IN the first appeal by a flat owner under the Home Ownership Scheme, the Lands Tribunal has rejected a claim that the Housing Authority's assessment of the flat's value was wrong. Judge Cruden, sitting with surveyor M. W. Phillips, held that the Director of Housing's assessment had not inflated the value of the property and was, in fact, conservative. The Director judged that the prevailing market value of Poon Kwai-ying's flat, on the first floor of Siu Hong Court in Tuen Mun, was $730,000. As Ms Poon had applied to sell her flat to a third party, he set a premium of $145,781 for her to pay. A premium assessed on the prevailing market value of property is charged if owners sell their flats to purchasers other than the Housing Authority. Ms Poon objected, saying the assessed value should only have been between $530,00 and $550,000. This is the first appeal under the Housing Ordinance by the owner of a domestic flat purchased under the scheme against the Director's assessment of the prevailing market value. Ms Poon purchased the flat from the Housing Authority in early 1983 for $151,000. The scheme was introduced in the 1970s to provide flats for sale at prices below market value to lower-middle income families and housing tenants. Ms Poon was the sole witness at the appeal. Her estimate was based on an annual ratable value of $31,800 dated July 1, 1990. She presumed the $31,800 was six per cent of the capital market value, which she estimated to be $530,000. The Tribunal accepted that as from July 1, 1990, the market rent of the flat was about $31,800 per annum. But the relevant date for the appeal was March 4 this year, the Tribunal stated, and both rental and capital values had increased substantially in the meantime.