Empty properties - issues may include:
Empty properties which are causing a problem or concern, due to poor condition, overgrown gardens etc
People needing help or advice about repairing empty properties to bring them back into use
People wanting advice about tracing owners of empty properties (e.g. they would be interested in purchasing a particular empty property)
There are a number of privately owned empty properties in the borough, some of which are not maintained in good condition and receiving ongoing repair.
An empty property can impact on the quality of the local environment, creating a poor image of an area. It may lead to increased fear of crime, attract anti-social behaviour and make a place less attractive for local people to live in
An empty house can cost the owner up to £6,000 a year in lost income, security costs, de-valuation and council tax charges.
We recognise that every empty property is a wasted resource, particularly where there are limited opportunities for meeting housing needs in the area.
It is accepted that turnover in the housing market will lead to some properties remaining vacant for a period of time, however it is those properties which remain vacant for a longer term, for example six months or more, that give rise to concern.
We aim to ensure that every effort is made to return these valuable homes back into use, and that neighbourhoods are not unnecessarily adversely affected by empty properties.
The Council has several ways in which we can help owners turn an empty property into an asset:
Advice on selling a property
Advice on letting and leasing a property
Helping owners find tenants
Arranging selling or leasing a property to a housing association or charitable organisation.
The Council can also use legislation and powers to prompt an owner to tackle any repair or environmental problems which are causing problems in the area.
If you want help bringing your property back into use, or want to report an empty house causing nuisance, then contact the Housing Renewal Team:
Housing Renewal Team
Environment and Housing Services
Tel: 0115 907 2244 Ext. 3820
Additional information for empty property owners
Flat Conversion Allowance is a scheme run by HMRC that enables business owners to recover the capital costs of conversion of the vacant floors of business premises into residential flats for let. Refurbishments costs are offset against income or corporation tax liabilities. For further information, visit:
For further information on national empty homes policy and guidance, visit the Gov.uk website:
For information about tax and VAT in relation to empty homes visit the HMRC website:
Also visit the DASH Services website: