Derelict property owners taken to court

Enforcement action taken by Thanet District Council has resulted in the owners of a house in Margate being found guilty of failing to improve the condition of their property.

Under the Town and Country Planning Act, the council served notice on the owners requiring them to take certain steps to remedy the state of the property due to its appalling condition.

At Canterbury Magistrates Court on 31 January, Mr Warren Waitt pleaded guilty of failing to comply with the Section 215 Notice (S215 notice) and was fined a total of £780 including costs and victim surcharge. Belinda Waitt was also found guilty in her absence and fined £945 including costs and victim surcharge.

The council was first notified of the serious state of the building in Jennifer Gardens, through a complaint in April 2016. Negotiations with the owners to renovate the property were unsuccessful and the council issued an S215 notice on 22 April 2016. This required the owners to complete the repairs within a period of three months. The notice was not complied with and the council decided to prosecute the owners.

Following this guilty verdict, the notice will remain in force until the owners have completed the work required. The property will be inspected again in three months’ time and if the notice is still not complied with, then the owners could be taken back to court and could receive a further fine.

Cllr Fairbrass, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said:

“The council will take action when owners continue to neglect their properties to such a degree. This house is in a serious state of disrepair and a safety hazard. It has a negative effect that is detrimental to the local community and to those visiting the area.”

“Property owners have a responsibility to maintain their buildings to a sufficient standard and the council will continue to seek enforcement action when all other routes fail.”

Press Office