Empty homes

The number of empty properties within the borough is relatively small, however there continues to be a huge demand for housing. Empty properties are wasted homes. They are often a cause for concern to people living in the locality due to vandalism or anti-social behaviour.

There are significant costs to owners in keeping a property empty including the loss of income through sale or by renting.

The council is committed to bringing empty properties back into good use as soon as possible. To do this we will offer advice and assistance to owners if needed, and where necessary prevent the property becoming a nuisance through enforcement action.

If you are concerned about an empty private sector property in your neighbourhood, please report the property to us.

Once an empty property has been identified, we will contact the owner to determine the reason why their property is empty. Where appropriate, a range of options to secure reoccupation will be discussed, and advice offered as to the most suitable.

We always work with owners of empty properties to assist them where possible.  There are many options which may assist the owner which include:

  • letting the property independently
  • letting via an accredited letting agent
  • developing the site
  • selling the site
  • housing association purchase
  • empty homes loan

If these options do not work then we may use various powers to enforce the improvement of empty properties following negotiations with the owner. If you are the owner of an empty property, you should contact us about how we can work together to get the property back into use.

Empty home loans

The council, in partnership with Flexible Home Improvement Loans Ltd is able to offer empty home loans to owners of empty properties and anybody wishing to purchase an empty property.

Empty home loans may be regarded as five-year, flexible, bridging finance secured by a first charge or, in some circumstances, second charge on the property. The loan must be repaid by or on, the 5th anniversary of the loan being made. You may choose to make regular monthly payments, occasional monthly payments or pay in full on the date of the 5th anniversary of the commencement of the loan. The loan is provided on a not-for-profit basis. Please contact us for further information.

On completion of the work the property may be let or used as the owner’s residence.

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