The owner of an empty property in the city has been fined more than £600 by magistrates after failing to provide information and ignoring a court summons.

The case was head by Carlisle’s Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, June 3.

After ignoring the Section 16 Request for Information from Carlisle City Council and a court’s summons, the owner was fined £660, order to pay £66 to fund victim services and costs of £150.

Carlisle City Council is trying to get empty properties back into use.

Data in May 2020 shows that there are about 1,148 long-term privately-owned empty properties in the Carlisle city district area.

The city council has recently sent out 400 letters to owners of long-term empty homes offering assistance.

They are targeting those properties in the poorest condition, those that cause the most blight in our communities and that have been empty for long periods of time.

Informal engagement is always the preferred option in order to discuss and progress any issues with problem empty homes.

Engaging with the council at the earliest stage in an informal manner is also less likely to result in further formal enforcement action to bring an empty property back in to use.

A notice under the Local Government Act 1976, Section 16 is a means of trying to formally engage with an individual to establish ownership or interest in the property, these notices are only issued when the council has had no formal contact from the possible owner.

Councillor Paul Nedved, portfolio holder for economy, enterprise and housing, said: “It is important that empty property owners engage with us through the process to avoid any court action.

“A prosecution under the legislation is likely to result in a find of up to £1,000 and costs, as well as a criminal record.

"We remain committed to providing a community where empty homes are not a blight.”

As part of the city council’s empty homes strategy, the housing and pollution team aims to reduce the level of empty properties in Carlisle and help meet local housing needs by introducing accommodation back into use.

For more information or to discuss options please contact the empty homes officer on 01228 817301.