Bright red banners and posters trumpeting flat purchases in old buildings on Victory Avenue remain despite new guidelines designed to stop agencies from pressuring residents to sell. The Estate Agents Authority issued 29 rules against pressure tactics in property acquisitions this year. But any relief Ho Man Tin homeowners might have felt at the bans has been replaced by dismay because the rules appear toothless and easy to circumvent. In nearby Peace Avenue, Richfield Realty was stopped from putting up banners and posters outside but residents could not stop the company from putting up the material on its own property. Peter Ho, who has lived in his flat with his family for 30 years, said the red signage was a daily reminder that they should sell their flat. 'When we walked along the common corridor we felt like going through a red tunnel. Whenever I opened my window, a red poster, posted on the window of the flat opposite, caught my eye. I felt so stressed that I had to close the curtains all the time,' he said. Interior posters were torn down two weeks ago after photos of them were circulated on Facebook. But the traces are still visible everywhere inside the building. The authority's August circular bans, among other things, estate agencies displaying banners or signs referring to the acquisition of flats on a building without written consent of flat owners. But the authority told Ho in a written reply to a complaint it could not stop Richfield putting up the interior signage because the materials were posted within their private properties. A recent owners' meeting revealed that only 20 to 30 per cent of the building's flats had been sold. Nevertheless, the remaining householders are still concerned that their properties will become the target of compulsory sale for redevelopment. Tensions between holdout homeowners and developers are also simmering at the Matauwei Apartments in To Kwa Wan, where rubbish has been piling up in common corridors and staircases for the past few months. Richfield has bought 80 per cent of the half-century-old building and sold them to Henderson Land Development. About 20 households have refused to sell. The owners' corporation is no longer functioning since 11 of the 12 members have left, and the remaining member does not have access to the corporation's bank account for building maintenance and cleaning. The electricity bill for common areas has not been paid for two months and the power company has told residents it will disconnect the service soon. One of the holdouts, who would only identify himself as Brian, said neighbours pooled their money to have the place cleaned in July but the mess returned. 'Although the owners' corporation is not functioning and there are redevelopment plans, Richfield or Henderson, as the majority owner, should take up the moral responsibility to keep the building in good shape for everyone,' he said. But a Henderson Land spokeswoman said the remaining member of the owners' corporation had 'evaded' his responsibility for cleaning and bills. 'We are seeking help from the Lands Tribunal and will try to re-organise the owners' corporation as soon as possible,' she said. 'Before that we are in no position to manage the building.' Richfield project director Elwyn Chan Chi-ling denied his company had left any rubbish behind in the building. 'Normally we continue to pay management fees for flats we have, but if there is no working owners' corporation and no one collecting the fee, what can we do?' he said. Chan said the company had received complaints about banners and removed them in those cases. 'If neighbours find posters on our own windows offensive, we'll also take them down,' he said. 'We did the display in the first place just because other homeowners wanted us to congratulate them.'