How can we help?

The Empty Property Team will where ever possible work with owners in bringing vacant properties back into use.

Officers will offer free independent advice to owners of empty properties on ways of bringing their homes back into use.

If you own an empty property and are not sure what to do with it the following are some of the options available to you:

  • Letting the property. You could use a managing agent or become a private landlord and let the property yourself
  • The Agent/Landlord Accreditation Scheme – this scheme provides support to existing and prospective landlords. Accredited Landlords/Agents can advertise their vacant properties free of charge on the Council’s website and in the Council’s reception area
  • Selling the property- either through an estate agent, at auction or by advertising it yourself
  • Refurbishing the property for you to live in or to make the property suitable for letting. You may be able to take advantage of potential money saving tax incentives. Visit the HM Revenue and Customs website for more details

If however the owner is making no or little progress in bringing the property back into use, the Council will consider taking enforcement action. This enforcement action could be:

Compulsory Purchase Orders

Compulsory purchase will be used where we feel that there would be no prospect of a property being brought back into use and where there is a compelling case in the public interest to do so.

The property will then either be sold to a lead Registered Social Landlord or renovated and sold onto either an owner-occupier or an accredited agent/landlord or on the open market.

Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs)

EDMOs allow the Council to take over the management of some residential properties that have been vacant for more than six months. The property does not have to be run down or uninhabitable. The fact that it has not been lived in for more than six months is enough to allow an EDMO to be made.

An EDMO could mean you loose your right to decide how your property is managed and who lives in it. The only sure way to prevent this happening is to bring your property back into use.

Enforced Sale

If owners can’t or won’t bring vacant properties back into use the law allows the council to do the repairs itself. If the owner still won’t pay, we can force the property to be sold. The cost of the repairs is registered as a land charge and recovered from the sale price. If the sale price doesn’t cover all the costs, a personal debt is placed against the original owner, which can be pursued in the normal way.