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Streamlined Processing of Waivers under Lease Enforcement Actions in Redeveloped Industrial Buildings by Development Control Section

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Streamlined Arrangements
  3. Processing Time
  4. Procedures for Processing Temporary Waiver Applications
  5. Enquiries

1. Introduction

  • Land owners have the responsibility to ensure that their land is used in compliance with the lease conditions. For industrial buildings (IBs), the use is generally restricted to “industrial and/or godown” purposes according to the lease upon redevelopment, unless lease modifications have been made or waivers have been granted by the Lands Department (LandsD). Non-compliance of the user clause under lease will result in lease enforcement actions taken to urge owner to remedy the breach.
  • In view of the increasing instances of redeveloped IBs involving non-industrial uses recently, the Development Control Section (DCS) of LandsD will take lease enforcement actions against non-conforming uses in these IBs for breach of lease conditions.
  • If a breach of lease conditions is substantiated, DCS will issue a warning letter to the owners of these IB units requiring rectification of the breach or submission of regularisation application by way of a temporary waiver within 28 days from the date of warning letter. If the breach persists upon expiry of the 28-day warning period, DCS will register the warning letter at the Land Registry (i.e. commonly known as “imposing an encumbrance”) irrespective of any application for regularisation. In the event the breach has not been purged or regularised, DCS will proceed with re-entry of the land or vesting of the relevant interest in the Government in accordance with the lease conditions and by invoking the Government Rights (Re-entry and Vesting Remedies) Ordinance (Cap. 126). The owners concerned will therefore lose their estate interests.
  • Owners of IBs units under the above enforcement actions by DCS may approach DCS to apply for temporary waivers to regularise the non-compliant uses. Streamlined arrangements to expedite the processing of these waivers applications are introduced below.

2. Streamlined Arrangements

  1. Simplified Application Form
  2. To apply for a temporary waiver, applicant(s) should:

  3. Only Essential Documents Required
    • No Deed Register / Record of Owner(s) or Government land grant documents (e.g. Lease) of the lot / premises are required from the applicant.
    • No floor plan of the premises is required from the applicant in applicable cases 1.
  4. Waiver Fees at Standard Rates
    • To speed up the approval process, waiver fees will be charged at standard rates. The standard rates set for individual IBs are formulated with reference to the relevant market information. No appeal against the amount of waiver fee is allowed.

3. Processing Time

Under the streamlined arrangements, DCS targets to issue an offer for temporary waivers within 2 months from the date of receipt of valid application. Owners will be allowed 28 days for acceptance and payment of waiver fee and deposit.

4. Procedures for Processing Temporary Waiver Applications

  • All applications must be submitted by the registered owners(s) of the premises concerned or his / their authorised representative(s).
  • The applicant should check whether the existing use of the premises is always permitted (i.e. Column 1 uses) under the relevant Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). If the existing use falls outside Column 1 uses under the relevant OZP, the applicant should also submit an application to the Town Planning Board (TPB) for planning approval of the existing use within the 28-day warning period. DCS will only process the application for temporary waiver after the planning approval has been obtained by the owner from the TPB.
  • An owner shall pay an administrative fee as and when demanded by DCS upon submission of an application.
  • The administrative fee for the temporary waiver application is not refundable, including but not limited to where the owner subsequently withdraws the application, or rejects LandsD’s offer in respect of the application, or is unable for any reason to duly execute the legal documents effecting the waiver in all respects to the satisfaction of LandsD or in any of the circumstances rendering such administrative fee non-refundable as set out in any letters demanding payment thereof.
  • There is no guarantee that the application will be approved. If the application is approved, a basic terms offer letter setting out the period of the temporary waiver, the amount of waiver fee and the deposit payable etc., will be issued to the applicant for acceptance and payment within the period stated in the offer letter.
  • Once an offer is accepted and payment is made, DCS will issue the waiver letter to the applicant for execution. A certified copy of the executed waiver letter will be registered by memorial at the Lands Registry.

5. Enquiries

For enquiries, applicants can contact Development Enforcement Unit of DCS at 3793 4232.

Note

  1. If no assignment plan of the premises is registered in the Land Registry, submission of drawing(s) / floor plan(s) on an appropriate scale showing the extent and detailed dimensions of the premises under application is required.

The information provided on this website is for general reference only.


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