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Moloney raises Derelict Houses issue

A motion put forward by Cllr Andy Moloney at this months council meeting to have the Tipperary County Council take stock of all derelict houses and buildings in the county and give a use it or lose or lease it alternative so that we could ease the housing crisis in the district.

The reply to Cllr Moloney stated that the Derelict Sites Act was introduced. In 1990 to tackle properties which had become neglected, unsightly or likely to detract from the amenity character or appearance of land. The main steps appropriate to the act are 1. Issue a section 8(2) Notice on the owner/occupier of the property. This notice affords the owner/occupier time to come forward with proposal to render the property non derelict. 2. Failure to respond results I the issue of a section 8(7) Notice and this notice formally places the site on the Derelict sites register. The owner/occupier is given a list of repairs and a timeframe to carry out the works. In many instances repairs are undertaken but in more recent times, with the downturn, many owners do not have the financial resources to deliver and properties continue in a derelict state.

Under the Act, the local authority has the power to go on site and carry out the works and then recoup the cost through the courts. This option is not always is not always feasible and costs may be prohibitive.

As part of the Derelict Sites process,we engage with the Housing Section to check suitability of properties for housing tenants. However, many of these houses are in real locations and are older houses and are not suitable from a disability or access point of view. While they may not be rendered derelict , they not be fit for human habitation.

Cllr Moloney argued that there was no point dragging owners through the courts to recoup money when they may not have the money to renovate in the first place. He suggested that the council should renovate the premises and take over the building until such time that their investment is recouped and add a year as compensation. In that way the owner gets his building back in a habitable state and the council get their worth. It also sort out many issues that local Tidy Towns group have with derelict sites so therefore sorting a housing issue, a derelict site issue and an environmental issue not to mention a social issue that many of these sites are causing. Th council. Committed to putting resources into looking into sorting ownership and dealing with cases reported.