Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
18 Albert Street is a grade 2 listed building. It was previously occupied as a shared ownership property, with the council owning a share. The previous occupants, who owned the remaining share were responsible, under the terms of the sharing arrangement for the maintenance of the building.
The property is in very poor condition, as detailed in the report, with high estimated costs of refurbishment.
The property is also poorly laid out, with accommodation over 3 floors, connected by a narrow and winding staircase. The kitchen and bathroom are extremely small and there is now outside amenity space. For these reasons it is not considered suitable for retention as part of the council’s rented housing stock.
There is a specific requirement on the council to ensure that any disposals of vacant dwellings are at a market value. It is therefore recommended that the council test the market by disposing of the property at auction.
Cabinet agreed the following, that:
1. The Council owned property, 18 Albert Street is disposed of through auction;
2. The proceeds of sale are reinvested in the council’s HRA capital programme.
18 Albert Street is not suitable for the council to retain as an affordable rented dwelling. Apart from the cost of refurbishment, the dwelling is very small, split over 3 levels with steep and narrow stairs and poorly laid out internally. It has no outside amenity space and would not be suitable as a family home. The disposal receipt can be used to support the development of new affordable homes in a more cost effective way.
The first alternative option is to retain the property and refurbish. The refurbishment work include but are not limited to: site clearance, strip out, treatment of damp internal timbers, new ceilings, plaster to all walls, new windows, new central heating system, complete rewire, upgrading plumbing system, new kitchen, new sanitary fixings and a complete redecoration throughout including floor coverings.
The valuer estimated a figure of £52,800 plus VAT (this includes a 10% contingency) which should be allowed to bring the property up to standard. This cost would be in addition to the roofing costs previously mentioned. A budget of approximately £78,000 plus VAT would therefore need to be provided. However, this is considered to be a very low figure based on costs of previously completed similar renovation projects.
Report author: Bob Porter
Publication date: 18/06/2021
Date of decision: 17/06/2021
Decided at meeting: 17/06/2021 - Cabinet
Effective from: 26/06/2021
This decision has been called in by: