Resident fined for neglected empty house

A Retford resident has been fined more than £3,000 for neglecting their property and failing to rectify issues that were detrimental to the health of local residents.

On 11th May 2023, Mansfield Magistrates Court ordered Ms Mary Usher, owner and landlord of 37 West Street in Retford, to pay a fine of £3,000. Ms Usher must also pay £1524.68 to cover Bassetlaw District Council’s prosecution costs, bringing the total to £4,524.68.

The Council’s Environmental Health Team received a complaint about the property and visited on 22nd May 2022 to investigate. The empty building had a hole in the roof through which pigeons were entering and becoming trapped in the upstairs rooms. There was also a build-up of waste in the rear garden.

On 14th September 2022 the Council served Ms Usher with a notice which required that she:
• Cut back the overgrown undergrowth from the front and rear of the property
• Dispose of all waste accumulations at the front and rear of the property

When officers visited again on 10th October 2022, they found that the front yard had been cut back, but no further improvements had taken place. As a result, another notice was served on 18 November 2022, requiring Ms Usher to correct the damaged roof as to avoid attracting feral pigeons and prevent them from roosting and nesting inside the building.

The owner also failed to respond to notices served on 18th November 2022, which required that she notify the Council of her interest in the land and the name and address of any occupier, freeholder, mortgagee, lessee who directly or indirectly received rent for the land, within 14 days after service.

During subsequent visits and at the time of issuing proceedings it was found that Ms Usher had still not complied with the conditions set out in the notices, resulting in the Council being required to undertake the works to correct the remaining issues.

Cllr Lynne Schuller, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Bassetlaw District Council said: “Residents raised their concerns about the unacceptable conditions of 37 West Street, caused by the accumulation of waste and presence of bird droppings.

“The Council gave the owner ample opportunity to resolve the issues that posed a threat to the health of local residents, but were unfortunately met with little co-operation. The resident did not uphold their Duty of Care to store and dispose of their waste responsibly, and did not act on the notices issued.

“In this case, the Council was left with no other option than to proceed with prosecution, and used the necessary powers available to them to protect public health.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, May 8, 2024