Help for the owners of empty homes

An empty property is an expensive asset at risk of damage and losing value. An empty property can attract problems to a neighbourhood. Owners of empty properties often live elsewhere and are unaware of the impact that their empty property is having on the local community. An empty property can be very distressing for neighbours as it can become a magnet for anti-social behaviour such as vandalism and graffiti and is also at risk of being squatted in as well as fraud and other criminal activities.

As an owner you are likely to be faced with the cost of insurance, Council Tax, security measures, regular inspections, repair and maintenance, renovation and depreciation, not to mention the loss of income that you could get from letting or selling your property.

The Empty Homes and Loans Team provide advice and information on empty and derelict residential properties across the district. Please see below for further information or, contact the Empty Homes and Loans Team

How to secure and prevent damage to your empty property

Empty properties can become a target for criminals and they are likely to have maintenance problems such as water damage. It is the responsibility of the owners to maintain and secure an empty property.

Renovating your empty property

If you decide to renovate your empty property prior to selling or letting it, you will need to plan the required work. If the job is on a large scale or is very complicated you may need to seek advice from an architectural professional or a surveyor. They can also help develop your plans and manage the project for you. Find out more about renovating your property before embarking on any work.


A loan scheme exists to help empty property owners carry out essential repairs to their property to bring them back into use.

Tax incentives to re-occupy your empty property

There are tax incentives which enable owners of empty properties to claim reduced VAT rates on the refurbishment costs of bringing an empty property back into use.

Legal advice

The barrier for some homes being brought back into use is a legal problems such as applying for probate or a defective title. The Council may be able to help you with any legal problems.

Becoming a landlord

As an empty home owner you may wish to consider letting your property.

Last resorts – enforcement action that the Council can take

If an empty property is causing significant blight to an area or causing a statutory nuisance the Council has the powers to take enforcement action to rectify this.

Empty Homes Advisors

Within the Empty Homes and Loans Team there are Empty Homes Advisors whose role it is to work with the owner to produce an ‘Empty Home Action Plan’. They will discuss the all the options available to the owner, and advise them of the range of incentives and initiatives that can help them.

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Contact details

Empty Homes and Loans Team
8th Floor
Margaret McMillan Tower
Princes Way

Phone : 01274 434520
Email :

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