Empty home owner prosecuted for neglect of property in Warwick

Court news
Court news

A man from Leamington has been prosecuted for not undertaking repairs to a property in Warwick that has been empty for years.

On December 20 2018 at Warwickshire Magistrates Court, David Brown of Northumberland Court, Leamington was convicted for failing to comply with an abatement notice served on him by Warwick District Council, which had required him to undertake repairs to a property he owns in Warwick, which has remained empty for the last 14 years.

The prosecution related to a property in Avon Street, Warwick which had fallen into disrepair.

Responding to a neighbour’s complaint, Warwick District Council’s environmental health officers carried out an inspection and discovered that Mr Brown had failed to maintain or repair the exterior guttering.

This left the neighbouring property vulnerable to penetrating damp.

In August 2018, Warwick District Council served abatement notices under section 80(1) of the Environmental Protection Act requiring him to repair or renew the rear elevation guttering within 28 days. He failed to comply despite being given a reminder.

David Brown was prosecuted by the Court for the contravention of the abatement notice, without reasonable excuse and failure to make the necessary repair to the property.

He received a total fine of £660 and was required to pay £220 in costs and a surcharge of £66 to fund victim services.

The council is currently considering its options to ensure the property is brought back into use.

Councillor Peter Phillips, Warwick District Council’s portfolio holder for housing and property services said: “The council will take enforcement action where empty property owners are unresponsive, neglect their properties and have no plan of action to return them to use, particularly where they impact on neighbouring properties and have been sitting empty for a number of years.’’