Owners allowed empty homes to attract rats

Law gavel

Four property owners who allowed empty houses to attract vermin and who failed to provide information to the city council have been prosecuted.

Janet Shane of Henley Road, Mossley Hill, was found guilty, in her absence, at Liverpool Magistrates Court of failing to provide the council with information required under the Town and Country Planning Act and of failing to comply with the requirements of a notice served under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act to remove waste and vegetation from the rear garden of a house which harboured rats.

In January 2014, following a complaint, an officer from the City Council’s Vacant Properties Team visited a vacant semi-detached house in Hildebrand Close, Anfield. 
A notice was served on the owner, Ms Shane, requiring her to provide details of her interest in the property and the purpose for which it was used.  A notice was also served giving her 28 days to remove all accumulations of waste and vegetation from the rear of the property.  No response was received.

She was fined a total of £600, and ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge. The council was awarded £560 costs.

Abdull Hussein of Newborough Green, New Malden, Kent was found guilty in his absence of two offences of failing to comply with the requirements of notices served under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act to remove waste and vegetation which was harboured rats in the rear yards of properties on Kensington, Liverpool 7.

In January 2014, following a complaint, an officer from the City Council’s Vacant Properties Team visited two vacant terraced properties on Kensington, Liverpool 7. .  Two notices, one for each of the two properties was served giving the owner 28 days to remove all accumulations of waste and vegetation from the rear yard of the property.  Despite a number of visits by the City Council officer no work was carried out and the rear yards were not cleared.

District Judge Shaw found Mr Hussein guilty in his absence.  The Judge said that Hussein had disengaged with the Council and allowed the properties to fall into rack and ruin.  He fined him £600 for each offence, a total of £1,200 and awarded the council £770 costs and ordered payment of a £60 victim surcharge.

Ateres Investment Limited of South Tottenham, London was found guilty in their   absence of failing to comply with the requirements of a notice served under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act to remove waste which was harbouring  rats in the rear yard of a property in Anfield.

In December 2013, following a complaint, an officer from the City Council’s Vacant Properties Team visited a mid-terraced property on Oakfield Road, Anfield.  A notice was served giving the owner 28 days to remove all accumulations of waste and vegetation from the rear yard of the property.  Despite a number of visits by the City Council officer no work was carried out and the rear yard was not cleared.

District Judge Shaw fined them a total of £1,000 and awarded the council £630 costs and ordered payment of a £100 victim surcharge.  In his summing up the judge said that the area was blighted by pests and waste for at least six months and that this was unacceptable.

City Estates Liverpool Limited was found guilty in their absence of failing to provide the council with information required under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act.

A notice was served on the owner requiring them to provide details of their interest in property in Kensington and details of any other persons having an interest in the property.  No response was received from City Estates.

They were fined a total of £2,000 ordered payment of a £120 victim surcharge and the council was awarded £630 costs.

Councillor Ann O’Byrne, cabinet member for housing said:  “These are great results.  We are determined to stamp out this laissez faire attitude of the minority of property investors who buy up properties and then leave them to deteriorate making the lives of those who live in the area a misery.  We are here to help to bring properties up to scratch but if these irresponsible property owners will not engage with us we will act”.