A derelict house that has been left to nature and become dilapidated after being empty for over 10 years is going up for auction at a price that should see bargain hunters queuing.
The abandoned three-bedroom semi-detached home in Stafford has become overgrown with shrubbery and weeds after its owner died 13 years ago and now it will go on the market for less than £100,000.
The property auction is set to take place in November and a condition of the sale will be that the buyer brings it back into use within a set time-frame.
Council officials tried to track down a next of kin after the previous owner died but without success.
Stafford Borough Council applied to the secretary of state for Communities and Local Government for consent to make a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) – which allows the local authority to take control of the house.
Cabinet member for Communities and Health, Councillor Jeremy Pert, said getting the CPO was the last resort.
He said: “In the first instance we look to work with owners of empty or run-down properties to help bring them back in to use – and last year we assisted more than 75 homeowners to successfully do this.
“Empty properties are a wasted resource which can quickly become a blight to the community – but we have a range of measures where we can help the owner, or their next of kin, make their property habitable.
“Obtaining a CPO is always a last resort as it can be a lengthy legal process which is why we would much rather work with people to remedy the situation in other ways.”
He added: “This has been an exceptional case in which we have gone to extraordinary lengths to ensure we can get this property back on the market and I am sure with the right investment and works it will make someone a nice home in the future.”