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 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.

We encourage responsible ownership through a variety of methods:

  • Free advice and information to owners and prospective landlords on available options.
  • You may want to consider renting your property. Worcester City Lettings is the council’s social lettings agency and offers a range of landlord benefits at competitive prices.
  • Enforcement action on problem properties where necessary.

If you are concerned about an empty property in your area and you wish to report it please use our Report Empty Property form.

Property standards concerns and housing hazards

Housing hazards are defined under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS). Property standards officers can conduct inspections and score hazards that they observe. Based on this scoring the council may then have a duty or discretion to act. Some of the hazards listed in the HHSRS include Damp and Mould, Excess Heat or Cold, Hygiene, Sanitation, Falls, Electrical Hazards, Collisions, Cuts and Strains. Shelter provide a full list of hazards and their definitions

Some issues such as nuisances, pollution and pests are handled by Worcestershire Regulatory Services.

If you are concerned about a hazard in your property, please notify your landlord of the issues so that they can undertake repairs and if it is unresolved and you wish to report it, please use our Report a Housing Hazard Form

Reporting suspected unlicensed HMOs

Please use our report a suspected unlicensed HMO form to report a suspected HMO to Worcester City Council for investigation.

 

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