For years this house in Douglas has been a blight on the life of neighbours in Prince’s Street in Douglas where it has been neglected and decaying for more than a quarter of a century.
Despite efforts from the council, the property has now reached a point where it may be beyond salvage according to one Douglas councillor.
Councillor Ritchie McNicholl, who is chairman of the environmental services committee, told the Manx Independent: ‘It is one of the properties that gives us the greatest cause for concern because it has been dilapidated for about 30 years.’
Mr McNicholl added the property is overlooked by the offices of Capital International and he was concerned at the poor impression this creates of Douglas and of the island in general.
‘We keep taking them to court. We have not been idle. I believe the owner does live in the island, but nothing gets done. It is falling down now: there are holes in the roof, the outlet has fallen in and the pigeons have taken over inside,’ he said.
In addition the property has an impact on the two neighbouring houses that form the terrace and these are now being affected by damp which can permeate through the party walls.
‘It’s frustrating for us, particularly when we take someone to court and still nothing gets done,’ Mr McNicholl said.
One option open to the council is to carry out repairs needed on the property and then place a charge on the property to recoup the money when the house is sold at a future date, however Mr McNicholl said this was not always a viable option: ‘It can be costly and money is only recovered once a property is sold, which may be a lengthy process. We can spend money doing the work, which can prove to be very expensive. Then if the owner is not planning to sell the property, that money is then tied up until he does.’
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