Member said: Posted on: 01/06/2008 00:00
I have a large pair of empty victorian houses in 1/2 acrea of land that could be converted into eight or more flats, or the site redeveloped for houses ( that the planning dept have said to our agent they would be agreeable to) up for sale since Feb 08 with W.T. Gunsons commercial estate agents who have asked for offers around £1,000,000 their valuation.
The council who I know were after the site late last year phoned us saying that we had 24 hours to repair two chimney stacks - unable to get a contracter in that short time, they sent in their demolision contractor to take down ,not to repair the chimneys without any notice served.
The contractors removed 11 antique large crown pots valued at £125-£150 each smashing one,taking down the chimney stacks, dropped the bricks down the cimneys blocking the flues and smashing several cast iron and marble fireplaces due to the weight behind them, the rest dropped on and through the roof and three smashed skylights bringing down gutters etc. Due to them leaving the property unsecured,two gates smashed open and ladders on the scaffolding left right down to the ground, lead theives got on the roof causing more damage leaving total £12,000 damage to the roof alone. I had to get tempory emergency roof repairs done a fortnight later (after major rain water damage to plaster ceilings cornices etc) at a cost of £5,000.00 for the roof only.
I had difficulty getting a quote(now got) to redecorate the two houses right through as all the decorating not to mention carpets etc, were soiled by soot, building rubble and dust.The property was my former family home; myself living there many years and when I inherited it I later renovated/decorated inside and out,new fitting put in etc costing nearly £50,000. I asked the council serveral times if I could get a grant for some of this, and they said non was available. For myself and my own family were going to move in when it was finished, however we where unable to move in due to me having to be a carer for my wife and son at that time. We were still hopeing to retain the house as a second home at least, hence the emergency repairs, due to other problems it has had to go up for sale.
I have now at very short notice received a notice to enter the premisses, and a letter saying if I do not attend they have booked apointment with the magistrates later this month to get a warrant to enter the premises- under the Housing Act 2004, Section 239(1)
Which states; For the following particular purpose;
The Authority considers that a survey or examination of the above premises is necessary and the following condition is met;
1/ The Authority considers that the survey is necessary in order to carry out an inspection under section 4 (1) of the act (i.e. to determine whether any category 1 or category 2 hazards exist on the premises) (My comments, it is a secured unoccupied empty property with burgulars alarms fitted with fenced gardens and padlocked gates and is up for sale/redevelopement)
2/ The authority considers that the survey is necessary to determine whether any functions under part 1 of the act (i.e. relating to housing conditions)should be exercised in relation to the premises.
(My comments, it's unoccupied empty property up for sale/redevelopement)
3/ The authority consiers that the survey is necessary to determinewhether any functions under Part 4(i.e.relating to interim and final management orders, including empty dwelling management orders)should be exercised in relation to the premises.
(My comments, a council cannot put management order on a property up for sale?).
I was told by my solicitor (who does not seem very knowlagable on the subject) that I must let them through, although I do not agree with this as it is a fault finding exercise for their benifit,when he phoned them recently they said that they needed the survey to;
1/ To allow me to carry on with the sale? which would probably result in the ultimate demlition or.
2/ To issue a compulsory purchase order to acquire the premises themselves or
3/To issue a Empty Dwellings Management Order which would enable them to take over the manaement of the premises,make them fit for habitation and arrange for them to be let to tenants. (My coment it's agaist the law for them to do this as it is up for sale? and I would have to foot the huge bill on houses that will be probably be demolished that I could not afford defies common sence)
It appears to be a ploy to get the property on the cheap first sending in their workmen to smash the roof to wreck the house so they can say it is unhabital (then now going throgh and listing as many faults they can find mostly caused by their workmen) and is worth very little, after slapping orders on it etc.(it,s like me coming to buy your car going away damaging it then saying now it's damaged it is not worth much).
Surely I must have some rights to not let them in the property either under the law or human rights? As nobody lives in the houses and are up for sale as stated before.
As I suffer with health problems Anginer, high blood pressure,diabetic,tinnitus etc(the council know this) some days I am to unwell to travel I feel I could well do without all this stress and hassel and bullying from them which is not fair.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.