Questions for Andrew Lavender

If you are coming to Birmingham on 24th May, you have an opportunity to make sure that your practical issues get addressed by Andrew Lavender at his very popular Empty Homes Surgery at the Conference.

Simply post your question here (as a reply to this forum post) and Andrew will guarantee to deal with it in his Surgery.

Conference 2016

Hi we have a property that has been empty since 2009.  It is unregistered. It was presumably owned by a Company.  The Company went into liquidation in 1997.

Deeds were at a Solicitors in Leeds but in 2004 a letter, held by son's Sols, from them stated had deeds but couldn't locate them and if in ordinary file would have been distroyed after legal 12 yr period. File was dated Oct 1996.

The Company name is not the same as the presumed father(decd) and son.

A son and possible director of the Company received rent for a few years but then ceased due to a benefits investigation. The tenant moved out in 2009.  The investigation deemed he did not own the property. He states he does not want anything to do with the property now as he is ill.

There was no mention of the property in the liquidation paperwork. The son's Sols made an application of title 8/6/11, resurrect the Company, but Bona Vacantia came back saying no evidence - treasury also would not accept Dec 2012 due to no evidence of owner. Official Receiver's file and Court file have both presumably been destroyed.

The keys are with the Letting Agent.  Spoken to them and they are not prepared to release the keys to anyone but Bona Vacantia or owner. When asked he said he was working for Company but when advised had gone bust he said not spoken to anybody for about 15 years.  (Which can't be true as tenant didn't vacate until 2009). He says he is keeping the keys for 'duty of care'!

Kirklees has issued a section 80 Abatement Notice in Respect of Statutory Nuisance, Environment Protection Act 1990 due to damp property is causing to neighbour.

This property is going to remain empty and falling into further disrepair, or possibly be taken by someone, if the Council is unable to obtain it.

IS there anything we could do to Compulsory purchase, become Guardian of the property?

Debra Northing

Kirklees Council

Debra Northing

Housing Solutions Empty Homes Officer - Kirklees Council

Hi Debra

Can you confirm rough value of property?

​Can you confirm who the Section 80 EPA Notice was served on was it the Company name, the sons name or generically on the owner / occupier etc - no need to put the actual name

Can you send me a picture of the property, are there any other issues that could prompt enforcement action under other legislation such as i.e. Building Act 1984, Section 4 Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949.

Many thanks