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.
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.