Eastleigh taxpayers will have to fork out £34,500 for repairs to the roof of the empty Comet electrical superstore on Woodside Avenue.
Comet entered administration on the 2 November 2012 and went into liquidation last month but they vacated the council owned premises without having done vital repair works that the council say they had repeatedly requested.
In 2010 Comet spent £250,000 at their Eastleigh branch on a store ‘makeover’.
The retail unit has been on the market for over six months and council bosses say repair works are necessary in order to find a new tenant.
Last night council cabinet were told that there would also be extra costs as the intention is to install solar panels on the roof as part of the council’s ongoing project to convert council owned property to solar energy, although the system is expected to pay for itself in the long term.
Councillor Judith Grajewski asked the cabinet how much rental income had been lost while the unit has been empty.
Council leader Keith House said he was unable to provide a figure at short notice but thought that as the unit was on long lease there may have been not have been a loss and in any case the councils property portfolio was balanced and could absorb bad debt or vacancies:
“Any one unit getting into difficulties cant tip the portfolio into loss” he assured.
Cllr Grajewski said:
“It’s regrettable that Comet has left the council with this problem.”
A council spokesman told Eastleigh News:
“Currently the unit remains in the hands of the administrators and we are making a claim to the Administrators for the dilapidations.”