A run-down Armley back-to-back house which has been empty for 22 years is to be bought by the council using special legal powers and brought back into use.
The house, in Edinburgh Terrace, has been the subject of two arson attacks and neighbours have complained about its deteriorating condition.
Complaints include the sighting of rodents, pigeons accessing the property, rubbish in the garden and the premises being open to unauthorised access at ground-floor level.
It’s understood the property is valued at £55,000 in its current state, with £28,500 of repair work needed.
A council report paving the way for the purchase says:
“It is the view of officers that renovation and reoccupation of 14 Edinburgh Terrace, Armley, Leeds 12 is unlikely to be achieved without the intervention of the Council, the most appropriate action being to instigate Compulsory Purchase Order procedures.”
There are estimated to be about 12,000 privately owned empty properties in Leeds. Of these, approximately 2,800 have been vacant for more than six months. Vacant properties can become a target for vandals and are vulnerable to crime, particularly arson and burglary.
The report adds:
“The owner has been contacted by Housing Services officers since 2008 regarding the future of the property. He has repeatedly stated his intention to renovate the premises but the pace of work has been extremely slow and has now come to a halt. Outstanding work includes the replacement of windows, provision and installation of central heating system, rewire, plastering work and the rebuilding of the boundary wall.”
Council tax records indicate that the property has been empty since at least April 1995 with the exception of a period between June 2016 and September 2016 when the property was occupied by a tenant.