Havering Council’s tough stance on eyesore properties
Empty eyesore properties are being targetted by Havering Council in a bid to improve the quality of life for residents.
During the past year the council has started legal proceedings – known as Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO) – on 18 neglected, unused homes in the borough, which it says are often magnets for “anti-social behaviour”.
Before a CPO is issued all attempts to work with a homeowner and bring an empty property back into use will have failed, the council says, including repeated requests to get the owner to bring the property back into use.
“Not tolerating empty properties has many benefits for Havering residents,” a council spokesman said. “It reduces the likelihood of squatting, removes eyesores on buildings and land and prevents anti social behaviour including rubbish dumping, vandalism, arson and drug taking.”
The crackdown also increases the availability of good quality accommodation for lcoal people.
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Properties acquired by an order are sold through local estate agents with the money given to homeowners if they claim it within six years.
If the money isn’t claimed, it can be spent by the council on improving services to Havering residents.
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When faced with legal action by the council most homeowners decide to sell or refurbish.
Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for housing, said: “Not only are residents benefiting from a reduction in nuisance and anti social behaviour but there are further benefits as properties are refurbished for residential and family use.”