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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:31 pm 
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Just read the news that up to 20,000 people could be warned, etc, and threats of demolition... regarding illegal structures in the NT/Village house areas, which include Lamma.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/arti ... structures

As we all know.. the prices for 2nd floor flats, or garden flats, or basically any flat on Lamma now is becoming ridiculous for what you get.

So what happens when our 'canopies/awnings' are dismantled? Trust me, being second floor without a canopy is a waste of time. Most of the year, too wet or too hot to utilize.

Or a ground floor flat, when the illegal wall to make a private garden taken away, so increasing public traffic is walking over your space each day?

Chances are high that rents will come down?? But space and privacy will be even more limited. Second floor flats will pay a hell of a lot more to cool the place down too!

However, I am for taking the power away from the HYK, and indigenous villagers and landlords that have us completely at their mercy! Not to mention complete disregard and making their own rules.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:32 am 
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There are now some legal options. You are allowed a demountable/retractable rooftop awning which is no more than 5 sq meters and 2.5 m high. That's slightly higher than the stairwell hood and would stretch to about a quarter of the average rooftop. In addition, you can have a rooftop trellis of the same size. So now you have half your roof legally covered. You could also legally enclose the sides with canvas, plastic or bamboo blinds since they would not be considered permanent structures. You can also have a storage cabinet which is not over 2m high and 3 cubic meters in volume.

Most of the canopies built by local contractors are over the legal limits. I would also suggest that those corrugated iron canopies pose a serious risk in a strong typhoon.

http://www.bd.gov.hk/english/documents/pamphlet/VHWUBW_b.pdf


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:30 pm 
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shapogung wrote:
There are now some legal options. You are allowed a demountable/retractable rooftop awning which is no more than 5 sq meters and 2.5 m high. [/url]


5 sq metres? Surely bigger than that. I find it hard to imagine them forcing all or most canopies to be removed. They presumably have to remove tens of thousands of rooftop constructions and oversize sheds before they get to canopies, and there must be a fantastic number of canopies. The illegal structure enforcers number about 40.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:02 pm 
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1 square meter is 10.77 square feet, so 5 sq m would give you a floor space of about 54 standard tiles. A bit less than I at first calculated.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:12 am 
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The article says that:

"Most villagers appear to have spurned the government's offer to register illegal structures in return for a temporary reprieve from enforcement measures.

By the middle of this month just 11,000 had signed up to a scheme under which they can keep their homes unchanged, subject to five-yearly checks".


So the government offered to let people register illegal structures and keep their homes unchanged, subject to five-yearly checks - that seems like a pretty decent offer from the government surely?

Of course the problem will come when they realize the level of work involved with demolition orders etc - then the government will simply revert to issuing significant fines that increase over time. Landlords will be forced to act with immediate effect and remove everything.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:39 am 
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maybe the government wants to take all the roofs for themselves


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:19 am 
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shapogung wrote:
1 square meter is 10.77 square feet, so 5 sq m would give you a floor space of about 54 standard tiles. A bit less than I at first calculated.


I don't think there are any canopies this small on Lamma! Most are at least double that size, and up. Both the 2/F flats I lived at had canopies that covered at least one third of the roof - in other words at least 200 sq ft - or about 20 sq m.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:32 pm 
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It seems that the heat on illegal structures is over now and some landlords continue to build them right now. The photo submitted below from anon shows a brand-new glasshouse, enclosing half a rooftop, plus a completely glass-enclosed balcony, both just recently completed. It's not the only one recently built in North Lamma.

According to a news story a few days ago, out of the thousands of notices sent to owners of illegal structures, only 3 have complied and dismantled them so far. That's the number for ALL OF HK!


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:18 pm 
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Does anyone know a T2 qualified engineer who can do a survey of a canopy for the registration of UBW scheme?

I think I heard it costs 2 or 3k to inspect, any info. would be much appreciated. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:38 pm 
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TYV wrote:
Does anyone know a T2 qualified engineer who can do a survey of a canopy for the registration of UBW scheme?

I think I heard it costs 2 or 3k to inspect, any info. would be much appreciated. Thanks.


If I knew what a T2 qualified engineer did, or what a registration of UBW scheme was...... maybe I would be able to give advice, as many others I guess.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:18 pm 
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Ask any of the property agents along Main Street for the contacts.

My former agent Stephen of Dollarful did the Unauthorized Building Works registration together with a (T2?) qualified engineer.
It cost the landlord about $3K/illegal structure, if I remember correctly.

But it's too late for the registration now, I think, as the "amnesty period" has expired almost a year ago, I think. See extensive discussion of this topic in this same forum section.

In the meantime, the building of brand-new illegal structures has resumed full force last summer in YSW, it seems...

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:32 am 
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I wonder if the government really has the stomach to take on the whole of the New Territories. I'd be inclined to hang fire and see how the battle evolves


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:08 pm 
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Silly government, they should just demolish illegal structures of the foreigners, because they are not in the Kuk, and keep away from locals.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:48 am 
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Thanks LG for the suggestions. I had already done the registration of the UBW before the first deadline in 2012. I had 6 months to give them the engineer’s report, but let it slid as new UBWs were popping up all over the place, so I figured it could wait. Finally they are now chasing for it and say “we may consider you are not interested in partaking in the scheme if we do not receive within 2 month’s”. So I might as well do it now I’ve confessed my sins. Also an opportunity to ask them WTF are they doing about all those new, 50%+ floor area and unregistered ones. A lawyer friend had actually advised me not to declare it in the first place (he hadn’t!) , so I am feeling a bit of an idiot at this point.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:25 pm 
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After announcing your UBW already, effectively admitting that you broke the law, you're now on the priority list by the Govt. to follow up to force you to remove it ASAP.

All you'll get after declaring is a kind of informal, non-confirmed amnesty for a number of years. Your lawyer friend might have been right.
But if you don't declare you'll become a top priority for enforcement right away, I'd guess. You are now one of the easy, low-hanging fruits for the Govt. to show that they're doing "something" about enforcing these laws. I'd advise to finish the declaration to get the "amnesty", no way back now, I think. My former landlord declared his two rooftop UBWs.

But the estimated 1 million+ UBWs all over HK, including all the new ones being built right now in the New Territories and Outlying Islands, will probably be safe for many years or decades, probably till the buildings will come down someday.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:34 pm 
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or, maybe I can take it down, take a photo for them & tell its removed and put it back :)


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:40 pm 
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A photo will probably not be sufficient for the Lands Dept.
You might need to hire a T2-qualified engineer and submit the paperwork to prove the removal, probably about the same effort as declaring the UBW. :roll:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:37 pm 
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Sad to say that once you are on their radar they don't let you slip off. The come to check we have not moved our garden railings every three years or so - regardless of the fact that if we DID try to extend the garden, we'd be down the mountain! Also they send another bunch of photographers a week or so later to make sure we haven't built any illegal extensions...... (different section of the same department with obviously different duties - one's railings, one is structures) They come in a gang every time, apparently because (I was told this) they might be confronted with a dog! Heaven help them. It's a nice outing I suppose.

If we had never applied to regularise the garden we could probably have got away with not paying for it anyway. So take warning folks. Don't ask the govt to interfere and hope they don't! As said above, they use little people like us to say they are taking action when in fact most of the bigger culprits are ignored. It's easier to ignore them than take steps to correct the more obvious abuses. Yes, I am venting. Sorry. :blues:


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:07 pm 
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An almost new, completely enclosed 3/F flat I noticed the other day.
The heat from Lands Dept. on UBWs last year is truly off now and the building boom continues, not just in YSW.

One new village house close to us will be finished soon...
and another brand-new, just completed village house is up for rental now across the street...
and just outside our home the jungle has just been cleared for another village house to go up in the next few months...
and the noise from a downstairs renovation-in-progress is deafening while I'm typing these words...

and we live in Pak Kok!


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