Being forced to sell to the council, but no CPO has been served

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7 Posts
9 years ago
In 2006, the Council began acquiring the properties around the locality of Dave’s property as part of their project to redevelop the entire area. Upon acquisition they permitted his neighbouring properties to become derelict whilst they waited to sort out their plans to develop the regeneration scheme they had for the area. As you can imagine, this caused the house prices in the area to catastrophically drop not least because the derelict houses then attracted vermin and criminal elements. The Council engaged with Dave but never through a CPO and never offered to purchase his property at the market value before the damage they caused. The amount offered by the Council was far below the valuation of similar properties in the area and he could not accept since this would not cover the mortgage on the property. He did not sell.

The Council admit that due to the economic downturn and the lack of demand for development sites, the acquisition scheme was subsequently abandoned and the properties acquired were left to dilapidate further to the point of now posing a threat to public safety.

Since 2006, Dave’s property has been burgled on several occasions and is now in a poor condition. Dave has been unable to invest money into the property. The property is now valued at much less than it had been previously, due to the Council’s lack of action in respect of the area surrounding the property. We have engaged with the council to try to bring this matter to a resolution and obtain a fair price for the property. On each occasion the Council have been unwilling to allow a valuation based on the property prior to the Council’s regeneration scheme. In fact, someone has now smashed a hole through the adjoining wall into Dave’s home.

The Council blame Dave for failing to agree to an acquisition in 2009. However we say that the Council fails and/or neglects to acknowledge that acceptance of any of those depressed offers leaves Dave financially worst off. But for the degeneration caused to the Property as a direct consequence of the Council’s actions, Dave will suffer a financial detriment through no fault of his own.

In January 2013 the Council threatened to demolish the property. Dave tried to negotiate with the Council to no avail. In August 2013 Dave issued proceedings against the Council for breach of his rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 and European Convention on Human Rights on the basis that the Council were depriving him from using his property and breaching his right to respect for his family and home. The proceedings are unusual but this is because these circumstances were unusual. Dave wanted the Council to talk to him but they refuse to do so. These proceeding are ongoing. There is a County Court hearing on 26 August 2014.

Now in July 2014, the council again served notice on Dave under section 77 of the Building Act 1984. The notice was on the basis that the property posed a threat to the safety of the public and therefore needs to be demolished. The matter is due to be heard at the Leeds Magistrates Court on 28 August 2014. We have produced an expert’s report on the structural integrity of the property. The result being that the property requires minimum works to make the property structurally sound (not demolished). Dave intends to contest the hearing on 28th August on this basis.

The Council also served notice under s78 Building Act 1984 which required immediate works to the property to make the boundaries safe, which he did. Otherwise the council would undertake the works and recharge this back to Dave.

The Council are constantly placing pressure on Dave through various legal procedures in a bid to exhaust him both financially and mentally. He is currently has a registered health worker for his current mental state, which has included suicidal thoughts. This has taken its toll on a man who purely wanted to enjoy his home and get a fair price for it. He has no financial means and needs help. The Council has shown no sympathy to him or accepted that it has contributed to Dave’s downfall

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