Home Maintenance and Repair

You should maintain your home properly to ensure your own safety and that of others. This article provides a range of tips on how to keep your property in good condition, and information on financial assistance for home maintenance and repairs.

Problems with Water Seepage

Water seepage, especially from drainage or water pipes, can cause property damage and hygiene problems such as the discharge of sewerage, water pollution, pest infestation and mosquito breeding. You should ensure that any problem is dealt with quickly.

If you notice water seepage from the ceiling or a wall of your flat, you should:

  • discuss it with your neighbours for remedy;
  • if you can't reach a settlement, you can contact the Joint Office set up by the Buildings Department (BD) and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) or through 1823 for further investigation.

If the seepage is considered a sanitary nuisance and the source of seepage is located, the Joint Office may issue a nuisance notice under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132), directing the person responsible to fix the problem. If the water seepage problem falls within the purview of the BD and the Water Supplies Department, the Joint Office will refer the case to the respective department for follow-up action.

Frequently asked questions about drainage repairFrequently asked questions about water seepagePamphlet on “Do-it-yourself” water seepage test (pdf file)Addresses and telephone numbers of BD/FEHD Joint Offices

Falling Windows

Falling windows are a serious threat to the lives of others, and will make you liable for criminal prosecution. Both property owners and occupants must ensure that windows are regularly checked and well maintained. If there is any loosening or sign of corrosion in a window frame, you should contact a professional for a thorough inspection and repairs.

Guidelines on keeping your windows safeFrequently asked questions about windows maintenance

Unauthorised Building Works

You are required to gain permission from the Government for any significant building works planned for your home. This involves submitting plans to the Buildings Department for any works that can affect the overall structure of your building, such as:

  • Linking floors by removing parts of the floor slab or adding internal staircases;
  • Combining two or more units into one by removing walls;
  • Subdividing a unit into smaller units; or
  • Adding a water tank, canopy or shelter.

Without approval, and construction by a licensed contractor, such works are illegal and must be removed or reversed. The Buildings Department issues Removal Orders for all unauthorised building works, stating a specific removal period. Not complying with such statutory order is a criminal offence, and the Buildings Department will appoint a contractor to demolish the works at your cost.

Building safety and unauthorised building worksFrequently asked questions about unauthorised building works

Licensed and Qualified Contractors

The use of licensed and qualified contractors is vital to ensuring that maintenance and repairs are carried out effectively and legally. In particular, you should always hire a contractor for work in the following areas:

  • Windows
  • Drainage or plumbing
  • Water taps and piping
  • Flushing systems
  • Removal of unauthorised building works
  • Any additions to or alterations of buildings

The Buildings Department and the Water Supplies Department maintain directories of qualified contractors who are ready to work for you.

Licensed plumbersRegistered contractors for building repairs and removal of unauthorised building works

Loan Schemes

If you own your home and need financial assistance to carry out maintenance or repairs, the Building Safety Loan Scheme offered by the Buildings Department and the Building Rehabilitation Loan Scheme offered by the Urban Renewal Authority can help. With this temporary assistance you should be able to maintain your home, even in the hardest of times.

Building Safety Loan SchemeBuilding Rehabilitation Loan Scheme
Last revision date: August 2017