Ormskirk man evicted after neglecting his home
An Ormskirk man has been evicted for neglecting his home so badly a Council officer said it was among the worst living conditions he had seen in 30 years of service.
West Lancashire Borough Council took action against David Fyles, aged 49, of Lea Crescent, after police informed the authority about the state of the property.
At a hearing at Liverpool County Court the police gave evidence that they had visited Mr Fyles’ home in the course of their duties. They found the toilet was overflowing with effluent and the bath was being used as a toilet. They also found doors were smashed, rubbish was strewn throughout the three-bedroom house and mouldy food was in most rooms.
The Council told the court its staff were contacted by police officers about the property as internal conditions were so filthy they were concerned about the health and safety of occupants.
In evidence given to the court, the Council officer said he was sent pictures of the property by police and added: “I was shocked by what appeared to be extremely filthy conditions. I have seen some bad properties in more than 30 years of working in social housing. This was among the worst.”
The officer said he tried to contact Mr Fyles a number of times about the house. When Mr Fyles didn’t respond to letters or telephone messages the Council was left with no choice but to start proceedings to take possession of the property. The court was told that Mr Fyles had breached his tenancy agreement in a number of ways. These include not paying his rent on time, failing to keep the property in good condition, and failing to use fixtures and fittings appropriately.
Mr Fyles was not at the hearing and so, in his absence, Liverpool County Court awarded possession of the property to the Council.
A money order to pay back rent arrears of £938.64 was also granted against Mr Fyles, together with the Council’s costs of bringing the claim.
Mr Fyles was formally evicted on Wednesday 14 September 2016. He was not present when the council re-possessed the property.
Council staff are still estimating how much it will cost to repair the damage, and make the property habitable again, but the bill is expected to run into thousands of pounds. The Council pursues all available measures against tenants who breach the terms of their tenancy agreement, including recovering rent arrears and recovering the cost of damage to properties.
Councillor Jenny Patterson, portfolio holder for Housing and Landlord Services, said: “The photos showing the state of this property are truly shocking. It is extremely disappointing that someone the Council has given a home to has treated that home so badly when we have families on our waiting list who are desperate for a family-sized home.”
Councillor Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for Community Safety, said: “Mr Fyles has put his health at risk by using his home in this appalling manner. This case shows that the Council will take action against tenants who do not keep to their tenancy agreement and this could result in them losing their home.”
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