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Would like to view/offer neglected property with a view to buy.

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  • Would like to view/offer neglected property with a view to buy.

    Hello,
    This is a tricky one but here is the situation...
    There is a property in the viallage that I live, that was inherited by the Grandson of an elderly lady who passed away (about 15 years ago)
    The Grandson and his sister lived in the property (but didn't look after it at all) until approximately 5-6 years ago.
    Since then, the property has been abandoned completely and is rapidly falling into disrepair - the garden walls are crumbling, the garden itself is out of contol, the windows have barely ainy paint on any more, it is a complete state and it is getting worse and worse as the months wear on...
    I was intersted in rescuing the property, hoping to get into a situation where with the owners blessing, I could get a surveyor to walk around with me to advise on the level of damage etc with a view of eventually offering a 100% lump sum to purchase.
    I contacted the council for advice on contacting the owner but they told me that they were also trying to locate him and I also gather (the council heavily hinted) that a fair amount of Council Tax is owed by the owner as well.
    I spoke with a few neighbours in the street and after a little digging, found out where the owner used to work.
    I called the company and they confirmed that he does still work there, I was unable to speak with the owner at the time, so I left my number with the company manager and explained that I was interested in speaking with his employee regarding a property.
    Unfortunately, the owner never called me back...
    I am thinking about writing a brief letter to him via his company address, letting him know in simple terms what I propose.
    Before I do this, I was wondering where I stand from a legal point of view and also where stands from a legal point of view?
    Also, if he does sell at this stage can he be prosecuted for non payment of taxes or would he simply need to pay what he owes?
    I knew the owner many years ago from our school days and I am aware that he had learning difficulties and it is very possible that his reading ability is limited (or possibly non-existant)
    I have no interest in presurising him but I genuinely believe that what I propose could be mutually beneficial for all parties...
    Any feedback or advice would be greatly appreciated as I am very wet around the ears when it comes to these matters.
    Thanks
    HH

  • #2
    Re: Would like to view/offer neglected property with a view to buy.

    I might be able to help with at least one of your questions. For non-payment of council tax, a council would usually have to issue a series of three written warnings and if there is no response, it could then apply to a magistrates' court for a summons to be issued. If the council tax is still not paid, the magistrates' court will take into account the debtor's personal and financial circumstances and issue an order tailored to the best means of recovery. This could be attachment to earnings, use of bailiffs or in rare cases, a charging order against the property. However, the debtor can stop the process at any time by simply paying up. From what you describe, the owner's best bet would be to speak to the council and agree a way of repaying but, of course, that would be up to him to do.

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    • #3
      Re: Would like to view/offer neglected property with a view to buy.

      Hello,
      Thanks for your reply, it is really, really useful.
      I'm not sure that you would know the answer to this, but what happens if the Council cannot trace the tenant? They confirmed that they have been attempting to contact him for 5 years or so. Presumably, there can be no summons if he does not have an additional fixed address?
      Also, does the fact that the house is rapidly falling into considerable disrepair, overgrown etc have any legal implications?
      Thanks again!!
      HH

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      • #4
        Re: Would like to view/offer neglected property with a view to buy.

        Originally posted by HokkaHokka View Post
        Presumably, there can be no summons if he does not have an additional fixed address?
        A summons can be issued even if the person's whereabouts are unknown and periodically, an officer of the court will make efforts to trace the person and serve the summons. Of course, it may not have got to that stage yet and even if it has, this is a problem for the current owner, not for you (although if you do progress to the point of buying the house, you will need to let your solicitor know). I'm sorry but I cannot help you with your question about the house's deteriorating condition, although other members of the forum might be able to do so.

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        • #5
          Re: Would like to view/offer neglected property with a view to buy.

          Many many, thanks Jeannie D!
          I really appreciate you taking the time to offer your advice, I have a much clearer idea of the legal aspects of this now.
          I think I will send the owner a latter via his company, if he doesn't reply to this (and I strongly suspect that he won't!) then I guess I will have to move on and forget it.
          Thanks again
          HH

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          • #6
            Re: Would like to view/offer neglected property with a view to buy.

            Have you checked Land Registry, if it's registered it might help. (apologies if others have already said this, haven't read all the posts).

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