Enforcement - enforcement action
We will not use enforcement action until all other avenues to encourage the owner to bring the property back into use have been exhausted.
When is Enforcement Action most likely to be used?
We will use the most appropriate enforcement action where the owner is not engaging with the Council in finding a solution to bring the property back into use or where all avenues to find an absent owner have been explored.
Enforcement action is most likely to be used to bring the following properties back into use:-
The Housing Enabling Service will communicate its intentions to use all enforcement powers including Enforced Sale, Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPA) or Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMO) in Plain English or in the appropriate language or method in accordance with the needs of the owner.
The owner of the property will be made aware of the advice and support available to bring the property back into use and the enforcement powers the Council may use, including the relevant timescale and processes. Once made aware of the intention to use enforcement action, the owner will be given a period to consider their options and appeal against the proposed action.
Details of the Council's complaints and appeals processes will be provided at the outset and the enforcement process will be open to review at any time if circumstances change.
We will undertake enforcement action as promptly and efficiently as possible in order to minimise delays.
We will seek to ensure that cases are dealt with in a consistent manner and all officers undertaking action will be suitably trained, qualified and authorised to ensure that they are fully competent to undertake enforcement duties.
Feedback on the service will be sought.
The following pieces of legislation allow the Council to take action over empty homes. Some notices are served through cooperation and coordination with other departments within the Council.
Empty Property Act 2007
Removed the exemption for unoccupied commercial properties. Empty property rates increased from 50% to 100% of their basic business rate following void periods.
Housing Act 2004
Used to tackle properties that are in a state of disrepair by utilising the 29 hazards of the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Part 1, Chapter 2 provides the background for the following notices which can be served on empty properties:
Town and Country Planning Act 1990
Environmental Protection Act 1990
Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990
The local authority can be authorised to compulsorily acquire a listed property and any relevant land if they feel it has been deliberately left or has fallen into a bed state of repair.
Housing Act 1985
Building Act 1984
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions ) Act 1982
Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949
Law of Property Act 1925, Enforced Sale Procedures
Where a local authority has issued a charge against a property they have all the legal right to enforce the sale of this property.