19 Jun 2019

A landlord has been ordered to pay £7,000 for neglecting the garden at one of his properties and allowing to become severely overgrown, having not cut the grass for seven years.

Leighton Dowding, 45, acquired the property in Downend, Bristol, in 2012, but given that he lives 150 miles away in Brighton, he left the house completely empty and failed to maintain the grounds.

Fly-tipped waste began to pile up next to a dilapidated shed in the front garden, whilst weeds cluttered the long back garden.

The 45-year-old landlord was served with a Community Protection Notice (CPN) in August 2017, and a subsequent Remedial Order in May 2018, ordering him to clear all the overgrown vegetation.

But none of the work was ever started at the mid-terraced house and Bristol Magistrates’ Court ordered Dowding to pay a £4,800 in fine and £2,200 in costs to South Gloucestershire Council.

Cllr Steve Reade, South Gloucestershire Council cabinet member for planning, transport and strategic environment, said: “We are working to bring long-term empty properties in our area back into use to help meet the local housing need.

“Before following this course of action, we had previously written to and contacted the owner several times about their property and repeatedly offered advice and assistance, without any continuing response.

“Where necessary, we will use enforcement powers to bring empty properties back into use which require an owner to maintain the property in reasonable condition if it is adversely affecting the locality.

“Allowing empty properties to continue to have a detrimental effect on the local neighbourhood will not be tolerated.”

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