Information Paper for the
Provisional Legislative Council
Panel on Housing
Enforcement action against
unauthorised installation of air
conditioners in public rental housing estates
This paper updates Members on the development of the enforcement programme against unauthorised installation of air conditioners in public rental housing (PRH) estates.
2.In the interest of public safety, the Housing Department ( HD ) has launched an enforcement programme (the Programme ) against some 116,000 unauthorised air-conditioners in PRH estates since April 1997. The implementation is phased over a three-year-period.
3.At the meeting held on 15 September 1997, Members were briefed on the Programme. Members requested the HD to explore more alternative installation methods based on safety requirement only, defer the issuance of Notices-to-quit (NTQ ) for a period of six months, and take immediate action only where there is an imminent danger to the public.
4.The HD is flexible in dealing with special requests from tenants on installation of air conditioners. In order to minimise inconvenience to the tenants, counterproposals of installation methods from tenants have been carefully considered. While some of them have been rejected on safety grounds, most have been accepted.
5.As at end of September 1997, about 35,000 unauthorised installations, representing 70% of the cases in the first phase of the Programme, have been resolved. The resolved cases include those alternative installation methods worked out by the HD with due consideration given to the views of the tenants. For the remaining 16,000 outstanding cases, most of the tenants are prepared to rectify their installations. So far, no NTQ has been served in relation to installation of air conditioners.
6.The HD will continue its efforts to ensure that unauthorised installations are rectified, and to publicise the guidelines and illustrative drawings on the proper method of installation. At the same time, counterproposals from tenants will be fully considered with a view to minimising inconvenience caused to them.
7.As the summer is over, the demand on licensed air-condition contractors should ease and the progress of rectification works will speed up.
8.As a last resort, NTQ will only be served on those persistent tenants who unreasonably refuse to rectify their unauthorised installations. Tenants who feel aggrieved may appeal to an independent panel. The HD will continue to be reasonable and flexible in dealing with the tenants' requests, without compromising the safety of the public.
9.The HD does not envisage any major problem to complete the first phase of the Programme in March 1998 as scheduled.