Absent landlord prosecuted

Liverpool City Council is again warning private landlords not to sit on long term vacant properties.

The warning comes as the council successfully prosecuted its sixth case in as many months, with an absent landlord fined for allowing a vacant property in Walton to blight the local community.

Mr Ross Smith was found guilty, at Liverpool Magistrate’s Court, of an offence for failing to comply with a notice requiring improvements to his property, which was deemed detrimental to the amenity of the area.

In June 2016 a complaint was received that the property – 42 Eastbourne Road – was in such a state of disrepair it was described as a blight.

In September 2016, following preliminary correspondence sent to the owner, a notice was served on Mr Smith. The notice served under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 required improvement work to be carried out at his property.

In December 2016 the notice expired and despite further warning letters, the owner did not carry out the work. The work was then carried out by the city council in default.

Mr Smith was fined £200 and ordered to pay costs of £500.

The city council will also pursue Mr Smith for the costs incurred in carrying out the works in default.

‍Councillor Frank Hont, Cabinet member for Housing, said: “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“.

Liverpool Waterfront