the flat above that caused the problem.

This was despite a test by the Buildings Department which confirmed in 2007 that poor waterproofing of Choi's toilet led to the seepage.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department served a nuisance notice on Choi in March last year ordering him to carry out repairs within 21 days. Choi produced a professional consultant's report arguing against his former department's water seepage tests and requested the nuisance notice be withdrawn.

As the owner of flat 3A, Choi was then charged with non-compliance of a nuisance notice.

Kwok said yesterday it could not be proved that the water originated from flat 3A. 'The renovation in 4A has damaged the building and created cracks [which have] lasted for more than two years. The waterproofing in 3A was good enough, so water didn't go down to 3A,' he said.

Owners of 2A found water dripping from their kitchen ceiling in 2003. The source of the leakage is believed to be the toilet in a maid's room of Choi's flat.

After Choi refused a neighbour's request for repairs, they complained to the government in 2006.

Kwok said it was impossible for the seepage to continue as the maid's room had not been used since April 21 last year.

Choi could face a fine of up to HK$10,000 and a daily fine of HK$200 if convicted. The case was adjourned to April 26.