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Enforced sale brings Ripley house back into use

A neglected Ripley property will be brought back into use as a family home after Amber Valley Borough Council enforced its sale to recover unpaid costs of vital improvement works they had to carry out.

The property, 2 Heath Road, was originally referred to the council’s housing team in 2014 by a nearby resident. The complaint concerned the condition of the property and people breaking in.

Further investigations revealed that the property had been unoccupied since at least 2009 and had been used as a squat and drugs den in the intervening period.

Working closely with the local police, the owner was traced, and attempts were made to persuade him to bring the property back into use by either occupation or placing it on the market for sale.

Despite positive initial discussions the owner suddenly refused to engage any further and housing officers gained entry to the property via a warrant to assess the property. The property was in a state of considerable disrepair which resulted in Improvement Notices being served early in 2018.

The council carried out works to address several of the issues and the owner was invoiced for the works. Following non-payment, the council resolved to enforce the sale of the property to recover the debt.

The property was subsequently sold at auction in May 2019 for £90.000.

The council has received the funds from the sale and recovered debt and costs in the region of £15,000 which is a combination of £13,000 for the works carried out and £2,000 for officer time to deal with the property.

The balance of the money received is now in a holding account ready to claim by the mortgagee and owner.

The new owners have already begun a programme of works to renovate the property to enable it to be reoccupied as a family home.

The council’s portfolio holder for housing and public health, Cllr Tony Holmes commented: “This is very good news, both in terms of resolving a problem property in the local community and improving the quality of life for residents living nearby, but also in bringing back another empty property into use as a family home.”

2 July | Amber Sound FM News


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