Liverpool City Council is warning private landlords not to sit on long-term vacant homes.
The cautionary message comes after a landlord was yesterday (6 March) fined for allowing an empty property to become a haven for vermin.
Giles McHugh of, Farnham, Surrey, was found guilty at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court of failing to remove overgrown vegetation and rubbish from the front and rear of a property he owns in Norris Green.
The council made the order after several rodent complaints were made and the premises, in Ravensthorpe Green, was inspected last June.
In July, the notice expired and despite further warning letters, the owner did not carry out the work. The work was then carried out by the council in default.
Mr McHugh was fined £500 and ordered to pay costs of £150.
Speaking following the hearing, Councillor Frank Hont, cabinet member for housing, said: “The impact of derelict houses on the local community is immeasurable and infestations of rats and mice cause untold distress. When refurbished this property would make a lovely family home.
“It is part of the mayoral pledge to deal with long term vacant houses and engage with owners to bring the properties back into use.
“In this case our efforts were frustrated and we had no option but to take legal action – this should be a warning to those who let their vacant property go to wrack and ruin, engage with us to put the property right or face the consequences.”
The council says since 2015 it has successfully helped to bring 2,000 long-term vacant properties back into use.