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Empty properties

Bringing empty homes into use can help to avoid negative impacts on communities and meet local housing needs.

Empty property owners can complete the following online survey.

Reporting an empty home

Report an empty home online so we so we can try to contact the owners and encourage them to bring the property back into use.

The reason homes are left empty

A significant number of homes are 'transitional' empty homes - they are on the market for sale or being refurbished, or are part of a persons estate that is being finalised. These will come back into use as a matter of course.

Some owners may struggle to bring a home back into use because they don't have the time, knowledge, or money to do so.  Some owners may have abandoned a property or have no intention of bringing a property back into use. We want to encourage owners to bring homes back into use but where a property continues to be empty without good reason and has significant negative impact, we have legal powers available.

Council interest in empty homes

We have a strategic responsibility for housing in the area, to facilitate access to affordable and decent homes. With demand for affordable housing and house prices rising, it is important to make best use of existing stock. Empty homes can fall into disrepair and cause problems for neighbours and the wider community because they can attract anti social behaviour. They can create many problems;

  • Attract rubbish dumping and increase chance of vermin
  • Attract squatters, drug dealers, vandalism and possible arson
  • Increase risk of structural damage to neighbouring properties
  • Decrease house prices and businesses and investors could be reluctant to move into the area, which could lead to deprivation

Empty Property Strategy

Empty homes occur for a variety of reasons. Some are empty for short periods of time and tend to come back into use relatively quickly; others may be empty for a significant period of time and are not likely to come back into use until the underlying reason for the vacancy is addressed.

Our strategy sets out how the Alliance will effectively and proactively address empty properties.

Empty Property Strategy 2017 [490KB]