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Land Registry Circular Memorandum (LRCM)

Land Registry Circular Memorandum No. 1/09

3 April 2009

Closure of Sha Tin District Search Office and Relocation of Owners' Corporation Services to Tai Po District Search Office

This circular announces the closure of our Sha Tin District Search Office with effect from 4 May 2009 and the new arrangements for services after the closure.



2. In February 2005 the Land Registry was reorganized to create a Central Registration System, serving the entire territory of Hong Kong. The separate registries that used to exist in each New Territories district were closed. An internet service started, through which any member of the public, solicitors, estate agents and other professionals can obtain land registry records cheaply and quickly. To give the public time to get used to this new service, we maintained small offices in each New Territories district where members of the public could come to conduct searches in person. These offices also continued to provide a service for registration of owners' corporations.

3. After two years of operation with the new services we carried out reviews of the use of all the New Territories District Search Offices ("NTSOs") in 2007-08. We found that the number of customers each day had been falling steadily. Use was particularly low for the North, Sai Kung and Tuen Mun District Search Offices and North and Sai Kung District Search Offices were closed on 16 April 2007 and Tuen Mun District Search Office on 5 May 2008. Owners' corporation services of the North and Sai Kung districts were relocated to Sha Tin District Search Office and those of Tuen Mun district to Tsuen Wan District Search Office.

4. At the beginning of this year we carried out another review of the use of the remaining NTSOs. Demand for services at the Sha Tin District Search Office has always been at a fairly low level. The daily average number of customers is now down to 36 and the daily average number of search requests to 67, representing a drop of 36% in the business volume as compared with 2007-08. Requests for owners' corporation services have averaged less than ten per day since April 2008.

5. In light of this very low demand for the services we have decided to close our Sha Tin District Search Office with effect from 4 May 2009.


Rearrangement of services

6. After closure, the owners' corporation services of North, Sai Kung and Sha Tin districts will be taken up by the Tai Po District Search Office at 4th Floor, Tai Po Complex, 8 Tai Po Heung Sze Wui Street, Tai Po.

7. Counter search services would continue to be provided at other search offices including the Tai Po District Search Office and Yuen Long District Search Office at 7th Floor, Yuen Long Government Offices and Tai Kiu Market, 2 Kiu Lok Square, Yuen Long. Customers can also conduct internet online searches at www.iris.gov.hk.

8. For the general public who, for one reason or another, cannot make personal visits to other search offices or use the internet, they can either conduct searches by making mail or fax requests to our Customer Service Manager or call our Customer Service Hotline at 3105 0000 for assistance.



9. For any enquiries on the closure and rearrangement of services, please contact our Customer Service Manager, Mr. Kenneth POON (now changed to Miss Cherie CHOW), at 3105 0000 or e-mail to us at csa@landreg.gov.hk.