Harwood Andrews has acted for the City of Greater Geelong (Council) in a successful prosecution of the owners of ‘the Ritz’ - a prominent heritage listed building located on Bellerine Street, Geelong.

Over many years ‘The Ritz’ had been allowed to fall into a state of dilapidation and neglect as repair notices issued by Council were ignored. As a result, ‘the Ritz’ owners, Tuyet and Diem Truong, were charged with offences under the Neighbourhood Amenity Local Law 2014 (Local Law). 

In what was a first ever prosecution under the Local Law for a dilapidated building offence, the Geelong Magistrates Court convicted the Truongs of six charges and ordered they pay a fine of $12,000 plus $5,000 costs. 

The prosecution represents a significant win for Council against landowners who allow buildings to fall into a state of disrepair, as it paves the way for owners of neglected buildings to be prosecuted, even if the building does not present a risk to public safety. 

‘The Ritz’ has now been sold to an undisclosed syndicate with the hope that it can finally be restored to its former glory. 

For advice on Local Law enforcement or prosecutions, please contact:

Daniel Fullerton
Lawyer
T 03 5225 5203
E dfullerton@ha.legal

or

John Hannagan
Senior Associate
T 03 5225 5202
E jhannagan@ha.legal