Support with an empty house

Reducing the number of empty homes helps to increase the number of homes available, bring properties back into use and remove properties that are eyesores or attract anti-social behaviour.

Problems caused by empty homes

Empty homes can be a real eyesore and can make an area look neglected. They can also attract crime and anti-social behaviour, and can even be a safety hazard. In addition, empty homes can devalue surrounding properties and can stop people who are homeless or vulnerable from getting a home.

What can be done about empty homes

If you are an empty home owner, there are a number of things you can do to bring your property back into use. You could:

  • Occupy the property yourself or move in a relative or friend.
  • Rent or lease your property.
  • Sell your property on to an owner-occupier, developer, or housing association.

Help available to empty home owners

If you own an empty property that you are struggling to bring back into use, there is help available. The council can provide you with:

  • Guidance on how to sell your property.
  • Guidance on how to rent out your property.
  • Financial assistance.
  • Help to maximise property opportunities, such as conversions.
  • Advice on how to find a suitable builder.

The benefits of bringing empty homes back into use

There are many benefits to bringing empty homes back into use. These include:

  • Added security against anti-social behaviour, crime, and squatting.
  • The ability to charge rent if you become a landlord.
  • Long-term investment potential.
  • The property is no longer a local eyesore.
  • Improved local area, making it more attractive to investors.
  • A safer area to live in.

When the council take enforcement action

The council will try as much as possible to work with owners to bring empty properties back into use. However, if an owner is unwilling to cooperate and their empty home is causing problems in the neighbourhood, the council may have to consider legal action.

Options available to the council include:

Statutory enforcement action

The council can use a wide range of enforcement powers to make sure an owner improves their property.

Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO)

This enables the council or a nominated party (usually a registered provider) to take over management of the property for up to seven years.

Enforced sale

This allows the council to force the sale of an empty property to recover debts owed to the council.

Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO)

This allows the council to buy a property from an owner even if they don't give their consent.

Matching empty homes

The council also runs a Matchmaker Scheme that matches empty properties with potential buyers. This can be a great way to sell your empty property quickly and easily.

For further information, you can read our Empty Homes Strategy below. 

 Council Tax on an empty home

Empty properties may be entitled to a Council Tax discount under certain circumstances. 

Empty homes in your area

If you are concerned about an empty property in your neighbourhood, you can report it here.



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