Hoarding and neglect finally led to the UK Supreme Court...

Date: 30 May 2019 Client: Local Authority Project Type: Improvement Notice Download Case Study (PDF)

A large three-storey Victorian semi-detached house, situated in a very highly regarded area, was placed under three statutory notices by the local authority. The first notice was issued under Section 83 of the Public Health Act 1936 as the property was filthy and verminous. The second notice was issued under Section 4 of the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949. Internally long-term hoarding had become a significant issue, and externally the overgrown and abandoned gardens had also become a haven for vermin. A third notice was issued under Part 1 (Section 12) of the Housing Act 2004 as the property also now needed significant improvement to make it habitable to live in.

Despite extensive efforts, the landlord (a trust) was unable to carry out any improvements due to a problem with a regulated tenant who was protected under the rent act. The tenant, who was a barred litigating solicitor, would not give entry and made life extremely difficult for the landlord.

UK Property Rescue agreed to buy the property as it was, with the sitting tenant in place, and to deal with the tenant subsequently. UK Property Rescue, in accepting ownership of the outstanding notices, liaised throughout with the local authority who were happy to allow the time for the necessary legal action to run its course.

Following completion of the purchase of the property, the Local Authority also issued a Community Protection Notice on the sitting tenant in person under Part 4 of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime & Policing Act 2014, as they were adversely affecting the quality of life to the neighbours.

After 3 years of legal action, ultimately adjudicated in the UK Supreme Court, the tenant was eventually evicted.

By that time, the property was in a serious state of disrepair due to further neglect. The extreme vermin problem had structurally damaged the property. The tenant had also hoarded forty tonnes of goods and rubbish in the property.

With the sitting tenant now removed, the extensive work could be carried out over many months to remedy to issues, and the property was ultimately brought back to its former glory. The property was then returned to the property market, for a new family to enjoy.