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 encourage owners 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.

What can I do if the empty property is physically affecting my property?

The Council receives many enquiries and complaints relating to empty properties. Many of these are about empty properties being open to unauthorised access, vandalism or rubbish dumped in their yards or gardens.

The Council does not necessarily have the power to require the owner to ‘tidy up’ a property. However, there may be some situations where the Council can use powers to require work to be undertaken if the owner does not carry out the works willingly.  

If your property is suffering from a physical problem such as dampness or dry rot which originates from the disrepair of an adjoining empty property it may constitute a Private Nuisance. You should seek independent legal advice if you wish to consider legal action. 

Legal action should not be taken lightly. You should try to resolve your issue amicably as any legal action may lead to poor relations with your neighbouring owner.

I do not know who owns the empty property. How can I trace them?

 Tracing an unknown or absent owner may be the first step towards resolving issues or taking Private Nuisance action against the owner of an empty property.

To find the name and address of an owner, you could:

  • Post a notice on the door of the empty property stating that you would like to contact the owner.
  • Talk to other neighbours, they may know something about the owner.

These methods cost nothing and can often yield valuable information about the empty property.

  • Try a search of the District Land Registry, which has information on all owners of registered land. Nottingham Land Registry can be contacted on 0300 006 0411 or email enquiries@onlinelandregistry.org.uk
  • Try a search of the Land Charges Registry. This will reveal the owner’s details if there are any charges against the property. The Land Charges Registry can be contacted on 0300 006 0444. To make an application to search in the register use the Local Land Charges service on the Gov.uk website.

Once you know the owner’s name, it may be possible to trace him/her via a search agency.

Environment and Housing Services
email: environmentalhealth@erewash.gov.uk

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:

Erewash Borough Council

Erewash Borough Council, Town Hall, Wharncliffe Road, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 5RP
0115 907 2244
   
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