Empty properties can make a significant impact to a road or area but there are a number of reasons why properties become empty including the death or ill health of an owner, the property being subject to probate or other legal disputes, or a landlord being unwilling or unable to let the property. An owner may also be unable or unwilling to sell a property, or have inherited it and not know what to do with it.
Empty Homes Strategy 2021-2024 (.pdf | 4.68mb)
When is a property classed as empty?
Long term empty homes are those that have been empty for six months or more, and we are committed to reducing the number of these. If you live near an empty property or seen one in the District let us know so we can look to bring this back into use.
Help for empty properties
We can provide help to owners who have empty properties by:
- Helping to let or sell a property,
- Providing advice on renovating a property,
- Advertising the property to let or for sale on our website,
- Providing a Matching Service with organisations that are looking to bring empty properties back into use.
We use enforcement options only as a last resort, where an owner is unwilling to bring the home back into use and it is causing a problem in the neighbourhood.
There are several options available to us including:
- Statutory enforcement action - we use a wide range of enforcement powers to make sure an owner improves their property.
- Enforced sale - this allows the sale of an empty property to be forced to recover debts that are owed to us.
- Empty Dwelling Management Order – enables management of the property to move to the local authority or a nominated party (usually a registered provider) for up to seven years.
- Compulsory purchase - this is when we buy a property from an owner even if they don't give their consent.
Report a vacant or dilapidated property
If you are concerned about a vacant or dilapidated property please report this to us immediately so we can investigate it and speak to the owner.
Buy or develop an empty property
If you are a developer interested in purchasing and/or developing empty properties please contact us for further information: