empty house next door...(2 Posts)
I bought a house a few months ago and when I went round to view it I noticed the scruffy exterior of the house next door (its a semi). The garden was completely over grown and it put me off completely.
So I asked what was happening next door and the owner of the house I was viewing stated that the woman who lived there had recently died and that her family were sorting it out and have already started doing some work on it.
Fair enough I thought, can't really blame them for the state of it and it will soon be sorted.
I had been searching for well over a year and this house was the only one that ticked the boxes so I went for it.
There was a family living in next door so I thought well it cant be all that bad then and im sure the garden will be done for the summer as they had children..
oh how wrong I was....
Anyway I ended up buying the house then realised the true extent as to what was going on next door...
The people living next door were actually renting from one of the family of the deceased, probate still hasn't gone through and the lady who lived there died 5 years ago, not recently as I was told! so no one actually "owns" the house as yet as its still all being sorted.
The people living there were a nightmare - luckily they've gone now but they were friends of the relative that is currently looking after the house - I have met the "owner" he's delightful.. not.
Anyway that was a bit of background - basically the people living there have been moved by the council because there's a LOT wrong with the house, its pretty much falling down inside! The council were paying this families housing benefit to the owner and now they are taking him to court and have moved the family out because of the state of the place - don't know the ins and outs of why they are taking him to court but I suspect its something to do with the council paying their rent to him when it wasn't habitable.
Anyway - the question I'm asking is.... he wont be able to rent it privately I wouldn't imagine - no one in their right mind would pay money for the place and the council now know about how bad it is, so they aren't going to be paying any housing benefit for anyone. The only option left is he shoves some random person in there who just wants a doss house, its not fit for any other purpose OR it gets left empty. IF its left empty what should I start to be aware of, are there any problems leaving a house empty that could start to affect my property? The garden is a nightmare and has started growing over my side so that's getting doused with weedkiller next week, I don't have the owners number so I cant ask permission but I refuse to let my garden get covered in brambles and bindweed as its currently busting through the fence into my side. Before the previous family left they mentioned a few of the doors were completely riddled with woodworm (cant confirm if live or dead though) - can that start to travel through to my side??
It's really starting to stress me out now, the rest of the street are absolutely lovely people and gardens and houses immaculate and I had to pick the worst house in the street to live next to didn't I! just my luck..
Some councils have, or used to have anyway, Empty Homes Officers, based within the Environmental Health Department. They aim to get empty homes back in use. Obviously that'll be difficult if ownership isn't yet resolved but you should still call the enviro health dept to report your concerns and get some advice.
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