Liverpool’s private landlords are being urged to bring long-term vacant properties back into use to avoid causing blight in communities.
The warning comes after Liverpool City Council prosecuted its sixth case in as many months for allowing an empty home to have a detrimental effect on an area.
Ross Smith was found guilty ay Liverpool Magistrate’s Court of an offence for failing to comply with a notice requiring improvements to his Eastbourne Road property (pictured) in Walton.
Complaints were received about the property’s state of disrepair in June 2016 and in September that year, following preliminary correspondence sent to the owner, a notice was served under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 requiring improvement work to be carried out.
The notice expired in December 2016 and despite further warning letters, the owner did not carry out the improvements. It was then carried out by the city council in default.
Mr Smith was fined £200 and ordered to pay costs of £500, and will also be pursued by the local authority for costs incurred in carrying out the works.
Councillor Frank Hont, cabinet member for housing, says: “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.”