Leaving a home empty can have a negative impact on the community and the value of the owner’s home. The longer that a home is left empty the more likely it is to attract vandalism, anti-social behaviour and fall into disrepair.
If you are an empty home owner you have certain responsibilities regarding keeping it secure, in good repair and paying some Council Tax. The upkeep of an empty home can be time consuming and costly as the longer a property is left empty, the more problems can arise.
What are my responsibilities whilst a home I own is empty?
It is recommended that if the home is left empty that you provide any immediate neighbours with your contact details. Any problems can then be reported to you directly to be acted upon.
You should visit the home regularly to ensure the following:
- It is secure,
- Any gardens are maintained to a reasonable standard,
- The external appearance of the home is kept in good order, and
- The home is not in a condition so as to cause defects to neighbouring homes.
If you fail to keep the home secure, free from rubbish and in a reasonable condition, the Council has powers to require you to carry out works. If you fail to do these works we could prosecute you or do works on your behalf and then seek re-payment.
What help can you give me in bringing it back into use?
Whether you wish to sell the home or keep ownership of it, we can provide you with free advice and assistance on your full range of options to help you bring it back into use, including those laid out below:
- It may be possible for a Housing Association to purchase the home from you
- A Lettings Agent may be able to manage the property for you. They will find a suitable tenant and will manage the property of your behalf. For further information on local Lettings Agents, please contact the Council at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can give you an overview of the Lettings Agents management fees, contact details and any special offers they may have. An agent could manage and rent out of the home on your behalf, ensuring that it is well maintained and allowing you to still earn some income through the rent. and rent out the home on your behalf, ensuring that it is well maintained and allowing you to still earn some income through the rent
- We can offer an Empty Homes Loan to assist in bringing long term empty residential properties located within the Borough, back into use. The loan is interest free and is up to a maximum of £10,000. If you would like further information and to see if you would qualify for a loan, please follow this link’. For more information and to see if you are eligible please take a look at our Empty Homes Loan page.
- The Borough Council works with Warmer Homes Strategy who provide energy efficiency advice and information on energy efficiency grants. Please contact the Housing Standards Team at email@example.com for further information.
Our Housing Options Team may also be able to help you in finding a tenant to rent your home out to.
- We are constantly reviewing our incentives to help bring an empty home back into use. Please keep referring to our website for updates.
What will happen if I do not bring it back into use?
We would always prefer to work with you to make sure that the home is brought back into use in a way that benefits both yourself and the community. If the home has been empty for over 6 months and is causing problems for neighbours, we may have the power to take actions to bring your home back into use without your consent.
If you need help bringing an empty home back into use, contact the Housing Standards Team for advice on 01785 619000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.