Private property investors in Liverpool are being encouraged to bring long-term vacant properties back into use to avoid them becoming a blight on the community.
The warning comes from Liverpool City Council, after it prosecuted the sixth case in as many months for allowing an empty home to have a detrimental effect upon an area.
The landlord in question, Ross Smith, was found guilty at Liverpool Magistrate’s Court of an offence for failing to comply with a notice that required he made improvements to his Eastbourne Road property, situated in Walton. The council had received complaints about the property’ state of disrepair in June 2016 and then again in September that year. Following preliminary correspondence send to the owner, a notice was served under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, requiring improvement work to be carried out on the property.
The notice expired in December 2016. Despite further warning letters, the owner failed to carry out the necessary improvements to the rental property. They were then carried out by default by Liverpool City Council.
Mr Smith was subsequently fined £200 and ordered to pay costs of £500. He was also be pursued by the local authority for the cost of the renovation work.
Cabinet member for housing, Councillor Frank Hont, commented: ‘The impact of derelict houses on the local community is immeasurable and when left to fall into disrepair they cause blight in the area and can attract vandalism leading to anti social behaviour. It is part of the Mayoral Pledge to deal with long term vacant houses and engage with owners to bring the properties back into use. In this case the property owner did not engage with us and we had no option but to take legal action – this should be a warning to those who allow their vacant property to blight an area, engage with us to put the property right or face the consequences.’