What is a Blight Notice?

Estimated reading time 5 minutes

In the next of our industry terms guides, we look at blight notices. Something, relatively rare but something that can have huge effects on homeowners and local authorities.

A blight notice, or statutory notice, as it may also be known is where resident freeholders or leaseholders can require the council to purchase the property from them. But why would you use one and what is it for?

What is blight in property?

Blight is where a property suffers from a substantially reduced value due to the threat of a compulsory purchase order (CPO).

This CPO comes about when development will affect the surrounding areas and prove detrimental to the property in it. This could be the building of roads, transport hubs or substantial changes to local infrastructure. Your council will be able to tell you about any such development plans and as a result, show if your property is now “blighted”.

Such works can have a hugely detrimental effect on the value of your property and see buyers either look to negotiate a way lower price than you would be happy with, simply look elsewhere as they fear the property may be demolished for part of the development, or that the area itself will change dramatically from how it looks currently.

With buyers already limited due to the threat of a CPO, the pool reduces even further when some interested parties find that a mortgage is even harder to secure against a property with a CPO potentially attached to it.

But what is a CPO? Let’s clarify…

What is a CPO?

A CPO is a compulsory purchase order. It is used to force homeowners to sell their property if it proves to be an obstruction to a vital project or is for the “greater public good”.

A CPO isn’t instant and could take weeks, months or years for the local authority to issue but it will happen. Unless, of course, the development suddenly staggers to a halt. You could find your property issued with a CPO if:

  • Major developments are required to take place such as new housing developments, airport expansions or transport hubs.
  • Services need to be installed or improved such as roads, railways, or electricity supplies.
  • Areas of bad housing need to be cleared.

This can lead to periods of confusion for the homeowner. They know that they will need to move out of the house, but when? And can they sell for a decent price with such a threat hanging over the property? Luckily the issuing of a blight notice can help.

Serving a blight notice

All is not lost for homeowners and securing the expertise of cash house buyers could be one option for a way to sell house fast and move on with your property plans but you could also look at the possibility of serving a blight notice. The notice requires that the council purchase the property from you on CPO terms. You will need to contact the planning department of your local council to do so and then await their decision. They can, after all, show that they object to the blight notice.

Serving a blight notice can be a popular way to get the property sold but it does come with certain stipulations.

In order to have the blight notice accepted, you must:

  • Prove that you have tried to sell your property through a reputable estate agent and have been unable to sell unless at a hugely reduced price.
  • Be a resident freeholder or leaseholder of the property.
  • Have at least 3 years remaining on the lease.
  • Show that your land is in an area mapped by the local authority as the land required for the development.

If the compulsory purchase order has already been confirmed and therefore the forced sale is granted, you will not need to prove that you have been trying to sell your property.

How long does it take for a blight notice to be issued?

Once you have applied to the local authority, it must respond within two months informing you of whether it will purchase the property from you or not. If they say no, they must stipulate why.

If two months have passed and there has been no response from the council, the notice automatically goes ahead and the council will have to buy your property under CPO terms.

Should they reply and grant you the blight notice, a legal notice called a “Notice to Treat” will be served. This ensures that the council will purchase the property at the terms of the compulsory purchase order. However, they have three years to be able to do this.

If they were to reject it, they would need to state why and this could be a variety of reasons. Such reasons could include:

  • That none of the land is relevant to a blight notice.
  • The acquiring authority does not wish to purchase any of the land the property is on.
  • The acquiring authority only wishes to purchase part of the land.

If the reasons given appear unjustifiable, you do have grounds to appeal. You must do this within two months of receiving the initial outcome.

In some instances, the CPO might be cancelled, if, for example, the project is no longer viable or has been altered in such a way that your property and its area are no longer affected. Where this is the case, the council can reject the application for blight and will not purchase your property.

You can save yourself a lot of time, worry, and confusion by speaking to Gaffsy. We buy any home, regardless of location or condition so why not contact us today? Our expert team of valuers can give you a free cash offer on your home, and should you agree to it, you can have the home sold and the cash in your account within as little as seven days!

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