—(1) For the purposes of carrying out its duties and functions under this Act or any other Act, a Town Council may in each month levy conservancy and service charges at such rates as it may determine in accordance with its by-laws in respect of every flat in any residential or commercial property and every stall in any market or food centre of the Board within the Town.
(2) Charges levied by a Town Council under subsection (1) shall be payable, subject to this section, by the owner or tenant of every such flat or stall, as the case may be.
(3) In respect of any charges levied under subsection (1) and the interest thereon, the owner of a flat shall be liable, jointly and severally with any person who was liable to pay the charges and interest when the charges become due and payable, to pay the charges and interest to the Town Council.
(4) A person who has ceased to be the owner of the flat shall only be liable to pay the charges which were unpaid at the time he ceased to be the owner and the interest accruing on the unpaid charges until such time as they are paid.
(5) Any charges levied under subsection (1) —
shall become due and payable to a Town Council in accordance with the by-laws of the Town Council; and
if not paid within the month when the charges become due and payable to a Town Council, shall bear interest at such rate as the Town Council thinks fit and such interest shall accrue from the expiry of the month after the date when the charges become due and payable unless the Town Council determines either generally or in a particular case that any unpaid charges shall bear no interest, and any interest so paid shall form part of the fund to which the charges belong.
(6) Where any charges and interest thereon levied under this section are not paid within the month when they become due and payable, a Town Council may serve a written demand on an owner or a tenant of the flat or stall in respect of which the charges are levied.
(7) Any owner or tenant of a flat or stall who fails to pay any charges or interest due and owing to a Town Council within 14 days from the date of service on him of the written demand referred to in subsection (6) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1,000.
(8) The court before which the conviction is had may, in addition to such fine, order the owner or tenant to pay to the Town Council the amount of any charges together with any interest due thereon or any interest certified by the Town Council to be due from the owner or tenant at the date of his conviction and such amount may be recovered according to the law for the time being in force for the recovery of fines.
(9) Upon the expiry of the period provided under section 53(1) after the establishment of a Town Council for the Town and so long as a Town Council is established for the Town, any term in any lease made by the Board relating to the payment of conservancy and service charges by any owner or tenant of a flat in any residential or commercial property or by any tenant of a stall in any market or food centre of the Board within the Town shall have no effect and such charges shall thereupon be payable to the Town Council in accordance with this section.
(10) Without limiting any particular power of a Town Council, any charges levied by the Town Council under this section may be —
varied by the Town Council from time to time; or
remitted or refunded in whole or in part.
(11) A Town Council may under this section levy different rates of charges in respect of flats in any residential or commercial property or of stalls in any market or food centre of the Board in accordance with such criteria as it may determine.
(12) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (11), a Town Council may differentiate the rates of charges to take into account any grants-in-aid made under section 42 which are expressed to be for the benefit of any class of owners of flats.
(13) Any written demand required by this section to be served on the owner or tenant of a flat or stall shall be deemed to be sufficiently served —
if the demand is delivered to the owner or tenant or is delivered at the flat or stall to some adult member or employee of his family;
if it is sent to the owner or tenant by registered post to his flat or his usual or last known place of abode or business; or
if it is affixed to some conspicuous part of his flat.
(14) In this section, “owner”, in relation to a flat or stall, includes —
the person for the time being receiving the rent of the flat, whether as agent, trustee or receiver, or who would receive the rent if the flat were let to a tenant;
the personal representative of the estate of an owner or a tenant who is deceased;
[23/2005 wef 15/08/2005]
the Board in respect of any flat in any residential or commercial property or any stall in any market or food centre of the Board which is not leased out by the Board at the time the charges are levied; and
the person whose name is included in the Valuation List referred to in the Property Tax Act (Cap. 254) as the owner of the flat for the purposes of that Act.