Areas of Law / Property

The house next door to my parents has been empty for ten years. The owner did some building work about five years ago, but the house now stands as an ugly shell without a roof and surrounded by rubble. My parents feel it is devaluing their own property. Is there any pressure we can bring to bear on the owner to complete the building work?

If the condition of the house next door is directly affecting your parents’ house, for example by letting in damp, they will be able to force him to do something about it. If the house is in a dangerous condition or attracting vermin, the council could become involved. However generally speaking people can’t be made to look after their own property. Your parents could discuss this with their local councillor, since councils have powers to bring empty properties back into use. 

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