National empty homes week

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Empty homeThis week is National Empty Homes Week

New research from Halifax and the Empty Homes Agency shows how strongly the public feel about empty homes. They want the government and local authorities to do more about them.

There is  no sound economic reason for an owner to leave a property empty.  An empty property can cost up to  £10,000 in maintenance, it can increase your Council Tax payments by 50% and your insurance premiums can increase. What’s more, you could be missing out on valuable rental income.

It’s in everyone’s interest to reduce the number of empty properties

To the owner – A property left empty is a wasted resource and can be costly in terms of increased insurance, increased council tax, emergency repairs, vandalism and arson.

To the neighbours – It is estimated that the home next door to an empty property can be devalued by  about 10%. There is also the worry of nuisance, vermin, arson, vandalism and anti social behaviour.

To the community – There are currently approximately 380 properties that have been empty for more than 6 months in the District. Empty properties provide valuable homes for local people; they reduce the demand for building on the Green Belt, and for every property brought back to use the Council receives a financial reward known as the New Homes Bonus. This can be included in the budget for providing services to residents of the district.

This Council is committed to reducing the number of empty properties on the district, and in some cases we can offer financial help. Bringing an empty property back into use can be difficult if it’s in a poor state of repair and cannot be lived in, let or easily sold. To help the owners we can offer:

  • Empty Homes Repayable Assistance, which offers up to £10,000 if there is an empty property in poor condition that you would like to live in yourself. The money is repaid when you eventually sell the property.
  • The PLACE Loan, which offers up to £25,000 to renovate a property in order to sell it or rent it out. This is an interest free loan and is paid back within 2 years if you sell, or 5 years if you let the property.

Tell us about an empty property

Report an empty home online

Give us the address, and any other information you may have, and we will do our best to contact the owner. We will work with the owner to bring the property back to use. All calls are treated in confidence.

More information?

For further information and advice or to report an empty property, please contact the Private Sector Housing Team