Derelict houses left to rot since 1999 compulsory purchased by council as owner failed to refurbish them

Three houses which were abandoned by a landlord 22 years ago will be compulsory purchased by Sheffield Council.

The houses
The houses

The council rarely uses compulsory purchase orders (CPO) but is taking action on a small terrace of houses at 1, 3 and 5 Mount Pleasant, Chapeltown.

The one and two-bedroomed terraces will be sold at auction but covenants will be placed requiring them to be refurbished within 12 months of purchase and occupied within 18 months. The council will monitor this and if necessary, enforce it.

A report by officer Neil Dunk says: “Council tax records reveal the dwellings have been empty since at least April 1999.

“The dwellings are in serious disrepair including damp and mould and lie within unmaintained land, which is in a very poor condition.

“Since the council initially visited in 2010, a number of complaints have been received about the condition of them.

“Due to the lack of progress from the owner in carrying out refurbishment, along with any meaningful proposals for bringing them back into occupation, the council believes that they will remain in a state of serious disrepair and unoccupied without intervention.

“Obtaining a CPO will enable the properties to be disposed of on the open market for a new owner to renovate them and arrange for them to be occupied.

“The council has powers to make a CPO for the acquisition of land for the purpose of providing housing.

“This power includes the acquisition of empty dwellings as an option of last resort where there appears to be no other prospect of those empty dwellings being brought back into use.”

Officers ruled out using them for council housing as the significant refurbishment costs wouldn’t be financially viable for the council.

Instead, after taking advice from an auctioneer, they will be sold at auction and are expected to be bought by a developer for rental or resale.

The report adds: “There’s a strong demand amongst first time buyers for smaller properties of this nature and there continues to be strong demand amongst developers, influenced by a growing shortage of restoration opportunities.”