A RUNDOWN house in Beckenham which has been empty for 13 years has been taken over by Bromley Council.

Problems at the property since it was abandoned in 1996 include squatters and a rodent infestation.

It has also caused water damage to a neighbouring house.

The council used its first empty dwelling management order to take control of the home.

Under the terms of the order the council can carry out works at the home to make it fit to occupy and can also let it to tenants.

Portfolio holder for adult and community services Councillor Graham Arthur said: “Enforcement is a last resort and our approach is always to work with the owner but where necessary we must take action for the benefit of the community when all else fails.”