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Old 18th May 2009, 16:11   #1
Skidder
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abandoned house - law

Does anyone know if a house which is privately owned but unoccupied must be kept in a habitable state? There is a house near me which is secure but unliveable and the owner isn't doing anything to fix it up. (there are no floors inside etc.)

I would like to understand the law on this. I wouldn't mind seeing it improved or may be buying it to renovate and would like to put a fire under the owner if poss. My google skills have failed me! Thanks

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Old 18th May 2009, 16:22   #2
touch
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Cant see how/why they would force people to make changes to their house unless it was a danger to the public.

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Old 18th May 2009, 16:24   #3
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Perhaps they're waiting for finance and redeveloping it? Could be in the process of being sold on to someone too.

As long as it's secure I can't see the problem. maybe they need a notice that it's structually unsafe if that's the case.

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Old 18th May 2009, 16:25   #4
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No, of course not. How is the condition of his privately owned house a concern of anyone but the owner of the property?

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Old 18th May 2009, 16:28   #5
scorza
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Originally Posted by touch View Post
Cant see how/why they would force people to make changes to their house unless it was a danger to the public.
What about if a burglar breaks into the house and hurts himself while in the house. Won't the owner be liable for violating the burglar's human rights?
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Old 18th May 2009, 16:33   #6
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What about if a burglar breaks into the house and hurts himself while in the house. Won't the owner be liable for violating the burglar's human rights?
I hope the burglar would be liable for being an arse. However, I would not be at all suprised if the owner could be sued, such is the society we live in today.

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Old 18th May 2009, 16:37   #7
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Health and Safety don't apply for domestics.

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Old 18th May 2009, 16:38   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jez View Post
No, of course not. How is the condition of his privately owned house a concern of anyone but the owner of the property?
iirc the roof has to be in sound condition.

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I already told you, you cannot compete at my intellectual level so there's no need to try.
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Old 18th May 2009, 16:39   #9
Westyfield2
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There is some law but I don't know what it is. (Yes I know that's a great help.)

There's a property down in the city centre that someone bought and wanted to convert it to XYZ business use (pub/bar I think). Never got planning permission despite trying for years. They let the place get into a right state but were refusing to spend a penny on it until they could get the planning permission they wanted. Recently the council have made them put a new roof on it as it was in such a state, but still haven't given planning permission for business use so it's still sitting there empty (but with a decent roof on it).

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Old 18th May 2009, 16:41   #10
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Umm, whats it got to do with you?

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Old 18th May 2009, 16:47   #11
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Is there a damp problem coming through from the other side or something?
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Old 18th May 2009, 16:53   #12
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this gives me an idea of building a house with a 60ft drop inside onto spikes and making it look like there's a shed load of fancy equipment in there - that will get the burglars!

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Old 18th May 2009, 16:54   #13
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There is some kind of law but I dont really know too much about it. All I know is that there is a house down our road that has been unoccupied for 20 years and was a complete mess (there was a car under about 10ft of grass/weeds/hedges).

A couple of years ago it became eligible for the council to repossess so they sent off the required letters and within a couple of weeks someone turned up cleared the garden and put a few new windows in and now its being left again.

Apparently the ownership of the house is under dispute, the original owner died and the 2 children are locked in some kind of legal battle and are apparently just waiting for the other one to die off so they can inherit the whole place.

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Old 18th May 2009, 17:09   #14
Strife212
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You can move into the house and legally he cant do anything to get you out.

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Old 18th May 2009, 17:16   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M0T View Post
There is some kind of law but I dont really know too much about it. All I know is that there is a house down our road that has been unoccupied for 20 years and was a complete mess (there was a car under about 10ft of grass/weeds/hedges).

A couple of years ago it became eligible for the council to repossess so they sent off the required letters and within a couple of weeks someone turned up cleared the garden and put a few new windows in and now its being left again.

Apparently the ownership of the house is under dispute, the original owner died and the 2 children are locked in some kind of legal battle and are apparently just waiting for the other one to die off so they can inherit the whole place.
That's interesting, it's a similar situation as I understand it. It's been 25 years in this case too.

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Old 18th May 2009, 17:16   #16
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Ok guys, In terms of Planning, the Planning Enforcement team can serve a Section 215 Notice of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) which deals with the above problem. However this is only done at extremes eg when:

A notice can be served on the owner or occupier of any private land or building which is in an unreasonably untidy condition and which the Council consider has an adverse affect on the amenity of the area. The Notice puts a charge on the land or property and specifies what needs to be done to correct the situation within a given timescale. It is an offence not to comply with the notice within the specified period.

See a link here:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/archiv...g/derelictland

Your best bet is to phone your Council's Planning Enforcement Team

Borich
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Old 18th May 2009, 17:22   #17
Skidder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jez View Post
No, of course not. How is the condition of his privately owned house a concern of anyone but the owner of the property?
That's a failry emphatic view, is it based on anything? I know there is law regarding this, I'm just trying to figure out what it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tefal View Post
iirc the roof has to be in sound condition.
that makes sense, the roof has been done (and only the roof) so may be he has addressed issues within the law.

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Originally Posted by mejinks View Post
Umm, whats it got to do with you?
Nice attitude and thanks for your help. Do you always contribute this much, I will remember to look out for your posts.

There are several reasons I would like to motivate the owner in to do something (or me getting the opportunity to do it, or someone else). It is not well secured and is a potential source of access to my property and it looks horrible and could deflate the value of my property.

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Old 18th May 2009, 17:23   #18
Skidder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by borich_planner View Post
Ok guys, In terms of Planning, the Planning Enforcement team can serve a Section 215 Notice of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) which deals with the above problem. However this is only done at extremes eg when:

A notice can be served on the owner or occupier of any private land or building which is in an unreasonably untidy condition and which the Council consider has an adverse affect on the amenity of the area. The Notice puts a charge on the land or property and specifies what needs to be done to correct the situation within a given timescale. It is an offence not to comply with the notice within the specified period.

See a link here:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/archiv...g/derelictland

Your best bet is to phone your Council's Planning Enforcement Team

Borich

Brilliant, thanks very much, exactly what I needed. Always nice to have someone who actually knows what they are talking about make a contribution and rare in GD!

Last edited by Skidder; 18th May 2009 at 17:26.
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Old 18th May 2009, 17:52   #19
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The people you should speak to are environmental health, most councils have "Open and derelict housing" legislation that in certain cases (its occurred a lot in Notts) the council will Compulsory purchase the offending eyesore or apply pressure via the above planning legislation to get the owner to sort it out.

To all the posters giving it "what's is to you", unless you have ever lived near a derelict house you can have no appreciation of the problems they can cause to the neighbourhood, from increased crime to reduced house prices. They are an eyesore and should be stopped as soon as they can.


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Old 18th May 2009, 17:54   #20
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Hmm, you could get the council involved. IIRC from watching the polotics show, the council can force an order on the owner to hand it over to them so they can do it up and rent it out on behalf of the landlord, almost making it a council home. I can't remember what it is for the life of me though. It was called something similar to an ASBO. lol

Edit:

A bit of googling finds this stuff....

http://www.themovechannel.com/news/3f91b2f7-ffe9/

CPO's or 'Compulsory purchase orders'

Last edited by leaskovski; 18th May 2009 at 18:03.
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Old 18th May 2009, 17:56   #21
LOAM
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Hmm, you could get the council involved. IIRC from watching the polotics show, the council can force an order on the owner to hand it over to them so they can do it up and rent it out on behalf of the landlord, almost making it a council home. I can't remember what it is for the life of me though. It was called something similar to an ASBO. lol
CPO (compulsory purchase order)
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Old 18th May 2009, 18:03   #22
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Originally Posted by leaskovski View Post
Hmm, you could get the council involved. IIRC from watching the polotics show, the council can force an order on the owner to hand it over to them so they can do it up and rent it out on behalf of the landlord, almost making it a council home. I can't remember what it is for the life of me though. It was called something similar to an ASBO. lol
That was on the one show and is a very last resourt, your first port of call should be Planning Enforcement. You might even get a planner as helpful as me!

Borich
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Old 18th May 2009, 18:06   #23
leaskovski
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Originally Posted by borich_planner View Post
That was on the one show and is a very last resourt, your first port of call should be Planning Enforcement. You might even get a planner as helpful as me!

Borich
Argghhh, well it looks like the old brain is failing me. lol

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Old 18th May 2009, 18:09   #24
fini
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Originally Posted by Strife212 View Post
You can move into the house and legally he cant do anything to get you out.
Worst advice ever - completely inaccurate.


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Old 18th May 2009, 18:23   #25
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Worst advice ever - completely inaccurate.
Only way is to adversly possess it which means staying there for 10-12 years!
Last edited by jamie2497; 18th May 2009 at 18:31.
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Old 18th May 2009, 18:23   #26
Skidder
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I'll call planning in the morning and hope I get Borich on the phone!

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Old 18th May 2009, 18:23   #27
Strife212
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Worst advice ever - completely inaccurate.
What, it's true, you can't file criminal charges, only civil proceedings which are feeble and take ages. If the house is actually in that state its unlikely the owner would ever even discover what was going on for years anyway. It's not like I was offering it as a serious course of action in this case anyway

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Old 18th May 2009, 18:25   #28
K.C. Leblanc
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It's not unknown for houses to left incomplete to avoid Council Tax.


BOOM!
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Old 18th May 2009, 18:31   #29
Glaucus
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best thing is if you are interested is to trace he owner and ask if they want to sale.

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Old 18th May 2009, 18:36   #30
Skidder
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best thing is if you are interested is to trace he owner and ask if they want to sale.
have spoken to him already and he doesn't (but I think there may be a dispute in the background so perhaps he doesn't have the right to sell it)

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