I. The Owners’ Corporation as an entity of collective responsibility

Hong Kong is a small place inhabited by a large population, with most citizens living in multi-storey buildings. When people purchase a flat in a multi-storey building, not only do they own the flat, but they also co-own the common parts of the building with the other flat owners. Therefore, every owner of every flat in a multi-storey building is responsible for managing and maintaining the common parts of the building.

Owners of units in a building or estate may form an owners’ corporation, whose management legally represents all of the building’s owners. The owners’ corporation of a building or estate is, therefore, a legal entity with collective responsibility, meaning that all owners of the building/estate are liable for every action carried out by the corporation, or lack of action. But the existence of an owners’ corporation does not exonerate each owner from responsibility or liability in the management and maintenance of the commons parts.