Barnet Council have won their case against a landlord who failed to use his empty property grant to make improvements to his property and raise it to a habitable standard.
In February 2009 the council offered Peter Savva an empty property grant to help with improvement to his empty property in Mill Hill.
The £18,285 grant was offered on the condition that the council would provide tenants to occupy the bungalow for three years after improvement works were finished. The landlord only completed part of the agreed improvements paid for by the council, which led to the grant being withdrawn.
The judge ordered Mr Savva to pay back part of the grant with added interest, along with almost £13,500 in legal costs, a total of £24,000.
Mr Savva can appeal the decision.
Tom Davey, lead councillor for housing at Barnet Council, said: “The council is committed to making sure that properties that have been empty for a long time in the borough are brought back into use. We are always happy to work with landlords that are serious about renovating and letting their properties, but where this is not possible, the council will take enforcement action that is in the best interest of Barnet residents.”