Empty Homes

The Private Sector Housing team can provide advice and assist owners of empty homes to bring them back into use.

Report an Empty Home

What is an empty home

Properties become empty for a number of reasons including lack of finances or resources to renovate or manage an empty home, inheritance/probate issues, repossession or issues with selling and letting. 

Properties that are empty for a significant period of time or are in serious disrepair, are unsafe or insecure, causing a nuisance or are attracting anti-social behaviour, vandalism or crime may need intervention from the Council.  Taking time to report an empty home in your community can make a real difference or if you own an empty property and would like help please contact the Private Sector Housing Team on 01908 252664 or by email.

Advice and assistance to bring empty homes back into use

The Council will try to work with the owners to bring an empty home back into use. We understand that bringing an empty home back into use can be difficult, time consuming and may require funding. The Private Sector Housing Team can provide advice and assist you to bring your empty home back into use.

Empty Homes Loans  The Council offer flexible loans to bring empty properties back into habitable use. 

Secure Lets Scheme. The scheme offers guaranteed rent each month, regular inspections, repairs completed, no administration fees and properties are returned in good condition taking account of fair wear and tear. 

Purchasing of empty homes

The council may under certain circumstances consider buying a privately owned empty home, subject to location, valuation and costs of remedial works.  

Enforcement action for empty homes

In some circumstances it may be necessary to take enforcement action where the owner is not engaging in finding a solution to bring a long term empty property back into use.  Some of the enforcement options which can be used are:

  • Formal notices served on the owner to make a property safe, secure or free from serious hazards
  • Empty dwelling management orders (EDMO’S)
  • Compulsory purchase orders (CPO’s)
  • Enforced sale

Last Updated: 23 August 2020