An empty home is a wasted resource, both for the owner who could otherwise make financial gains by letting or selling the property, and for those who are in need of housing. Returning empty properties into use helps increase housing supply and regenerate run down areas. It is also important to consider the blight that empty properties sometimes cause to local areas in attracting petty crime and devaluing neighbouring property.
Property owners should generally be free to decide how their property is used. However, this fundamental right needs to be balanced against the rights of others living in the community in which the property is located. In ensuring a reasonable balance is struck, there is a legitimate public interest in ensuring empty homes do not have an undue impact on the local community, and where they do there is a reasonable prospect that the matter will be resolved. Our strategy for dealing with empty homes is to encourage responsible ownership through a variety of methods:
- Free advice and information to owners on options available.
- Advice to prospective landlords.
- Possibility of grant assistance to repair or improve empty homes.
- Enforcement action on problem properties where necessary.
If you own an empty property and you would like information on bringing the property back into use then you may consider renting the property. For further information visit the Private Rented Sector - Landlord Advice Page. If you require any advice on bringing your property back into use or would like to discuss grants available then you can contact the Private Accommodation Standards Team.
If you are concerned about an empty property in your area and you wish to report it please use our Report Empty Property form.