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Hong Kong courts

Pet dog may be removed from home after noise complaints from Hong Kong politician Rita Fan’s son

Tai Po resident offers to settle in dispute raised after animal was said to barked continuously and startled domestic worker

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 January, 2018, 7:49pm
UPDATED : Friday, 19 January, 2018, 11:02pm

A man offered to remove his dog from his home after his neighbour, the son of Hong Kong political heavyweight Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, sued him over an alleged failure to keep the animal from barking and trespassing.

“I am willing to settle,” Hui Nam-keung told the District Court on Friday.

The Tai Po resident did not hire a lawyer. Behind him, his wife anxiously watched as he addressed the court as district judge Andrew Li Shu-yuk explained the proceedings mounted by his neighbour, Andrew Fan Chun-wah.

“If you can come to an agreement with the opposite party, that would be for the best,” the judge said.

But he advised Hui to consult lawyers to properly decide the way forward.

“Dogs will of course make noise,” he said. “The question is to what extent is that permitted under the law … I would advise you to consult a lawyer.”

Fan, who did not appear in court, had complained in a writ filed to the court last August that the dog’s loud, frequent and prolonged barking at unreasonable times brought undue and real interference to his comfortable and convenient enjoyment of his flat at Mayfair by the Sea in Tai Po.

He also claimed that his troubles escalated last March when the dog trespassed on his roof without his consent and caused great shock and stress to his domestic helper, who has since avoided doing work there for fear of encountering the canine.

He accused Hui of failing to take reasonable steps to end the nuisance even after he complained to the estate management last April and issued a letter through his solicitors the following month demanding it to stop.

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Fan is now seeking an injunction order to restrain Hui from “creating, adopting continuing or otherwise permitting any nuisance in the form of dog barking” or permitting the dog to enter any part of his flat without his consent.

He is also demanding an unspecified sum of damages to compensate his distress and annoyance, the deprivation of his right to quiet enjoyment of his flat, and his flat’s diminished value.

The case was adjourned for the parties to prepare and file documents.