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Q&As . Mandatory Building Inspection

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  • 1. When was the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme (MBIS) fully implemented?
  • 30 June 2012
  • 2. How old are the target buildings under the MBIS?
  • Buildings aged 30 years or above.
  • 3. What types of buildings are targeted under the MBIS?
  • All types of private buildings including domestic / composite / commercial / industrial buildings, etc. (Domestic buildings not exceeding 3 storeys are excluded)
  • 4. How frequent can the Buildings Department (BD) request owners of buildings to carry out the mandatory building inspections?
  • Once every 10 years.
  • 5. How are target buildings selected?
  • A Selection Panel comprising representatives from professional institutions, relevant non-government organisations, property management professionals, District Councils and relevant Government departments has been established to render advice to the BD for the selection of target buildings.
  • 6. What are the criteria adopted by the Selection Panel for selecting target buildings?
  • The criteria include allocation of eligible buildings in the 18 districts on a pro rata basis and consideration of relevant factors including the maintenance condition of the buildings, the traffic and pedestrian flows adjoining the buildings, location and building clusters, etc. and the buildings nominated by the District Councils.
  • 7. Who are qualified to carry out the prescribed inspection under the MBIS?
  • Registered Inspectors (RIs)
  • 8. Who are Registered Inspectors?
  • They are persons listed in the Inspectors’ Register. They may be an Authorized Person (AP), a Registered Structural Engineer (RSE) or a registered building professional (i.e. registered architect, registered professional engineer or a registered professional surveyor).
  • 9. What types of contractors are qualified to carry out the prescribed repair under the MBIS?
  • Registered contractors including registered general building contractors or registered minor works contractors who are qualified to carry out the relevant rectification and repair works.
  • 10. What is the scope of the prescribed inspection under the MBIS?
  • They cover: (a) external elements and other physical elements; (b) structural elements; (c) fire safety elements; (d) drainage system; and (e) identification of unauthorised building works (UBW) in common parts or on the exteriors of the building.
  • 11. What are external elements and other physical elements?
  • They include external walls; fence walls; manually or electrically operated metal gates erected at fence walls or entrance of buildings; external finishes such as tiling, rendering and cladding; fins, grilles, and metal louvers; protective barriers, railings, parapets and balustrades at external walls or at the edges of roofs; curtain walls; skylights; appendages such as awnings, planters, eaves, moldings, projections, architectural features, drying racks, signboards, window canopies and similar features attached to external walls.
  • 12. What are structural elements?
  • They include columns / walls / beams / slabs; staircases; cantilevered projecting structures; transfer structures; screen walls and basement walls; hanging structures; exposed pile caps; and other exposed structural elements.
  • 13. What are fire safety elements?
  • They include means of escape; means of access for fire fighting and rescue; and fire resisting construction.
  • 14. What kind of drainage system is included?
  • It includes the drainage system located at the external walls of the building; drainage system in common parts; drainage system laid within common pipe ducts; and underground and above-ground common drainage system.
  • 15. What types of UBW are required to be identified when carrying out the prescribed inspection?
  • Those UBW in common parts of the building, on the external walls, roof, podium, light well, yard or slope adjoining the building, or on the street on which the building fronts or abuts.
  • 16. What action should the Registered Inspector (RI) take when UBW is identified?
  • The RI should record the details of the UBW in the inspection report and submit it to the BD. The BD will handle the UBW in accordance with the prevailing enforcement policy.
  • 17. How will the owners know that their building has been selected for the MBIS?
  • The BD will issue pre-notification letters to the building owners / Owners’ Corporation or post the letter at a conspicuous part of the building.
  • 18. Where can I find the list of target buildings under the MBIS?
  • 19. When will the BD issue statutory notices after the issue of pre-notification letters?
  • Not less than 6 months.
  • 20. When should the owners / Owners’ Corporation appoint a registered inspector and complete the prescribed inspection after receiving the statutory notice?
  • Usually within 6 months.
  • 21. When should the owners / Owners’ Corporation complete the prescribed repair after receiving the statutory notice?
  • Usually within 12 months.
  • 22. If owners have not formed an owners’ corporation, how much more time will the BD allow for owners to organise the prescribed inspection?
  • Not less than 3 months extension.
  • 23. What is the Integrated Building Maintenance Assistance Scheme?
  • The scheme is administered by the Hong Kong Housing Society and the Urban Renewal Authority. It provides a one stop financial assistance and technical support to building owners. Please visit "Technical and Financial Support" for details.
  • 24. What is the legal liability for the owners / Owners’ Corporation who do / does not comply with a statutory notice for mandatory building inspection without any reasonable excuse?
  • Upon conviction, offenders are liable to a fine of HK$50,000 and imprisonment of 1 year.