Empty homes - what is an empty property?
The Housing Development Team's empty homes service hopes to provide help to members of the public who want to see action taken to bring owned empty property back into use, as well as to owners of empty homes who have not, for whatever reason, been able to bring them back into use. Help can include assistance with grants and rental schemes. The following page explains more about empty homes.
What is meant by an 'Empty Home'?
Thousands of properties will become empty at some point during the year as part of the normal operation of the housing market, usually during the rental or buying process. It is only when properties stay empty longer than six months without any obvious signs of renovation or rental that they become 'true' empty homes.
Why are Homes left Empty?
The most common reasons for homes becoming empty are the previous occupant:-
Those left to maintain these properties may not have the knowledge or financial support to bring them back into use.
Why are Empty Homes a Problem?
Empty homes cost their owners money in council tax, insurance, repairs and security and yet produce no income. It has been estimated that keeping a family-sized home empty costs an average of £10,000 a year (including lost rental income).
Empty properties are also subject to other problems:
Some of the above problems will require the local authority, the Police or the Fire Service to take action utilising valuable resources and causing costs that may not be recoverable from the owner of a property.
Bringing an empty property back into use may assist in improving the general streetscape of an area and reduce anti-social behaviour as well as providing a valuable source of urgently needed accommodation.
How many Empty Homes are there?
In 2010 the Empty Homes Agency (EHA) statistics estimated that:
What can you do if you see an Empty Home?
If you spot an empty home, please report it using the online eform below or alternatively contact us on 01392 265685.