South Staffs: £21,000 returned to public purse after court order-led sale of house with unclear title resolved

More than £21,000 owed to the South Staffordshire taxpayer has been recovered after an eyesore house which lay empty for 17 years was sold.

South Staffordshire Council writes:

The owner of the property in Hall Lane, Great Wyrley, died in 2006. Despite best efforts, legal heirs to the house could not be traced.

As a result, the house fell into disrepair and led to a number of complaints from residents about the property’s neglected state.

Concerns raised included overgrown gardens with weeds growing to more than six feet, rodents, unstable fencing, and more – with a range of safety issues having to be tackled by South Staffordshire Council and therefore funded by taxpayers’ money.

A court order was obtained by the council due to a large sum of unpaid council tax being owed.

This enabled the council to sell the property; recouping the outstanding council tax sum and the money spent on emergency repairs.

As a result, funds totalling £21,157.89 were recovered and put back into the public purse.

The sale also means there is now the opportunity for the property to be renovated and provide a much-needed family home in Great Wyrley.

Deputy leader of the council, Councillor Victoria Wilson said: “The council is always keen to bring empty properties back into use.

“In this case, council taxpayers’ money was spent in keeping it in a safe condition – and the sale of the property has meant we have been able to recover these costs and outstanding council tax debts.

“It’s very good news that after such a long time, the empty property will once again be used for its intended purpose – and that neighbours will no longer have to look at an unsightly house and garden.”

The two-bedroom end-terraced house was purchased by a third party at an auction earlier this month for the sum of £120,000.

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