Land Acquisition (Possessory Title) Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

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Cap 130 - LAND ACQUISITION (POSSESSORY TITLE) ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 130 LAND ACQUISITION (POSSESSORY TITLE)
ORDINANCE

Gazette Number Version Date


Long title 30/06/1997


To provide for the acquisition of land, held under a possessory title by virtue of the Limitation Ordinance (Cap 347),
required for public purposes, the compensation for such acquisition, and for matters incidental thereto and
connected therewith.


[15 July 1983]


(Originally 41 of 1983)

Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Land Acquisition (Possessory Title) Ordinance.

Section: 2 Interpretation 6 of 2001 12/04/2001


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 2 of 2012 s. 3


In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
"acquisition for a public purpose" (徵用作公共用途) includes-

(a) acquisition of insanitary property for the purpose of securing the erection of improved dwellings or
buildings thereon or the sanitary improvement of such property;

(b) acquisition of any land upon which any building is erected which, by reason of its proximity to or
contact with any other buildings, seriously interferes with ventilation or otherwise makes or conduces
to make such other buildings to be in a condition unfit for human habitation or dangerous or injurious
to health;

(c) acquisition for any purpose connected with the Hong Kong Garrison; and (Replaced 2 of 2012 s. 3)
(d) acquisition for any purpose of whatsoever description, whether ejusdem generis with any of the above

purposes or not, which the Chief Executive in Council may decide to be a public purpose; (Amended
62 of 2000 s. 3)

"acquisition order" (徵用令) means an acquisition order made under section 3(1) or (2);
"claim of ownership" (擁有權申索) means a claim of possessory title;
"compensation" (補償) means compensation under this Ordinance;
"date of vesting" (轉歸日期) means the date on which land acquired under this Ordinance vests in the Government

under section 5; (Amended 29 of 1998 s. 105)
"Director" (署長) means the Director of Lands; (Amended L.N. 94 of 1986; L.N. 291 of 1993)
"land" (土地) means immovable property;
"non-working day" (非工作日) means a day that is not a working day; (Added 6 of 2001 s. 4)
"note-issuing bank" (發鈔銀行), for the purposes of sections 9 and 10, has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of

the Legal Tender Notes Issue Ordinance (Cap 65); (Added 6 of 2001 s. 4)
"owner" (擁有人) means a person who has a possessory title to land;
"possessory title" (管有業權) means a possessory title against the Government to land by virtue of sections 7(1) and

17 of the Limitation Ordinance (Cap 347); (Amended 29 of 1998 s. 105)
"working day" (工作日), for the purposes of sections 9 and 10, means any day other than-

(a) a public holiday; or
(b) a gale warning day or black rainstorm warning day as defined in section 71(2) of the Interpretation and

General Clauses Ordinance (Cap 1). (Added 6 of 2001 s. 4)



Cap 130 - LAND ACQUISITION (POSSESSORY TITLE) ORDINANCE 2


Section: 3 Acquisition of land for a public purpose 29 of 1998; 62 of

2000
01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 29 of 1998 s. 43; 62 of 2000 s. 3


(1) Whenever the Chief Executive in Council decides that the acquisition of any land is required for a public
purpose, the Director may make an acquisition order for the acquisition of it under this Ordinance if it appears to the
Director that any person claims, or may claim, that the land is held under a possessory title.

(2) Whenever the Chief Executive in Council decides, under section 3 of the Lands Resumption Ordinance
(Cap 124), that the resumption of any land is required for a public purpose, the Director may make an acquisition
order for the acquisition of that land or any part of it under this Ordinance if it appears to the Director that any person
claims, or may claim, that the land or that part is held under a possessory title. (Amended 29 of 1998 s. 43)

(Amended 62 of 2000 s. 3)

Section: 4 Notices and plans 29 of 1998 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 29 of 1998 s. 105


(1) Where an acquisition order has been made in respect of any land, a notice thereof-
(a) shall be served by the Director-

(i) on every person who appears to the Director to be a person who may make a claim of ownership
in respect of the land or any part thereof; and

(ii) on every person who appears to the Director to be an occupier of the land or any part thereof,
if such person can be found;

(b) shall be published by the Director-
(i) in one issue of the Gazette in both the English and Chinese languages;
(ii) in one issue of an English language newspaper;
(iii) in one issue of a Chinese language newspaper; and
(iv) by affixing a copy in the English and Chinese languages upon a conspicuous part of the land; and

(c) shall be made available by the Director for inspection by the public free of charge at such offices of the
Government as the Director may direct, during the hours when those offices are normally open to the
public.

(2) A notice under subsection (1) shall-
(a) be in such form as the Director may from time to time determine;
(b) describe the land to be acquired and state that an acquisition order has been made in respect thereof;
(c) state where and at what times a copy of the acquisition order and, where appropriate, a plan of the land

may be inspected in pursuance of subsection (1)(c);
(d) state the day on which the notice was affixed upon the land;
(e) declare that the land described in the notice shall, on the expiration of 1 month from the date stated

under paragraph (d) or on the expiration of a longer period determined by the Director and stated in the
notice, by virtue of section 5 vest in the Government and that every interest, right or easement of any
person in or over the land shall be extinguished; (Amended 29 of 1998 s. 105)

(f) state that every person making a claim of ownership to the land described in the notice or to any part
thereof, or claiming any interest, right or easement in or over it, shall, in accordance with section 6(1),
submit to the Director a written notice of his claim together with such evidence as he may possess to
substantiate it, before the date of vesting or within such further period, if any, as the Director may
permit.

(3) A notice served and published under this section shall be deemed to be notice to every person who has a
claim of ownership in respect of the land, and every other person having any interest, right or easement in or over the
land.




Cap 130 - LAND ACQUISITION (POSSESSORY TITLE) ORDINANCE 3

Section: 5 Vesting of land in the Government, and right to enter and
take possession

29 of 1998 01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 29 of 1998 s. 105


Upon the expiry of the period stated under section 4(2)(e) in a notice under that section, the land described in the
notice, together with the right to enter upon and take possession of it, shall vest in the Government free of all interests,
rights or easements of any kind.

(Amended 29 of 1998 s. 105)

Section: 6 Claim of ownership of land acquired 25 of 1998 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s. 2


(1) Where a person-
(a) has a claim of ownership; or
(b) claims to have any interest, right or easement,

in respect of land described in the notice under section 4 or any part thereof, he shall, before the date of vesting or
within such further period as the Director may allow in any case, submit to the Director written notice of his claim,
together with such evidence as he may possess to substantiate it

(2) The Director may in his absolute discretion accept or reject a claim submitted under subsection (1).
(3) If the Director-

(a) rejects a claim submitted under subsection (1); or
(b) refuses to allow a further period beyond the date of vesting for the submission of a claim under

subsection (1),
the claimant may apply to the Court of First Instance for the determination of his claim and in any such proceedings
the Director shall be the defendant. (Amended 25 of 1998 s. 2)

(4) An application under subsection (3) shall be made within 1 year from the date of vesting or within such
further period as the Court of First Instance may allow in any case. (Amended 25 of 1998 s. 2)

Section: 7 Entitlement to compensation and claims therefor 25 of 1998 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s. 2


(1) Where-
(a) a claim by a person of ownership of any land, or to any right, interest or easement in or over any land,

that has been acquired under this Ordinance, is accepted by the Director under section 6(2); or
(b) the Court of First Instance, on application made under section 6(3), declares that a person- (Amended

25 of 1998 s. 2)
(i) was, immediately prior to the date of vesting, the owner, within the meaning of this Ordinance,

of any land that has been acquired under this Ordinance;
(ii) had, immediately prior to the date of vesting, any interest, right or easement in or over, any land

that has been acquired under this Ordinance,
that person shall be entitled to compensation.

(2) Any person who is entitled to compensation under subsection (1) may submit his claim for compensation in
a form specified by the Director and shall furnish to the Director such accounts, documents and particulars as the
Director may reasonably require in support of the claim.

(3) A claim for compensation submitted under subsection (2) may include a claim for any costs or
remuneration reasonably incurred or paid by the owner or person entitled to compensation in employing persons to act
in a professional capacity in connection with his claim to compensation.

(4) Where the Director and the person who has submitted a claim for compensation under subsection (2) do not
agree as to the amount of the compensation (if any), either party may refer the claim to the Lands Tribunal for



Cap 130 - LAND ACQUISITION (POSSESSORY TITLE) ORDINANCE 4

determination, in accordance with this Ordinance and the Lands Tribunal Ordinance (Cap 17), of the amount of
compensation (if any) to be paid.

(5) A reference under subsection (4) shall be made within 1 year from the date of vesting or within such further
period as the Lands Tribunal may allow in any case, but the total period for the purposes of this subsection shall not
exceed 6 years from the date of vesting.

Section: 8 Rules for assessing compensation 29 of 1998 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 29 of 1998 s. 43


(1) The Lands Tribunal shall determine the amount of compensation (if any) payable in respect of a claim
referred to it under section 7 on the basis of the loss or damage suffered by the claimant due to the acquisition of the
land specified in the claim.

(2) The Lands Tribunal shall determine the compensation (if any) payable under subsection (1) on the basis of-
(a) the value of the land acquired together with any buildings erected thereon at the date of vesting;
(b) the value of any interest, right or easement in or over the land acquired, owned, held or enjoyed by the

claimant at the date of vesting;
(c) the amount of loss or damage suffered by the claimant due to the severance of the land acquired or any

building erected thereon from any other land of the claimant, or building erected thereon, contiguous
or adjacent thereto;

(d) the amount of loss or damage to a business conducted by the claimant at the date of vesting on the land
acquired or in any building erected thereon, due to the removal of the business from that land or
building as a result of the acquisition;

(e) the amount of any expenses reasonably incurred by the claimant in moving from any premises owned
or occupied by him on the land acquired to, or in connection with the acquisition of, alternative land or
land and buildings, but excluding any amount to which paragraph (d) applies.

(3) In the determination of the compensation (if any) payable under subsection (1)-
(a) no allowance shall be made on account of the acquisition being compulsory;
(b) no account shall be taken of the fact that the land lies within or is affected by any area, zone or district

reserved or set apart for the purposes specified in section 4(1)(a), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h) or (i) of the
Town Planning Ordinance (Cap 131); (Amended 2 of 1988 s. 8; 4 of 1991 s. 10)

(c) subject to subsection (4), the value of the land acquired shall be taken to be the amount which the land
if sold in the open market by a willing seller might be expected to realize.

(4) When any land is acquired, the Lands Tribunal in determining the compensation (if any) payable under
subsection (1) and in estimating the value of the land acquired together with any buildings erected thereon, may-

(a) take into consideration the nature and existing condition of the land and the probable duration of the
buildings in their existing state, and the state of repair thereof; and

(b) decline to make any compensation for any addition to or improvement of the land made after the date
of publication in the Gazette of the notice under section 4, or any notice of intended resumption under
the Lands Resumption Ordinance (Cap 124) (unless such addition or improvement was necessary for
the maintenance of the property in a proper state of repair): (Amended 29 of 1998 s. 43)

Provided that, in the case of any interest, right or easement acquired after the date of such publication, no
separate estimate of the value thereof shall be made so as to increase the amount of compensation.

(5) The Lands Tribunal may also receive evidence to prove that-
(a) the rental of the buildings or premises was enhanced by reason of the same being used as a brothel, or

as a gaming house, or for any illegal purpose;
(b) the buildings or premises are in such a condition as to be a nuisance within the meaning of any

Ordinance relating to buildings or to public health, or are not in reasonably good repair; or
(c) the buildings or premises are unfit, and not reasonably capable of being made fit, for human habitation.

(6) If the Lands Tribunal is satisfied by such evidence, then the compensation shall-
(a) in the first case, so far as it is based on rental, be based on the rental which would have been obtainable

if the buildings or premises had not been occupied as a brothel, or as a gaming house, or for an illegal
purpose;

(b) in the second case, be the amount estimated as the value of the buildings or premises if the nuisance



Cap 130 - LAND ACQUISITION (POSSESSORY TITLE) ORDINANCE 5

had been abated or if they had been put into reasonably good repair, after deducting the estimated
expense of abating the nuisance or putting them into such repair, as the case may be; and

(c) in the third case, be the value of the land and of the materials of the buildings thereon.

Section: 9 Provisional payment pending determination of

compensation
6 of 2001 12/04/2001



(1) The Director may, pending the determination by the Lands Tribunal of the compensation (if any) payable
under this Ordinance in respect of the acquisition of any land, pay-

(a) an amount as a provisional payment of the amount (if any) payable by virtue of such determination;
and

(b) interest on any payment made under paragraph (a), for the period from the date of vesting, until the
date when the payment is made, calculated on a daily basis according to subsection (1A). (Amended
64 of 1985 s. 2; 6 of 2001 s. 4)

(1A) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b), the rate of interest paid-
(a) in respect of a working day must not be lower than the lowest of the interest rates paid on deposits at

24 hours' call by note-issuing banks at the close of business on that day; and
(b) in respect of a non-working day must not be lower than the lowest of the interest rates paid on deposits

at 24 hours' call by note-issuing banks at the close of business on the last working day before that day.
(Added 6 of 2001 s. 4)

(2) Any payment made by the Director under subsection (1) in respect of any acquisition of land shall be
without prejudice to the claim for compensation under this Ordinance or the submission under this Ordinance of the
matter to the Lands Tribunal for determination of the amount of compensation (if any) to be paid, or the determination
thereof by it under this Ordinance; but the amount of compensation payable by virtue of such determination in respect
of the acquisition shall be reduced by the amount of such payment. (Amended 64 of 1985 s. 2)

(3) Where the amount of compensation payable by virtue of a determination of the Lands Tribunal under this
Ordinance in respect of any acquisition of land is reduced under subsection (2) by the amount of any payment made
under subsection (1), such compensation shall not as from the date on which the payment is made bear interest except
on the amount thereof as so reduced. (Replaced 64 of 1985 s. 2)

(4) Where the amount of any payment made by the Director under subsection (1) in respect of any acquisition
of land exceeds the amount of the compensation payable by virtue of a determination by the Lands Tribunal under
this Ordinance in respect of such acquisition, the amount of the excess shall be recoverable by the Director as a civil
debt. (Amended 64 of 1985 s. 2)
_____________________________________________________________________________
Note:
For the validation of interest payments and application provisions relating to the amendments made by 6 of
2001, see section 13 of 6 of 2001.

Section: 10 Payment of compensation and interest 6 of 2001 12/04/2001


(1) All sums of money agreed or determined as compensation (together with interest thereon as hereinafter
mentioned), and all costs and remuneration awarded against the Government, shall be paid out of the general revenue.
(Amended 62 of 2000 s. 3)

(2) At any time after agreement or determination by the Lands Tribunal of the amount of compensation payable
under this Ordinance, the Director may by notice published in the Gazette require the person entitled to the
compensation to collect it within the time and at the place specified in the notice.

(3) Subject to section 9(3), any sum of money payable as compensation by virtue of an agreement or
determination of the Lands Tribunal under this Ordinance shall bear interest from the date of vesting until the
expiration of the time specified in the notice published under subsection (2). No interest shall be payable on any costs
or remuneration.

(4) Subject to subsection (4A), the rate of interest for the purposes of subsection (3) shall be such rate as the
Lands Tribunal may fix. (Replaced 6 of 2001 s. 4)

(4A) The rate of interest fixed under subsection (4)-
(a) in respect of a working day must not be lower than the lowest of the interest rates paid on deposits at

24 hours' call by note-issuing banks at the close of business on that day; and



Cap 130 - LAND ACQUISITION (POSSESSORY TITLE) ORDINANCE 6

(b) in respect of a non-working day must not be lower than the lowest of the interest rates paid on deposits
at 24 hours' call by note-issuing banks at the close of business on the last working day before that day.
(Added 6 of 2001 s. 4)

(5) If no claim be made for the compensation money at the place, and within the time, specified in the notice
published under subsection (2), the Director shall pay such money into the Treasury.

(6) The money thus paid into the Treasury or any part of it may, within a period of 5 years from the expiration
of the time specified in the notice published under subsection (2), be claimed by the person entitled thereto and upon
such claim being substantiated shall be paid to the person so entitled.

(7) At the expiration of the said period of 5 years the money or such part of it as remains unpaid shall be
transferred to the general revenue.
_____________________________________________________________________________
Note:
For the validation of interest payments and application provisions relating to the amendments made by 6 of
2001, see section 13 of 6 of 2001.

Section: 11 Payment when person entitled cannot be found, etc. 30/06/1997


When the person entitled to compensation in respect of any land which has been acquired is absent from Hong
Kong or cannot be found, or within 6 months after the date when the amount of compensation shall have been agreed
or determined by the Lands Tribunal under this Ordinance makes no claim to the same, or is in the opinion of the
Director unable to give an effectual discharge for the same, the Director may direct payment of the compensation to be
made to such other person on behalf of the person entitled as he shall think proper, subject to such conditions as he
thinks fit, and the receipt of such other person shall be a valid and effectual discharge for the same in the same manner
as if payment had been made to the person entitled.

(Amended 64 of 1985 s. 3)

Section: 12 Barring actions against the Government 62 of 2000 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 62 of 2000 s. 3


Except as provided by this Ordinance, no action or suit shall lie against the Government or against any other
person for any loss or damage suffered by any person as the result of the acquisition of any land under this Ordinance.

(Amended 62 of 2000 s. 3)

Section: 13 Evidence, notices, etc. 30/06/1997


(1) In any acquisition order or notice under section 4, it shall be sufficient to state that the acquisition of the
land is required for a public purpose, without stating the particular purpose for which the land is required; and a notice
containing such statement shall be conclusive evidence that the acquisition is for a public purpose.

(2) Where, under this Ordinance, notice is required to be served on any person-
(a) that notice shall be in writing and in both the English and Chinese languages;
(b) it shall be served on that person by delivering it to him by hand or by registered post.

(3) The Director shall not be obliged to serve any notice on any person whose address is unknown and cannot
reasonably be ascertained.

(4) A certificate purporting to be signed by a public officer shall be prima facie evidence of the facts stated
therein relating to the service, giving, publication or affixing of any notice.

(5) The acquisition or vesting of any land under this Ordinance shall not be affected by-
(a) any defect in a notice required under this Ordinance; or
(b) any failure to serve, publish or affix any notice under this Ordinance.

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