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Penge neighbours victory over rat-infested derelict house

Residents Raj Gagneja, Liz Parker, James Hancock, Belinda O'Grady, Prem Rajput, Lily McCleod, Jennifer Souillot and one-year- old Phoebe Hancock are 'delighted' the house will be sold

Residents Raj Gagneja, Liz Parker, James Hancock, Belinda O'Grady, Prem Rajput, Lily McCleod, Jennifer Souillot and one-year- old Phoebe Hancock are 'delighted' the house will be sold

Archant

Residents are delighted that a rat-infested and rubbish-laden derelict house in their road is finally going to be sold after being boarded up for 18 months.

The property in the otherwise attractive Clevedon Road, Penge has lain abandoned since the previous tenants were evicted in July 2010 – despite a housing crisis in the borough.

Neighbours complained to housing association A2 Dominion on several occasions and started an open debate and petition on Twitter. On Sunday A2 Dominion contacted residents to tell them they have agreed to put the house up for sale or auction.

Resident and father-of-three James Hancock said: “We are delighted. It was a complete scandal as we are supposed to be in the middle of a housing crisis.

“The last tenants left the place in a state. This is a desirable street but this house is a complete eyesore at the moment and it has caused neighbours a lot of distress.”

The petition listed the ‘rat infestation’ and the threat of squatters as reasons to make the house habitable again. Neighbour Andy Webb added: “It just seemed such a waste to have a really good house in a nice area with nobody living there.”

Dawn Wightman, A2 Dominion’s area director for London said: “We can confirm that we own a property in Clevedon Road, Penge, which we regret has been unoccupied for longer than we would have hoped.

“When the property became empty, a survey of the house found that it required refurbishment works in excess of £68,000 to bring it up to the standard to enable us to let it again.

“As a not-for-profit organisation, we have had to consider whether financially the best option is to sell the property or to refurbish it. In December 2011, we took the decision to put the property up for sale. The house is due to be on the market soon.

“We understand there have been concerns from local residents over what was happening with the property and we would like to reassure them that we are working hard to sell the property as quickly as we can.”

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