First conviction for overcharging subdivided unit tenants for water
A landlord was convicted for overcharging his subdivided unit tenants for water. This is the first conviction case of contravening the Waterworks Regulations since it was amended in May 2021.
The landlord pleaded guilty at Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts on Wednesday and was fined HK$5,000.
The Water Supplies Department (WSD) received a complaint in late December 2021 concerning overcharging subdivided unit tenants for water in a flat on Fuk Wa Street, Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon. The department, upon investigation and evidence collection at the scene, prosecuted the person suspected to have contravened the relevant regulation.
Under the Waterworks Regulations, a registered consumer of the WSD is only allowed to recover from the occupants of the premises the water charge paid to the department. If the amount recovered exceeds the water charge paid to the WSD, the registered consumer shall be guilty of an offence and be liable to a maximum fine of HK$10,000.
A spokesman for the WSD stressed that contravening the above regulation is a criminal offence. The department hopes to highlight the strong message of the case to landlords of subdivided units that they must comply with the relevant legislation. Meanwhile, persons who are being overcharged for water are reminded to exercise their legal rights to come forward to report suspected cases.