Empty homes can look unattractive by falling into disrepair or attracting acts of vandalism. They have the potential to impact negatively on the local neighbourhood, but also on the wider housing market. Minimising the number of long-term empty homes in the Borough reduces unsightly premises and also helps to improve the local economy.
The Council's Empty Homes Plan 2015 - 2018 replaced the Empty Homes Strategy 2007 and it sets out three key priorites:
- to minimise the number of empty homes through the Councils interventions
- to maximise the opportunities for returning empty homes back into use through initiatives and incentives
- to use innovative interventions to bring empty homes back.
How to report an empty property to the Council
The Council encourages local people to report empty properties in the Borough, particularly those that have been empty for a long time.
Why do homes become empty?
Homes become empty for a variety of reasons. While many routinely become empty as an inevitable consequence of being sold and are soon re-occupied, other homes remain empty for a wide range of other reasons.
Returning empty homes back into use can enhance local neighbourhoods through:
- maintaining property values
- providing increased housing options for local residents
- improving the sense of pride in a local neighbourhood.
Advice and assistance for owners of empty properties
If you are the owner of an empty property, there are a number of options open to you. Find out more here.