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Empty homes

Empty homes can cost their owners thousands of pounds a year in council tax (100% premium for those empty over 2 years), insurance, mortgage and repairs while the district suffers from a lack of housing. We have hundreds of households on the Homeseekers register and many in priority need.

Dilapidation can cause issues for neighbouring properties such as devaluation, damage and anti-social behaviour.

We are committed to reducing the number of long term empty homes in the district. To discuss how we can help you rent your property to someone on our housing list:

Long term empty homes policy

The policy aims to identify the causes of empty properties, why they remain empty and a clear action plan showing how we intend to reduce this number.

Possible enforcement orders

Empty Dwelling Management OrdersĀ (EDMOs)

In part 4 of the Housing Act 2004, the government introduced a new power known as Empty Dwelling Management Orders (EDMOs) that give the council powers to compulsorily lease empty homes that have been vacant for longer than two years where other options have been unsuccessful.

Compulsory Purchase Orders

Compulsory Purchase Orders are a final sanction for local authorities to improve private sector housing where other options such as offers of grants or notices have failed.

Section 17 of the Housing Act 1985 gives local authorities the power to acquire buildings and land through compulsory purchase; this allows Compulsory Purchase Orders to be made for the purpose of providing housing accommodation.

VAT Savings LetterĀ 

If an owner is planning repairs to an empty home and uses a VAT registered contractor then the Housing Property Manager can provide you with a VAT letter; this confirms that the property has been empty for two or more years. The owner then gives the letter to their contractor and this allows them to charge only 5% VAT on many repair costs.

The saving of 15% VAT on costly repairs can make a big difference, and it is very easy to arrange. We also ask owners that if they plan to sell their empty property, to make the new proprietor aware of these savings.