If you know of any empty properties in your area we would like you to tell us where they are.
Empty properties benefit from Council Tax and Rates exemptions, these properties contribute less in tax which helps pay for local services. They also represent a disproportionately high investment of Local Authority resources.
Why should an empty property be brought back into use?
The reuse of empty property can bring both financial and non-financial benefits to Local Authorities, the general public and to their owners. These benefits include:
- A housing resource for both social and private occupiers.
- Acting as a catalyst for wider regeneration by building property market confidence.
- Cost savings to the public sector. Empty properties are frequently the cause of complaints to
- Local Authorities, for example in relation to Environmental Health issues.
- Each empty property brought back into use will save hours of officer time and enable investment to be targeted into other areas. Not only could costs be saved through a reduced number of empty properties, but this would also allow them to focus on other priorities.
- Reuse of empty properties can help increasing expenditure in the local area, and each property brought back into use may bring another household into the area and increase custom in local shops and services.
If you require owner details of a chosen empty property please visit the Land Registry Website and enter the appropriate property details required.
Houses into Homes Scheme
Bringing empty residential properties back into use
Frequently Asked Questions
What if an owner decides to leave a property empty?
We understand that properties are left empty for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, owners need help and guidance to bring them back into use – for example, advice about how to find someone to sell the property to, or how to go about renting it out.
In the first instance we would like to work with owners to help them to find a solution to get the property brought back into use.
As a last resort, where owners fail to bring their empty properties back into use, the council can take formal enforcement action. A property notice that starts enforcement action can be served on a freeholder, leaseholder, agent or person managing a property.
What is a compulsory purchase order?
Section 17 of the Housing Act 1985 gives councils the power to acquire buildings through compulsory purchase. Compulsory purchase of vacant property can apply to dwellings which are derelict or abandoned and where the owner provides no plans for bringing the property back into use.
What is the enforced sales procedure?
The Law of Property Act 1925 enables councils to sell any vacant property to recover any debt owing to the council. Where there is money owing to the council, a charge is placed on the property before it is sold through an auction.
What is an empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO)
An Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO) allows a Local Housing Authority (LHA) to effectively 'step into the shoes' of the owner of an unoccupied dwelling. There are two types of order - interim EDMO and final EDMO. They allow a LHA to secure occupation and proper management of privately owned houses and flats that have been unoccupied for a specified period of time and where certain other conditions are met.
An EDMO is made against the person with the most relevant interest in the dwelling - known as the relevant proprietor. Where the dwelling is held on a freehold this would be the freeholder.