Property maintenance is a big issue right now, especially as so many people are desperate to find an affordable and suitable property, and so landlords are often called upon to make sure all their properties are up to scratch. However, even those that own their own houses are now coming under fire, such as Gerald Watkins from South Wales who left his property in a rundown state for over four years which caused surrounding houses to depreciate in value by around twenty thousand pounds.
Recently, a court fined Mr Watkins around one thousand pounds due to the fact that his property had broken windows, an overgrown garden and scaffolding in place even though no work has been done on the property for a long period of time. Discussing the property, one neighbour said: “This is a nice street but his house looks like a complete dump. He started doing it up years ago – but is still miles away from finishing it.” Meanwhile, Council solicitor Ian Cadenhead added: “The property has not been maintained in the manner it should have been and has had a detrimental effect on the amenity of the area.”
“It has a prominent location on the street and has impacted on its appearance. It is unpleasant and unmaintained and could pose a danger to the street if a fire breaks out there. It’s a shame it couldn’t have been dealt with by paint being bought and a bit more work.” Another neighbour added that they were pleased that the council had finally dealt with the issue, and said: “We’ve been on at the council for years to do something about it. At times the gardens have looked like a jungle or a forest out of Lord of the Rings.”
“There’s been a fire inside the house and it has been broken into a couple of times. This is a lovely street spoiled by one house and it’s probably lowered the values by at least £20,000. No-one knows much about Mr Watkins – he doesn’t seem to live here but he visits occasionally. We only hope now he will pull his finger out and bring the house up to scratch.” Landlords with badly maintained properties should take heed of this story, especially as landlord insurance can often help cover the costs of repairs and can even protect your property whilst it is unoccupied. Furthermore, leaving a property in an unsuitable condition will not only make you unpopular with the neighbours but could also land you a fine!