Illegal Alienation of Flats under the Housing Ordinance
|Circular No. 01-01 (CR)
Flats under the Home Ownership Scheme, the Private Sector Participation Scheme and the Tenants Purchase Scheme of the Hong Kong Housing Authority are subject to the Housing Ordinance (Cap. 283). Before the alienation restriction is removed, such flats may not be sold, leased, or re-mortgaged.
Section 17B of the Housing Ordinance provides that any agreement purporting to assign or otherwise alienate such flats in contravention of the requirements of the Housing Ordinance shall be void. Further, section 27A of the Housing Ordinance provides that a person who purports to assign or alienate such flats or enter into an agreement relating to the same shall commit an offence. Any person who aids or abets the commission of the offence may be guilty of the same offence.
Whether in sale and purchase, or in a leasing situation, practitioners should serve their clients honestly and legally. They should clarify whether the estate is subject to alienation restriction, whether the alienation restriction of the flat in question has been removed, or whether arrangement has been made for its removal.
Practitioners may refer to Circular No. 00-14 (CR) for lists of estates subject to alienation restrictions. They may also refer to the website of the Housing Authority (http://www.info.gov.hk/hd).