Empty properties

Empty properties are a wasted resource.  We try to identify these long-term empty properties as they can contribute towards the degeneration of an area and undermine sustainable communities. They may also become a rubbish dumping site or the property condition could deteriorate.  There has also been an increase in the number of break-ins to steal metal items such as boilers, radiators and pipework.

Information for owners of empty homes

Where possible the District Council aims to work with owners of empty properties to bring them back into use using the following methods:

  • Renting through council leasing or rent deposit schemes
  • Private renting through a private agency – letting agencies will offer a range of management services
  • Private renting with the owner as landlord
  • Selling the property - on the open market through an estate agent or at an auction.
  • Enforcement options

Where an owner persistently leaves a property empty, if it is in a poor condition or in an area of high housing need, the District Council may take the following action:

  • Report the property to other council departments such as private housing service and planning, in relation to poor condition of property.
  • A Compulsory Purchase Order can be issued, if the owner has resisted all voluntary attempts to bring the property back into use.
  • Empty Dwelling Management Order: This allows councils to take over the management of residential properties, where an owner of an empty property has turned down offers of help to bring the property back into use, and can offer no good reason why the property should remain empty.

The council would facilitate any capital works needed to allow the property to be leased and use the property to accommodate people in housing need for up to 7 years.

Report an empty property

If you have information on an empty property or wish to complain about one, please contact us.