Ratepayers could be forced to pick up the tab for the demolition of a derelict, burnt-out property in Manilla following years of complaints from angry neighbours.
Residents in neighbouring properties say the Northbrook Lane house has been in a state of disrepair for more than five years, following a fire which gutted the property.
Heather Finlay has lived directly opposite the run-down house for eight years and says nothing has been done.
Mrs Finlay told The Leader the house has become a danger to local children who play in the abandoned property, and “a haven for vermin”.
“I’ve had mice in my house, rats in my yard and cockroaches, which I’ve never had before,” Mrs Finlay said.
“It is dangerous. Young kids are going in there and you don’t know when the roof is going to cave in.”
Mrs Finlay said she wanted to see the house demolished and the land cleared.
Fellow Manilla resident and current council nominee Warwick Lindsay used Monday evening’s meet the candidates forum in Tamworth to draw attention to the dilapidated dwelling.
At the forum, Mr Lindsay claimed the “half burnt down house” had raw asbestos in it.
He said his claim was based on his years of experience as an architect and the age of abandoned dwelling.
The house has been “repeatedly reported to council asking for something to be done”, Mr Lindsay said.
Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) responded to the claims in a statement.
Council said they have been trying to contact the owner of the house for nearly 18 months.
“In March 2015, Council sent correspondence to the owner of the house, requesting it be demolished. No response from the owner was received.”
TRC has sent a notice of intention to the owner in August, who no longer lives in the region, and has been given until October to respond.
“If no response is received, council will commence proceedings to demolish the premises, however, this comes at a significant cost to the community.”