Long-term empty homes represent a wasted resource in an area where so many people are in housing need. These empty homes could be rented privately or sold for owner occupation, bringing much needed homes back into the market.
What we offer home owners:
- Access to advice and assistance from the Council, including the possibility of grant aid.
- Income generation.
- Preventing the fabric of buildings from deteriorating.
- If using the Private Sector Access Scheme free advice is provided on the rights and responsibilities of both landlords and tenants. Regular contact between the council, the landlord and the tenant helps ensure the tenancy runs as smoothly as possible.
- If letting the property privately, a grant could be made available to improve the heating system and insulation under the Private Landlord Energy Award Scheme.
How it benefits the Council:
- Making a valuable contribution to meeting the housing needs of local people.
- Generating additional revenue through Council Tax.
- Preventing empty properties becoming the focus of anti-social behaviour.
- Enhancing the local environment.
- Promoting the Council's pro-active enabling role.
Our Private Sector Access Scheme can help landlords through the process of letting and managing their accomodation. The scheme aims to help households threatened with homelessness gain access to privately rented accommodation, while encouraging more homeowners in the private sector to rent their properties.
If you have concerns about an empty property within the district that may require investigation, please contact the Private Sector Housing Team. We particularly focus on long-term empty homes which are falling into disrepair and where owners are either unable or unwilling to pursue a constructive solution.
If a property is empty and in a dilapidated state, the Council can consider action under the Law of Property Act 1925 to ensure immediate repairs are carried out to the property. Councils can also consider Compulsory Purchase Orders to return empty homes to use, but in general, compulsory purchase powers are only used where there is a compelling need in the wider public interest.