Council’s £1,600 bill for ‘vandal’ house property

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ballymoney Council had to pay over £1,600 to secure a derelict property at 14 Queen Street, Ballymoney, after the company which owned it went into liquidation and failed to carry out the work.

The Council moved in after complaints about vandalism, disorderly behaviour, people drinking and fires, the Departmental Magistrates Court in Coleraine was told on Friday.

At the court, Gainsborough Properties Sales Ireland Limited, of Fortwilliam Park, Belfast, was fined £250 for failing to repair, restore or demolish the property after being served with a notice under Pollution Control and Local Government Order on April 12 last year.

An Environmental Health Officer from Ballymoney Council told the court they received a complaint about the property in June 2009 about it being in a state of disrepair and being unsecured with various vandalism taking place.

A notice was served on the company requiring steps to be taken to remedy the situation but nothing was done.

Eventually the Council had to secure the premises at a cost of £1,641.03.

A prosecutor told the court the company had gone into liquidation and the liquidator had refused to pay for the repairs.

As well as being ordered to pay the costs of £1,641.03; legal fees of £200; court costs of £10 along with the fine, District Judge Richard Wilson said that with the firm in liquidation it was unlikely any of the money would be forthcoming.