Open and Derelict properties represent a wasted resource that could be better utilised to alleviate homelessness and address housing needs. In addition, there could be both health and safety concerns from the structural decay of properties and their effect on nearby properties.
With increased pressure being placed on local authorities to find housing for people on their housing needs register it is no longer acceptable for residential properties to be vacant for long periods of time. A property that has stood empty for a long period of time can cost its owner up to £5,000 per year, in rent loss, council tax, insurance, dilapidation and security measures. Empty properties are often targets for vandals and are a focus of anti social behaviour. Damage occurring can be extensive and attract complaints from neighbours.
The Building Act 1984 provides for local authorities to deal with 'dangerous structures'. A notice can be served on owners of property deemed to be dangerous requiring that specific works to eliminate danger (a Section 3 notice) be carried out thereby rendering the property safe. The provisions of the 1984 Act are similar to the later Derelict Sites Act and the following common elements are an example of this:-
both enable a prosecution to be brought against owners who do not comply with notices served;
both require a register to be maintained by the local authority; both empower a local authority to carry out the necessary works itself and to charge the owners for the cost; both empower compulsory purchase of land on which a dangerous structure was/is located.
The Council can provide guidance and support to property owners, with information on local letting agents or whether financial assistance is available. Owners have several options available to them in deciding what to do with their property, these include:
Major Repairs and Improvements Assistance
Selling the property to a housing association
Selling the property on the open market
Letting the property yourself
Letting the property through a commercial agent.
The Council ensures that industrial buildings are not open to unauthorised access or present a danger to public health. Action in connection with this is normally taken under the provisions of The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. Section 29. This service is provided by Environmental Protection Services.
For further information about derelict industrial buildings, or to report concerns regarding an Industrial Building, please contactEnvironment Protection Services
The Council ensures that residential buildings are not open to unauthorised access or present a danger to public health. Action in connection with this is normally taken under the provisions of The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. Section 29. Under the Housing Act 1985 the Local Authority can consider other action including declaration of a Clearance Area (where several properties are concerned), Compulsory Purchase Orders, a notice requiring repairs, or service of a Demolition Order.
The Council ensures that commercial buildings are not open to unauthorised access or present a danger to public health. Action in connection with this is normally taken under the provisions of The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. Section 29.
For further information about derelict commercial Buildings, or to report concerns regarding a Commercial Building, please contact us using the details at the bottom of this web page.
If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service or are concerned about how we have dealt with a derelict building, please contact the us and we will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have. We also have a formal complaints procedure.
Telephone: 01384 814136 (Office hours and out of hours service).
Building Control Planning and Economic Development Directorate of Place 4 Ednam Road Dudley West Midlands DY1 1HL