Landlords being hit with levies if they don't refurbish derelict houses

Landlords being hit with levies if they don't refurbish derelict houses

A boarded-up house. File Photo.

Councillor Brian Dooley That the council carry out an audit/survey of the number of derelict private houses in Athy and Castledermot in order to either bring them into the ownership of the Council or where necessary initiate a process of penalties or fines for the owners that neglect their properties.

The Council said: "The Environment Department has investigated a number of reports of derelict sites (private houses) within the Municipal District area.

"A number of houses have been entered on the Derelict Sites Register and a levy imposed.

"This has resulted in some houses being renovated and are no longer considered derelict.

"Details of derelict houses are notified to the council's Housing Department to consider if suitable for acquisition by Kildare County Council."

Under the Derelict Sites Act 1990, a local authority can serve an order on a building requiring the owner to undertake work to refurbish it or demolish it, if it is a safety matter.

As a penalty, it can then hit the owner with an annual levy of 3% of the market value of the property.

But some owners may view it as cheaper to pay the levy than invest in refurbishment.

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